Home > Referees > Courtney Campbell: Welcome to the List!

Courtney Campbell: Welcome to the List!

I am officially adding Courtney Campbell to the “Oh Crap, This’ll Be Fun” List.  Campbell joins Jorge Larrionda as members of the club.

Campbell’s induction is the result of a game-changing decision in a close Final.  Campbell, who had awarded only 3 penalty kicks in 33 international matches, gave one to Mexico on what I believe to have been a dive by Dos Santos. 

Campbell has officiated two matches with Mexico.  And he’s awarded them two penalty kicks.  In 34 matches (including the 2 with Mexico), he’s issued 4.  In 2 Mexico matches, he’s awarded Mexico 2.  Now, the penalty awarded in the quarter-final match with Haiti was deserved — it appeared to be a handball — but as a U.S. site, we’re on the lookout for favoritism to our rivals.  And 50% of your penalty kicks awarded to one squad?  Both of which came in the elimination rounds of a tournament?  Both while the score is 0-0?  It could be coincidence, but Dos Santos is a great footballer and average actor.  Buying into Dos Santos’ dive doesn’t help.  Nor does yellow carding a Heaps foul that gets lots of ball and not carding a sliding tackle from behind on an American.  Consistency, Mr. Campbell, is the key.

We avoided adding Campbell to the list earlier:  he showed bias against the U.S., but never made game-changing decisions.  As U.S. fans, we can tolerate being called more often for fouls and getting single yellow cards that never mature into YACs.  But when you start affecting the outcome of the match, you find the end of our seemingly infinite patience.

It gives me no pride whatsover to make this award.  But it must be done:

For your inability to call important matches consistently or to discern dives from fouls, Courtney Campbell, pride of Jamaican football, welcome to the list.

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  1. wjmooner
    July 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I actually think Campbell calls a good game. Maybe that’s just because I love his look of amused detachment every time he calls a foul against someone who is arguing. I really thought the Heaps penalty was well-deserved. Heaps got a serious amount of Gio’s jersey and gave it a tug, then held on when Gio tried to turn. And I don’t think Gio took a dive either, because he wasn’t going down all game. It’s almost like he wasn’t on the Mexican national team.

    • Michael
      July 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

      If I were to pick refs who, as an impartial observer, would amuse me, Campbell makes the list. And heck, I’d probably enjoy sitting and having a drink with the guy. But, ask me to name a guy who has a habit of picking on one team in a match; who awards yellow cards with reckless abandon once he gets going; and who picks an odd time to start awarding penalty kicks, it has to be Campbell.

      Should Heaps have held Gio’s jersey at all? Of course not. But Goodson — last match’s scorer on a corner [which Campbell officiated] — has to drag a Mexican player across the goal box and still gets to the ball and that’s not a penalty for the same reason? If serious shirt grabs are penalties, fine. But my point is they weren’t consistently for Campbell today. And if you ref 34 matches and only award 4 penalties, you’re not calling shirt tugs in the box penalties all the time.

      As for diving, I don’t think the tug merited the theatrics. Goodson didn’t fall, whereas Gio goes down like he’s an actor whose sole scene is getting shot and slowly, slowly dying. And Gio doesn’t have to go down after that. Within a couple minutes, the match is out of reach.

      Still, Gio played well. And the call doesn’t make the result a 5-0 blowout. But dude’s given two penalty kicks to Mexico in matches that were 0-0 and end up 4-0 and 5-0 results. It’s just odd.

      Maybe Campbell just hates the way Heaps plays. In which case, we’ll be fine in the future. But right now, Campbell’s on the list.

  1. September 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm

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