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Damián Steiner: one lime and one sand

Damián Steiner became the first Argentine to arbitrate a Grand Slam final, but within a few days he was terminated.
Damián Steiner primer argentino en arbitrar una final de Grand Slam
| 30 November, 2019 |

As always in life, after a good comes a bad one (and vice versa). And that’s exactly what happened to Damián Steiner, who a couple of months ago touched the top of his career as he was the first Argentine umpire to direct the final of a Grand Slam. And what’s the bad news? That he was terminated. Did you arbitrate wrong? No, I don’t. Was it partial? Less. Did he behave disrespectfully towards the players (nothing more and nothing less than Djokovic and Federer)? Nothing further from reality. And then what happened? He gave an interview. Oh, yeah . Just like they read it.

After leading the final of Wimbledon (tournament considered the “Cathedral of Tennis”, in which players have to be dressed completely in white and the referee directs in suit), Steiner was Fired. The argument given by the ATP is that it “violated the tour’s policies by giving a series of interviews to the media in Argentina without authorization from the ATP.” Apparently, he should have asked permission before talking to any media. But besides, they say he touched a little thorny stuff.

What was the Steiner’s mistake?

The statement adds: “much of the content of interviews given by Steiner to the media represented a direct violation of the protocol by which ATP officials should abstain to discuss specific incidents or matches, players, other officials or rules, to keep the impartiality at all times”. Looks like Steiner packed up and suggested changes to the regulations. In addition, when asked about his emotions and feelings, he said something very but that the ATP fell badly: he claimed that, when he had both matches points in favor in the fifth set, he thought Federer was about to win the match, which in the end won the Serbian.

What they say many important characters from the world of tennis, both players and coaches and journalists, is that the sanction is a little exaggerated: Steiner is a referee “gold badge” ( ), which puts it at the peak of sporting excellence. Born in Villa Crespo, was awarded international referee in 1996 and worked as supervisor and chair judge for 25 weeks per year over the last decade (including over 50 Grand tournaments Slam). It takes a lot of time, dedication and talent to get there. Dispense with their services for this reason would make the entire universe of the tennis miss a referee who ensures justice and impartiality. Hopefully review the situation and Argentines continue to have a representative at the top of the world’s tennis.

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