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Anton Genov

December 17, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today UEFA announced that it would not appoint Bulgarian referee Anton Genov for any further matches while an investigation into match fixing is ongoing.  The suspicious bets were placed on penalties awarded and that at least three goals would be scored.  See the AP story here.

This blog was/is most known for its coverage of irregular calls in U.S. international matches during the 2009 Confederations Cup.  We’re not equating those irregularities with the alleged match fixing here.  But it seemed worthwhile to look at that match and compare it with Mr. Genov’s standard practices, the same process we use to analyze referees before and after matches.

The match in question was the November 14, 2009 exhibition between Canada and Macedonia.  At the end of the first half, the score was tied 0-0.  But after a goal by Macedonia both teams were awarded two penalty kicks (Macedonia receiving the final one in stoppage time of a friendly with a two-goal lead and on a foul that didn’t merit a card.)

According to the match report from Canadian Soccer, Genov awarded four penalty kicks, two yellow cards (one to each side), and no red cards.  He called 30 fouls in total.

As for Genov’s traditional calls, we turn to WorldReferee.com.  Genov has officiated 28 tournament matches.  In those 28 matches, he has awarded a total of 9 penalty kicks.  In 2 matches, he awarded 2 penalty kicks.  He has awarded 101 yellow cards (an average of 3.61 per match).

Analysis

Genov awarded twice as many penalty kicks in the questioned match than he had ever awarded in an international, non-friendly match.  In 28 matches, he had awarded only 9.  And yet he awarded four in a single match.  More suspicious is that only two yellow cards were awarded.  Four penalties –one handball and three fouls in the penalty box — could reasonably be projected to result in more than two yellow cards.

To add a little context to Anton Genov’s life, he is a surgeon and was 43 years old at the time of the questioned match.  International retirees are forced into mandatory retirement upon reaching 45 years of age.  So we have an international referee with only two years left in his second career, a friendly match, and double the highest number of penalties that he’d ever awarded in an international tournament match.  Throw in the suspicious betting patterns and we can understand why UEFA wants to investigate the matter further.

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