Jorge Larrionda

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Larrionda and the second or maternal family name is Pietrafesa.
Jorge Larrionda
Full name Jorge Luis Larrionda Pietrafesa
Born (1968-03-09) 9 March 1968 (age 48)
Montevideo, Uruguay
Years Role
1995–2010 Referee
Years League Role
1998–2010 FIFA listed Referee

Jorge Luis Larrionda Pietrafesa (born March 9, 1968) is a retired FIFA football referee from Uruguay who has officiated at international matches since 1998. The high point of his career was the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which he officiated four matches, including a semifinal between Portugal and France. He was fired[1] from the 2010 World Cup after missing Frank Lampard's goal in England's loss to Germany in the knockout stage. However, his refereeing style has also won him many critics, especially because of the high number of red cards he has shown, earning him the nickname "Red Card Larrionda".[2] Larrionda has made several controversial decisions during matches involving the United States, and is often vilified amongst American fans.[2]

Larrionda is also well known in South America, having participated in countless matches of continental competitions such as the Copa Libertadores and the Campeonato Uruguayo.

He retired[3] from refereeing in 2011.

International career prior to 2006[edit]

Prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Larrionda officiated 34 games internationally in matches in the 2001 Copa America, 2002 World Cup qualifying matches for CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, the 2003 Confederations Cup, the 2004 Olympics, the 2004 Libertadores Cup, the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and Under-17 World Championship, and 2006 World Cup CONMEBOL qualifying matches.[4]

2002 suspension[edit]

Larrionda was selected as a referee for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but was suspended for six months by the Uruguayan Football Association two days after his selection, and was dropped from the list of referees.[5] The organization cited "irregularities" which were not specified.[5][6] Larrionda was one of five referees suspended for what the president of the Uruguayan board described as "irregularities that were denounced by other referees." [7] The suspensions reportedly arose from accusations of corruption between members of rival Uruguayan soccer officials unions.[8]

2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier[edit]

Larrionda officiated over a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier held October 13, 2004 between Brazil and Colombia at Maceio, Brazil. In the 68th minute, Colombia had a goal disallowed for a questionable offside call, and in the 70th minute, Brazil also did not score a goal for a shot that bounced downward from the crossbar, though replays indicated penetration of the goal line by at least half a meter.[9] The match ended in a draw.

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Larrionda was selected again to officiate for the 2006 World Cup. He refereed the Angola - Portugal match (June 11), which went without incident.

United States v Italy[edit]

Larrionda's second assignment in the 2006 World Cup was the June 17 match Italy - United States.

After the match, he became a target of criticism from a few British and American television commentators. In this game, Larrionda became the fourth referee to send off three players in a single World Cup finals match, after sending off Italy's Daniele De Rossi for an elbow to the cheek of Brian McBride, United States' Pablo Mastroeni for a two-footed tackle, and Eddie Pope for a late tackle which saw Pope receiving his second yellow card.[8][10] In total for the match, Larrionda issued four yellow and three red cards; all but one of the cards were issued during the first 47 minutes of the match.

Print and online journalists both supported and opposed his performance, and U.S. coach Bruce Arena stopped short of criticizing Larrionda directly when he said that generally, bookings had been excessive in the tournament. South American press, however, was overwhelmingly favorable to his performance in the match, as was FIFA, which endorsed the referee's performance, in line with International Football Association Board guidelines to crack down on violent play.

Media reaction[edit]

Larrionda's performance drew especially harsh criticism from commentators and analysts on ABC and the BBC, who cited the inconsistency of foul calls between the earlier and later portions of the match. ABC's Marcelo Balboa and Eric Wynalda and the BBC's Chris Waddle characterized his ejection of Mastroeni as a "make-up" or "even-up" call for the earlier red shown to Italy, with Alexi Lalas questioning the need for a make-up call, adding "did [De Rossi] not elbow [McBride] directly in the face?"[7][11] Waddle also said the officials were "rubbish" and incapable of officiating the tournament.[11] Another BBC report, however, claimed that he was "left with little option" other than sending Mastroeni off.[12]

Articles published after the match were not in agreement over the quality of Larrionda's calls. Opinions in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Sun-Times and Bangkok Post challenged the referee;[13][14][15] The Times and The Sunday Telegraph of London, Germany's Der Spiegel, and America's Sports Illustrated supported his decisions.[16][17][18][19]

The Associated Press reported on the following day that FIFA communications director Markus Siegler said the red card issued to De Rossi, which drew blood, was appropriate. Siegler was not quoted on the other ejections in the match, but he said that generally, FIFA was pleased with the quality of officiating in the tournament.[20][21]

Two days after the match, Wynalda said he had rushed to judgement in his complaint about Larrionda's ejection of Mastroeni, noting that the tackle was reckless.[22]

Player and coach reaction[edit]

In a post-game comment, Pope disagreed with the red card issued to Mastroeni but was silent about his own dismissal.[23] The day after the match, U.S. coach Bruce Arena did not voice a grievance against Larrionda specifically, agreeing with the referee's offside call that disallowed an American goal, and deferring to his judgement for the red card against Mastroeni and the second yellow card against Pope, but complained that generally, FIFA was punishing fouls too severely in the tournament.[24][25]

Remainder of tournament[edit]

Larrionda was chosen to officiate another group-stage match, between France and Togo.

On 28 June FIFA announced that Larrionda would be one of the final group of 12 referees retained for the remainder of the tournament, and on 2 July he was appointed to officiate the second semi final between Portugal and France (July 5).[26]

France v Portugal[edit]

Larrionda officiated the France-Portugal semifinal on July 5, 2006. In the 32nd minute, Larrionda awarded a penalty kick to France for a foul by Ricardo Carvalho on Thierry Henry. The shot was taken successfully by Zinedine Zidane. The penalty was the only goal of the game, and France won 1-0.[27] Larrionda later ignored a penalty kick request from Cristiano Ronaldo, a move for which he was criticized by the Portuguese coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.[28]

Reporters noted that the game was colored by dives and play-acting, but Larrionda gave out only two yellow cards in the match.[29] He booked Ricardo Carvalho of Portugal in 83rd minute and Louis Saha of France in the 87th. Both players were already carrying yellows, and thus missed the third place match and final, respectively, due to card accumulation.[30]

2009 FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

Larrionda was selected as a referee for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

United States v Spain[edit]

Larrionda [31] took charge of the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal, in which the United States upset Spain 2-0. He issued four yellow cards in the match, two to each side, as well as a straight red to the USA's Michael Bradley late in the game.[32] The card drew strong criticism from American commentators at ESPN and Fox Sports.[33][34] David Mosse, writing for, described the card as "questionable" and the resulting suspension - which forced Bradley to miss the final against Brazil - as "cruel."[34] The Guardian, while not commenting on the suspension, described the challenge for which Bradley was sent off as "heavy."[35] In his match report, Larrionda accused Bradley of angrily confronting him following the game, earning the American an additional 3 match suspension.

Inter Continental World Cup Qualifier 2010[edit]

Larrionda refereed the second leg of the two legged playoff between Bahrain and New Zealand, in Wellington. The first leg was refereed by Hungarian Viktor Kassai.

2010 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Australia v Serbia[edit]

Larrionda was selected as a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was the referee at the Australia-Serbia group stage match, which Australia won 2-1. During the match's injury time, he controversially failed to award a penalty shot to Serbia following a Tim Cahill handball in the Australian penalty area. The potential goal would have gotten Serbia a point from the match and put them through to the next round.[36]

Germany v England[edit]

In the match between England and Germany that Germany went on to win 4-1, Larrionda failed to award a goal when a shot from Frank Lampard came off of the crossbar and fully crossed the goal line.[37][38][39] It would have made the score 2–2 at the time. Lorrianda, was seen to laugh and shake his head when England players protested at his decision. This incident renewed calls for the introduction of goal-line technology.[40] Larrionda along with his two assistants were not chosen by FIFA for the final stages.[39][41] Larrionda was said to be aghast when shown the image of the ball at least a yard over the line, gasping 'Oh my God!' after seeing a replay of Frank Lampard's disallowed goal.[42]


  1. ^ "WORLD CUP 2010: Blunder referee Jorge Larrionda axed - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. 
  2. ^ a b 'Red Card' Larrionda to ref U.S. match - CNN/Sports Illustrated, 28 September 2009
  3. ^ "Frank Lampard 'goal' referee Jorge Larrionda retires - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. 
  4. ^ "2006 FIFA World Cup Referees: LARRIONDA Jorge". Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  5. ^ a b Johnson, Dale (2002-01-10). "Update 2002: Uruguayan referee suspended". Soccernet. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  6. ^ Longman, Jere (2006-06-17). "U.S. Holds Italy to a Tie". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  7. ^ a b Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa (Commentators); Musburger, Brent (Presenter); Giorgio Chinaglia, Alexi Lalas and Eric Wynalda (Analysts) (2006). World Cup Soccer: Italy vs. United States (TV-Series). United States: ABC. 
  8. ^ a b Associated Press (2006-06-17). "U.S. holds on for foul-plagued 1-1 draw with Italy". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  9. ^ Reuters (2004-10-13). "Brazil 0-0 Colombia: Controversy". Soccernet. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Italy 1-1 USA". BBC. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  11. ^ a b "Italy 1-1 USA". BBC Sport. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2006-06-19. 
  12. ^ "Italy 1-1 USA". BBC Sport. 17 June 2006. 
  13. ^ Miklasz, Bernie (2006-06-18). "It's official: FIFA lays an egg with choice of referee". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  14. ^ Millward, Robert (2006-06-18). "Exhausting game could hurt U.S., Italy". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  15. ^ "Everything to play for in the new 'Group of Death'". Bangkok Post. 2006-06-19. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  16. ^ Hughes, Rob (2006-06-18). "The beautiful game turns ugly". The Times. London. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  17. ^ Barclay, Patrick (2006-06-18). "Italy score more than one own goal on a crazy night". London: The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  18. ^ "USA Ties Italy in a Match Marred by Rough Play". Der Spiegel. 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  19. ^ Marcotti, Gabriele (2006-06-19). "World Cup Blog - Lay off Larrionda". CNN S.I. Retrieved 2006-06-19. 
  20. ^ Associated Press (2006-06-18). "Red and yellow cards warranted, FIFA says". Soccernet. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  21. ^ Associated Press (2006-06-18). "FIFA official defends Cup officiating". CNN S.I. Archived from the original on 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2006-06-19. 
  22. ^ Julie Foudy, Eric Wynalda and Allen Hopkins (Analysts) (2006). World Cup Live (TV-Series). United States: ESPN2. 
  23. ^ "ITALY-USA: Players' quotes". 2006-06-17. Retrieved 2006-06-18. 
  24. ^ Goff, Steven (2006-06-19). "Arena Cites 'Excessive' Calls". The Washington Post. p. E13. Retrieved 2006-06-19. 
  25. ^ Gardiner, Andy (2006-06-18). "U.S. coach: 'The cards are excessive'". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-06-19. 
  26. ^ dpa (2006-07-02). "Schiedsrichter Larrionda leitet zweites Halbfinale". Retrieved 2006-07-02. 
  27. ^ Doyle, Paul (2006-07-05). "France 1 - 0 Portugal". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  28. ^ Vieira da Costa, Eduardo (2006-07-05). "Scolari ataca juiz e insinua benefício à França fora de campo". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved 2006-07-05. 
  29. ^ "Portugal 0-1 France". BBC. 2006-07-05. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  30. ^ PA (2006-07-05). "Portugal 0-1 France: Zidane's final dream". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 2006-07-23. 
  31. ^ "US nemesis Jorge Larrionda to referee at Confederations Cup". Sports Illustrated. 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  32. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (2009-06-24). "Spain 0-2 United States". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  33. ^ Guarr, Joe (2009-06-25). "USA's magical Confederations Cup run is bittersweet". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  34. ^ a b Mosse, David (2009-06-29). "Brazil cements status as World Cup favorite". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  35. ^ "USA stun Spain to make Confederations Cup final". The Guardian. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  36. ^ FIFA World Cup 2010: Serbia Robbed of Qualification;Bleacher Report, 23 June 2010
  37. ^ "Allemagne-Angleterre : but valable refusé à Lampard", Le Parisien, June 27, 2010
  38. ^ "Enorme erreur d'arbitrage au Mondial (vidéo)", RTBF, June 27, 2010
  39. ^ a b "Desperate England dumped out by Germany"], Eurosport, June 27, 2010 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "test" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  40. ^ Kelso, Paul (June 27, 2010). "England v Germany: Frank Lampard's 'goal' reignites goal-line technology debate". London: The Telegraph. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Referee Jorge Larrionda dropped from World Cup 2010 following England error". Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  42. ^ Gysin, Christian; Kelly, Tom (2010-06-28). "'Oh my God', what the Uruguayan referee said when he saw his World Cup blunder on TV as England are crushed 4-1 by Germany". London: Retrieved June 30, 2010. 

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