Frisk: Refs can be influenced

Former top FIFA referee Anders Frisk has admitted decisions by officials are sometimes influenced by players’ appeals or by shouts from the crowd – and revealed some of the moments in his career when he regretted making a match-changing call. “I have often been asked if we think before we make the decisions,” said Frisk, in a video released by Ford’s Feel Football programme and viewable in’s interviews section. “Of course we don’t. It’s in your spine. You see the situation and you react immediately. “But sometimes, making these really critical decisions, if you are not sure, if you are surprised when the situation occurs, then maybe you will get some errors because you will be influenced by the crowd or by the player. There are many times when I have faced situations where I didn't know exactly if I got the situation right.” Frisk, who retired at an early age after a controversial Champions League spat between Chelsea and Barcelona, revealed that he often watched videos after the match to see if he got things right – and to his surprise, that wasn’t always the case. “I remember at the World Cup in 2002 between Spain and the Republic of Ireland, Spain were leading 1-0 and I called a penalty for the Republic of Ireland. I was so sure about the situation, and there was no protest because I had very strong body language. But seeing it after the match on the video, I was not as sure as I was on the pitch.” While acknowledging that even the top refs make mistakes, Frisk said that when it happens it is vital to move on as if it had never happened. “If I’ve made a mistake, it's very important for me to forget that mistake as quickly as possible - it's not in my mentality to think that I have to give compensation for it. “I remember one Cup Winners Cup match in Italy when I booked a home player for the second time but I didn't remember that he had already had a yellow card – so he got a red card for a minor incident. “After that, I told myself that if they try to get compensation from me because of a possible mistake, I wouldn’t give it to them. But because of this, they didn't actually get what they deserved in the second half - and this created big problems, on the pitch and also among the fans in the stadium.”

Ford's Feel Football programme engages fans in debate with Champions like Jose Mourinho, Anders Frisk, Patrick Vieira and Ruud Gullit at live events around Europe.

Watch the video (and others)