"But I already pay you for no card!"

Does this look like a man you can trust? If so, I have $20 million to give you. Just provide your banking account details and I will make you very rich. Confidentiality is a must.

Brazilian Carlos Simon has been assigned to referee the US-England match next Saturday on the opening weekend of the World Cup. No big deal except for the fact that he was suspended for six weeks last season for incompetence and corruption.

Carlos Eugenio Simon was suspended by his national federation for ‘a repetition of mistakes’ but far more serious accusations were levelled at him after he disallowed a perfectly good goal for Palmeiras against Fluminense.

Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo, the president of Palmeiras, branded Simon a ‘crook, scoundrel and a bastard’, adding that he was ‘without shame’ and ‘in the drawer of someone’. He also said he had ‘made a service’ for Fluminense and said he would ‘slap him’ if he ‘met him on the street’.

…Another time, Simon failed to give a penalty for Brasiliense, a Division Two team, in the Copa do Brasil final against Corinthians in 2002. Even the Corinthians players said it was a penalty.

FIFA was aware of these and other incidents but still assigned Simon to work the World Cup. They must be taking a page from UEFA’s playbook.

Simon is definitely a referee to be watched during the tournament. Byron Moreno would like to know why everyone’s getting worked up about this.

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