During the meeting on refereeing in Belgian stadiums, national coach Roberto Martinez also spoke as a member of the “Professional Governing Council”. It is not just about listening.
“He attends all the meetings,” Lake says. “He gives his opinion. We hear each other regularly. He often gives me his impression of a match he watched. He is honest in his analysis,” the statement read.
Despite a “a bit tough” weekend a few weeks ago, Lake believes his referees are “leading matches well”. The French see everything positively.
“We have reached the point where we can impose our way of judging. There is a certain consistency, even if it remains difficult at times. I think everyone would agree that there is a positive development.”
“It can always be better, for example when it comes to reading and feeling the game, the coaches’ mistakes and reactions, but overall I’m satisfied with my group.”
Lake likes to emphasize that a new generation is emerging, with 24-year-old Arthur Denell and 27-year-old Lothar Daunt, while Lawrence Visser, 31, and Eric Lambrechts, 37, are active internationally.
“We’re in an interesting dynamic,” Lake said. “This generation is working together, leaving no one behind. Everyone has jumped on the train and I am amazed at the work that all of our judges have done.”
The coach noted that the VAR has interfered a lot in the past four days. “But at the right moments, so there was no negative impact on the match,” it seems.
“The VAR intervention means our referees make mistakes, but I’m old school and I ask the referees to take responsibility and make decisions on the pitch.”
According to Lake, it cannot be ruled out whether the return of the public had an impact on the referee’s decisions.
Finally, Lake confirmed that he wants to crack down on the protesting players and coaches. “Judgment needs some calm of mind,” he says.
“We cannot accept the protests. The energy that is being expended cannot lead to the right decisions. There has been laziness for years, but the main objective this season is to curb anything that questions the authority of the referee.”
“You asked that I be very strict about it. We accept explaining something, but only respectfully.”
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