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September 2
, 2023


Game Conclusion of Independent Report:

The presence of 2 IRD (Incorrect Referee Decision) High (with direct influence on the score and/or number of players) with benefits for Flamengo in the match between Botafogo and Flamengo on 2023/09/02, part of the Brazil Serie A 2023, has completely changed the official score and points for each team. 

The presence of these 2 IRD High with benefits for Flamengo, the distribution of total IRDs (High and Low) with 64% benefits for Flamengo despite the presence of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) , is a potentially abnormal distribution in a professional football match and would require further investigations into refereeing related to manipulation. 

GOAL #1, Referee Error with No VAR Intervention


Result of Error: Botafogo trailing 0-1, after only 2 minutes of play


The Play:  Flamengo RB Wesley delivers a cross into the Botafogo box, with teammate Bruno Henrique attacking at full speed. At the moment the ball leaves the foot of Wesley, Henrique is the only player in the goal box, clearly in an Offside position.  Botafogo player Marlon Frietas is chasing from behind, in an attempt to catch up to the play, intercept the cross in front of Henrique, and prevent an easy goal.  He strives to catch up to the play and mistakenly kicks the ball into the Botafogo goal...appearing to have scored an 'own goal' for the benefit of Flamengo.


The Rule:  The play should be deemed to have ended upon the delivery of the cross by Wesley, if his teammate Henrique continued to attack the ball and affect play.  What occurs after the release of the ball from Wesley's foot is irrelevant. If the linesman did not raise his flag to signal the end of the attack, the VAR official should have retroactively made that determination. The play was over upon the release of the cross.

As the picture shows, this should have been an easy call even for the linesman and his human eye.  No lines needed to be drawn by VAR, as the attacking Flamengo player was the only player in the ‘box’, as the ball left the foot of his teammate.  Again, at this precise moment, whether by a raised flag of the linesman or the necessary intervention of VAR, the play would have been considered dead. What would happen next, at the foot of the recovering defender, simply would not matter. The linesman missed it, which is understandable human error, especially in this day-and-age when linesman are told to leave tough calls to VAR.


What cannot be excused is that either VAR or the Referee Rafael Claus seemed uninterested in double-checking a goal scoring play.  In fact, in this instance, Mr. Claus was seen quickly blowing his whistle and calling for the kick-off, as if to confirm the result, without allowing VAR time to check the integrity of the goal.


As a result of human error, a tremendous classic was marred at the outset and permanently relegated to historic controversy, certainly also affecting the integrity of the 2023 campaign.

Conclusion of Independent Review:

The Goal should have been Cancelled

(Link to Full Report)

T0: Flamengo player (red circle) is in an offside position, when the pass is made (green circle)

T0+1240ms: The same Flamengo player (red arrow) in an offside position at the time of the pass "clearly interferes with the defender (green circle) by attempting to play the ball (green circle)". The goal must be cancelled (p.93-94 Laws of the Game 2023/24).

Method of Evaluation: The REF-EVAL® method is the exclusive property of the GOOD GAME!® company. The REF-EVAL® method uses multifactorial analysis of player physiological, biomechanical and tactical performance combined with all refereeing decisions. 

The REF-EVAL® method, developed over 15 years of analysing players and referees performance data, provides more than 99% correct answers on all refereeing situations. The REF-EVAL® method leverages complex algorithms from artificial intelligence (AI) to identify all what are called IRD (Incorrect Referee Decision) to be opposed to CRD (Correct Referee Decision). 

We then distinguish between IRD High, i.e. referee errors that directly influence the score (e.g. an invalid penalty whistled...) or the number of players (e.g. a red card not given…) and IRD Low, i.e. referee errors that do not directly influence the score (e.g. a foul not whistled...). In the same way we distinguish the CRD Low when the referee makes the right decision on a simple decision, from the CRD High when the referee makes a right decision on a complex situation (a penalty rightly whistled for example). 

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