The obvious errors in field refereeing and VAR in the match between Internacional and Botafogo in the Brazilian Championship Serie A generated great repercussion. And this time, there was even a consequence – Rafael Traci, video referee of the game in question, was scheduled for the derby between São Paulo and Palmeiras this Monday (20) and was replaced.
Mistakes often happen in the refereeing of Brazilian football, but it is noticeable how, it seems, for some there is the “privilege” of making mistakes and continuing to play in the main games. For others (or rather, for others), any slip-up can be fatal.
First of all, an obvious observation, but one that needs to be repeated. Refereeing in Brazilian football has many problems. And the main one is the lack of professionalization of the category.
It is increasingly urgent that a role with such an impact on the game be regularized in a way that allows professionals in the area to work exclusively in football, without depending on other careers to guarantee their livelihood.
If we want well-prepared referees in every game, we need to have a system that allows them to dedicate themselves to their careers 100% of the time.
Now, to take the most recent case. The referee of the controversial Internacional 2 x 3 Botafogo was Sávio Pereira Sampaio. The name caught my attention when following the match because, exactly one month ago, I was on the broadcast of a game that had a very bad performance by him. It was Santos 0 x 0 Ceará in Barueri, with a goal by Santos badly annulled and a player from Ceará sent off wrongly.
I was surprised that, even after this very bad performance in that match, there was the same referee again selected for an important game, with two giant shirts in Brazilian football. Then, out of curiosity, I went to look at his scale on the CBF website. Since that Santos-Ceará, Sávio has been selected for another four games, three of them in Serie A. Every week, he is involved in big team play.
I’m not saying here that, for occasional mistakes made in a match, a referee should be severely punished and removed from the roster altogether. But there must be coherence, then, in the measures taken when there are arbitration errors found.
And this differentiation is clear when we take examples of referees (men) and female referees. Unfortunately, there is not a large number of female representatives on the CBF refereeing board, and only one of them has been used to officiating in Série A matches since 2019 – Edina Alves Batista. Mistakes made by her tend to cost more than mistakes made by her male counterparts.
In the classic between Santos and São Paulo for the Paulista Championship in February, two penalties not scored by Edina in favor of the Santos team were recognized by the Paulista Federation in an official note. From there, it lost space in the main scales of Brazilian football. To give you an idea, Edina has not yet refereed any game in the Serie A this year (it’s been 13 rounds) or in the Copa do Brasil. Meanwhile, Sávio Pereira Sampaio has played in eight Serie A games and two in the Copa do Brasil.
This is just one example of what women experience in football (whether acting in refereeing or broadcasting games). Just one mistake, and all the space conquered is put in check. We live on eggshells. “See why women can’t whistle/narrate/comment?” Meanwhile, referees, narrators, commentators continue to make mistakes (because, after all, no one is immune to them), and no one notices: “Look, that’s what you can get a man to whistle / narrate / comment”. See the difference?
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