Croatia – Russia, World Cup 2022 qualifying round: who is judging the match – a story about referee Danny Makkeli
Dutch referee Danny McKeley is the most talked about referee of the past Euro 2020: with his decision in the semifinal match, he, in fact, led England to the final, giving a penalty to Denmark for a violation on Raheem Sterling.
This Sunday the referee will be working on the match between the Russian national team and Croatia – it’s time to get to know him better.
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McKelley off the field: grew up in an army family, combines refereeing with police work
- McKeley was born on Curacao, an island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. In the 15th century, the land was discovered by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda, but in 1634 it came under the control of the Dutch West India Company. Until 2010, Curacao was part of the group of the Netherlands Antilles, and after that it received the status of an apartment – a self-governing state by the state with autonomy within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
In Curacao, the McKeley family moved to the service: Danny’s father is a Marine.
- As a young boy, he returned to the Netherlands, where at the age of 10 he began playing basketball and football. As a teenager, he changed a field player to a referee – he worked on matches of adult non-professional teams, as he himself admitted in an interview with UEFA. “It made me believe that I might be able to build a career as a judge,” Danny shared. At the age of 16, McKeley entered the refereeing school of the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB), six years later he made his debut as a referee in a professional match, and grew to Eredivisie at the age of 26.
- In parallel with his judicial career, McKelley worked in the police – he entered the service at the age of 18. In 2017, he received a promotion: from a small Dordrecht he was transferred to Rotterdam as an inspector in the local district office. “I’m officially an operations expert,” McKeley told ELF Voetbal magazine this summer. – My task is to coordinate the team. As a mentor, I give instructions, evaluate colleagues, make sure that the work meets all the rules and regulations. “
With the success in refereeing, the work of the police faded into the background – at some point they had to take a year’s leave. But McKeley quickly returned: “I lacked dynamics, form, tension and challenges. I was sad and decided to return. “
- Now it takes 18 hours a week to work in the police, that is, two to three days. McKeley says he doesn’t need a job to “make ends meet”, for him it’s a passion and an opportunity to do something useful for society. “As soon as I find out about an appointment for a national or international match, I will immediately have my schedule,” he said. – Refereeing is my main job. I have a part-time job in the police. ”
- The referee admitted that his fame as a judge often helps him when working on the road to the scene: people recognize him, calm down, and anger fades into the background.
- McKeley said that it is not always easy to combine – you need a lot of physical and moral strength. But without this part of his life, it is difficult for him to imagine everyday life: “What could be better than a job that feels like a hobby? Moreover, the recognition of the police and the status of trust. “
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McKeley on the pitch: strange penalty at Wembley and a few more mistakes this year
- Portugal – Serbia, 2022 World Cup qualifiers. March this year. In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo scores the winning goal, but the referee cancels it. The Portuguese leaves the field, throwing the captain’s armband onto the field.
“The only thing I can say is that I apologize to the head coach of the Portuguese national team Fernand Santos,” McKeley says after the game. – As a judging team, we work hard to make the right decisions. When we get into stories, we are unhappy. “
- Semi-final match of Euro 2020, Wembley, England – Denmark. Regular time ends with a score of 1: 1, the teams go to the first overtime. After 12 minutes, Raheem Sterling receives the ball on the right flank, flies into the penalty area, where Joakim Mehle tries to “handle” him from behind, but unsuccessfully – he hits not the ball, but the striker’s leg. Sterling falls to the lawn, and McKeley whistles and points to the point. The Danes don’t understand what’s going on. The whole world doesn’t understand.
Photo: ALEX MORTON – UEFA / UEFA VIA GETTY IMAGES
Harry Kane misses the penalty, but scores after the ball bounced off the hands of Kasper Schmeichel. The VAR judges watch the replay and confirm McKeley’s decision.
The final score in the match – 2: 1. England to the final, Denmark – in tears.
“I don’t see a violation,” says the head coach of the Danes Kasper Juhlmann after the match. – I just don’t see a reason for a penalty. It’s one thing to lose a fight, but when it’s like that, it’s a bitter way to get out. ”
“We saw the replay – there is no foul,” says Daniel Wass. – A very controversial decision. We had a fantastic tournament. But getting into the semi-finals at Wembley and then being eliminated because of the referee’s mistake … It’s a shame. “
“A big mistake,” Peter Schmeichel comments on the decision of the judge. – The disputes will go on for a very, very long time. This is not a penalty. I would be much calmer from case to defeat if there were England moments. But, unfortunately, the judge made a big mistake. “
The well-known former referee Mark Klattenburg also gives his assessment: “The penalty is controversial. I would prefer that the foul not be recorded and then watched the moment on the show. I’m not sure if I would have given a penalty, but there was contact. “
José Mourinho would later write in his column for The Sun: “As a footballer, I am disappointed that a penalty was awarded on Raheem Sterling. England fans may not like my opinion, but this is never a penalty … never. “
“The shameful decision of the judge.” Football world at a loss from penalties favoring England
This time McKeley said nothing.
- From the last high-profile about the Dutch referee – removal in the match “Liverpool” – “Atlético”. On the 36th minute, Sadio Mane, fleeing in a counterattack, got in the middle of the field from defender Felipe. McKeley called him over to show him the card, the player did not come up to him – and the referee showed him a red one from afar.
The rights to the video belong to the National Sports TV Channel LLC. You can watch the video on the official channel “Match TV” in Youtube…
Arbiter Igor Fedotov, analyzing the episode for the “Championship”, said that in this situation, you can only limit yourself with a yellow card:
“Yes, Felipe kicked his leg, but at that moment the leg of the Liverpool striker was already in the air – this is the main criterion. Could McKeley be offended that Felipe did not approach him? Considering that this person can hardly be called a judge at all, yes. But in general, the player should not go to the referee to show him the card. If McKeley is really offended, it’s just a circus. “
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McKeley in the Russian national team match: good or bad?
Fedotov replies: “The appointment of McKeley is some kind of misfortune. Russia can expect a setup. His work evokes intently – his work does not inspire confidence. Why does he often get appointments? That means Rosetti likes him. It all started from the European Championship – there he was clearly mistaken, but still received appointments. Someone is lobbying for him. McKeley made a mistake in the match between Italy and Turkey, then made a scandal by assigning a penalty to Denmark in the England semifinals, and recently invented the removal in the game of Liverpool and Atlético.
There is only one thing that can calm the fans of Russia: all the appointments of referees for our matches were targeted. The referees were not mistaken against us, and sometimes they even helped – for example, the second card did not appear to Sutormin in the game with Slovenia. “