In the final part of the season, the topic of refereeing remains one of the hottest in the RPL. In each round, the players and coaches of the various teams had a reason to at least be surprised at the next decision of the referees, and at the very least, to severely criticize officials. By the final segment of the championship, the situation was so tense that comments had to be given to the head of the RFU refereeing department, Viktor Kashshai.

“In recent days, negative comments about the judges of the Russian Premier League have appeared in the media. Of course, like all people (including football players), they make mistakes in their work. But, in my opinion, it is unacceptable that some representatives of the clubs, their fans through the media question the integrity of the judges without any concrete evidence. The Russian Football Union is conducting a refereeing reform, and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure fairness and transparency of refereeing, ”the Championship quotes Kashshai.

Such statements by the head of the refereeing department of the RFU can be interpreted in different ways. On the one hand, a distinguished specialist clearly makes it clear that he is supporting his subordinates and notes that they are doing everything possible to improve the quality of work. On the other hand, he agrees that the conversations are not conducted from scratch and the discontent on the part of the teams, football players and coaches is really not unfounded.

The last scandal surrounding the Russian judiciary broke out the other day, and arbiter Sergei Lapochkin was at its epicenter. Rumors leaked to the press that he was suspected of playing on the sweepstakes, but subsequently they were not confirmed. Nevertheless, the Russian Football Union still had some doubts about its employee, as a result of which, according to some reports, he was forced to pass a polygraph test. According to journalist Nobel Arustamyan, the suspicions were based on the actions of the judge in the match of the 27th round of the RPL between Spartak and Lokomotiv.

In particular, it was judging that had serious complaints from representatives of the red-white. Basically, they consisted in the fact that the referee put the 11-meter into the goal of the hosts, but at the same time refused to point the guests to the penalty area. And this despite the fact that there were enough reasons. Even in the course of the meeting, this provoked a surge of emotions from the mentor of the red-white Domenico Tedesco, who was subsequently punished with a red card. But the German did not stop there and issued an angry tirade at a press conference. The specialist said that the referees “kill” his team in every game, and also was indignant at the decision of Lapochkin to award Zelimkhan Bakayev with a yellow card. For the midfielder, she became the eighth of the season and did not allow him to take part in the game with Sochi.

In general, now Spartak remains the club that most often expresses dissatisfaction with the referee. And it is worth recognizing that often it arises from scratch. It is enough to recall the fall of Esekiel Ponce after a collision with the goalkeeper of Sochi, Nikolai Zabolotny, the unaccounted goal of Alexander Sobolev in the confrontation with Ufa, or the obvious play of the defender Akhmat Andrei Semyonov in his penalty box. Reasons to point to the point were in most red-white matches after the pandemic, but the referees invariably sided with the opponents.

In the case of Spartak, many experts note that the reason for their failures lies not in the controversial verdicts of the judges, but in their weak game. In some ways, such opinions can be considered reasonable, because Muscovites really do not look the best. In particular, this concerns a positional attack, where the Tedesco team is experiencing serious problems. But there is hardly any serious reason to deny that in border situations, officials are not on their side.

However, the fact that it is Spartak who most often blames the judges does not mean that there are no reasons for discussion in other matches. You can recall the work of Alexei Matyunin at the meeting of Rubin and CSKA, which initially did not see a clear violation of the rules at Khvich Kvaratskhelia in the army penalty box. There were ambiguous moments in the confrontations between Ural and Dynamo, as well as Rostov and Ufa, all of which were productive. And this if we take only the 28th round, which turned out to be far from the most resonant in terms of refereeing.

In this regard, the former representatives of the judiciary, actively commenting on the mistakes of former colleagues, add fuel to the fire. Suffice it to recall Vladimir Fedotov, who recently opened his own blog on YouTube. In it, the former referee parses controversial episodes and indicates when a referee made a mistake.

Nevertheless, the RFU continues to trust the referees and expresses the hope that they will be able to successfully complete the 2019/20 season. This was stated by the same Kashshai, announcing the results of the investigation against Lapochkin.

“Today it was confirmed that all the rumors about Lapochkin were unfounded. The RFU refereeing department fully supports the current RPL referee team. We are sure that these judges will work well during the final matches in the RPL and the Cup of Russia, ”said Kashshai.

It is not surprising that in the final part of the season claims against judges become noticeably greater. Some teams are actively fighting for getting into European competitions, while others are struggling to maintain their residence in the Premier League, so the price of points increases markedly. In this regard, unassigned penalties and ambiguous decisions cause a more emotional response from both players and coaches, which provokes high-profile scandals.

The presence of a VAR system in this case does not help, but only contributes to an increase in the level of tension. Initially, clubs and fans believed that the presence of video assistants would help to eliminate the human factor and thereby reduce the number of controversial episodes to a minimum, but in fact this effect has not yet been achieved. Some moments are left without the attention of assistants and then provoke serious debate in the football community.

In this regard, it remains to be hoped that the Russian judges will justify the trust of their boss Kashshai and work confidently in recent meetings of the Russian football championship, as well as the country's Cup. The tickets to the Champions League and the Europa League depend on their work, and it would be extremely unpleasant if not the players played a key role in their distribution.

In this regard, the central match of the 29th round will become a serious test, in which Lokomotiv and CSKA will compete. He promises to be one of the most important in the end of the championship, and his result will largely determine the course of the struggle for silver medals and a direct ticket to the main club tournament in Europe. Eugene Turbine will have a serious responsibility, because in the event of another scandal the ending of the championship risks being oiled. As well as the one whom the RFU will entrust with judging Zenit and Spartak in the Sunday semifinal of the Cup of Russia.