l’essentielIn an interview with a New Zealand television, Ben O’Keeffe discussed the France-South Africa quarter-final match that he refereed, which generated a lot of discussion. He expressed his understanding of the French team’s emotions following their defeat and their frustration towards the refereeing.
Ben O’Keeffe, who has faced numerous criticisms regarding the refereeing of the quarter-final between France and South Africa, has broken his silence. Sitting at a café terrace in Paris, the New Zealand referee, who will officiate the semi-final between England and South Africa, has reflected on his refereeing during that match and the many criticisms he has received. He shared his thoughts with New Zealand television channel Newshub, as reported and transcribed by L’Equipe.
Ben O’Keeffe was asked by a New Zealand journalist about a possible return with the French national team: « It is obviously a very emotional period (for the French, editor’s note). I am just trying to respect that and give them time. Players and coaches will say things, whether you win or lose. I know that we referees are never perfect, and we certainly make mistakes in the game, » admitted Ben O’Keeffe. « Players have the right to comment on that after the match. »
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He then continued: « We had my debriefing (with his assistants and the World Rugby refereeing management, editor’s note) and we will try to discuss it again (with the French, editor’s note) and get things back on track. But I understand their feelings after such a great match. »