Blom: "My world collapsed”

On 3 September 2011, there were no additional assistant referees, as they are today in UEFA matches. Otherwise, the career of Kevin Blom would have probably been different. The referee wrongly awarded a penalty kick in the final of the Euro qualifier Scotland - Czech Republic, when Jan Rezek dove in the opposing penalty area. "He simulated a foul. He knowingly played false. If you do that in the pub, you get a punch in the nose. I was terribly fooled. Upon seeing the television pictures, my world collapsed at that time", says Blom in AD Sportwereld.
Blom (39) got the whole Scottish nation over him, because the score 2-2 brought Czech Republic to Euro 2012, while Scotland stayed home. “I’ve been feeling down for a long time. It eventually took more than a year. But I had to go on. When you referee a match you need to clear your head", confesses Blom. He can still recall that weekend in Glasgow minute-by-minute in his mind. "Initially, it was the reactions so bad," he cites the dramatic weekend. "In the stadium, we got presents from the Scottish Football Association afterwards (pins, scarves). Only when we walked out, I saw crooked faces. And I got a text message from Mark Wotte, who works at the Scottish Football Association. "I have bad news", he wrote. "You got it all wrong. This was an unjust penalty". Moments later we were told that we were not going to eat in town, but it was wiser to stay at the hotel. In my hotel room I put the DVD of the match in my laptop and immediately fast forwarded to that particular moment. Then I saw that it was diving and fell to the ground". During dinner, Blom could not eat much and I could not sleep. I felt so bad. I also played football and tennis. I know what a sportsman thinks. This feels like a tough defeat. The next day, the airport was swarming with people. We had to wait an hour at customs, but it seemed to have been ten hours. The only thing I thought was that we had to get out of there as soon as possible. I will miss the European Championship? And what does this mean for my career?" On that last question, the referee got a painful response. Two days later, Pierluigi Collina, the referee boss of UEFA, phoned Blom. "He started like a coach. Asked me how I am doing. He said that he has also experienced this. It is very human. But then came the announcement that I would be replaced from my next Champions League match. I was also relegated from the Elite category and lost all my chances to go to Euro 2012. That was terrible! Compare it to a car accident that you have experienced. Then do you want to step right back into your car? I do not. The downward spiral had begun, even though I was confident that I would come back. It was a hard lesson”.
Blom says he has closed the subject now and he is still ambitious as a referee. He still wants to get the best appointments. “No strange things during last season. I got Europa League matches in Sweden and Moldova and immediately Ajax – AZ in Netherlands. It is now good again. I am excited and cannot wait for the start of the new season".

Source: Algemeen Dagblad