Irish fans across the nation and the world, were outraged as a number of bizarre decisions cost the boys in green dearly.
After giving free-kicks against Ireland when they themselves were fouled on no less than three occasions in the opening half hour, he really kicked it up a few notches in terms of ineptitude in the opening minutes of the second half.
As the ball came in towards Shane Long, Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen both fouled him, there is simply no question.
Before I go further, let me clarify the position I am coming from. I am a qualified referee at a local level. I am far from an expert but like to think I have a decent understanding of the laws. I despise abuse of referees and even analysing them to the extent I am about to is something that I am quite uncomfortable with.
However, this guy has previous. He is the most incompetent official on any high level panel, by a distance. He consistently decides games with his whistle, sending off Manchester United’s Nani, ignoring Robert Lewandowski’s repeated simulation as Poland beat Ireland to automatic qualification and has an abysmal record in big games, and yet, he is still assigned big games. So now, we have to talk about Cuneyt Cakir.
For a penalty to be given in this instance, contact has to be made. If the offender was playing in a dangerous manner but does not make contact with his opponent, an indirect free kick should have been given. It is one of the most misunderstood rules in the game as seen by these commentators’ reaction to the referees’s superb decision.
All this means that Cukir and his officials have to be certain that contact was made. They had to adjudge if either player was “playing in a dangerous manner”.
This is defined by IFAB as:
“Any action that, while trying to play the ball, threatens injury to someone (including the player themself) and includes preventing a nearby opponent from playing the ball for fear of injury.”
Neither Cukir or his assistants have adjudged either player to be endangering Long. That is simply ridiculous. Incompetence on a jaw-dropping level.
Or, to give a penalty, they have to recognise that contact was made. Which, it clearly was. By two players. On top of that, it is serious foul play and a red card.
There are difficult decisions as an official. The public, for the most part, fail to realise this. The decision on Friday to allow Jamie Vardy’s equaliser shows that some of the tournament’s officials are so skilled they can make decisions that most couldn’t with the benefit of slow-motion replays.
This, was not one of those difficult decisions.
Cukir was very well placed as he always is. It’s his solitary positive trait. His additional assistant was also looking directly at it. Neither were brave enough or competent enough to give the big decision.
To add insult to injury, he failed to stop the game while Shane Long nursed his clearly injured head. At any level, that is gross negligence.
Cukir has struck again, he has decided the game through his inadequacy. At what point will he finally be removed from these big games?