Saturday, July 17, 2010

Love Football - Hate FIFA!

Thanks to my friend, Brian, I am a convert to soccer. Or as the vast majority of this planet calls it: Football. Just behind the NFL, it is the most glorious game to behold. While on the surface, it can appear to be slow-paced, and low-scoring, the game is team-oriented, much more than most sports and, thus makes the game quite complex. A lot of rhythm between team mates and lots of precision, both on offense and in defense. This is my second World Cup that I have followed closely, among other tournaments in between. And I enjoy the game immensely.

The one thing I find almost impossible to get over is the issue with the referees. I normally hate when people lambast officials in any sport. Human error is a part of sports. That includes players and officials. 99% of the time in most sports, if an official makes a bad call, it doesn't have an impact on the game and/ or tournament. This seems to be very different in this World Cup.


FIFA, the ruling organization for football throughout the world is completely horrific, with no apparent credible accountability.

Martin Rogers of Yahoo Sports states in this article:
Human error is part of sports and with FIFA having taken the decision to steer clear of video replay, it is inevitable. But this is the World Cup, the best of the best. Except for the men in charge.

The 9 yellow cards given out by the ref in the Germany-Serbia match influenced the outcome of the game. Not the play on the field. The goal disallowed in the USA - Slovenia match was a complete disgrace. And now today. The French referee of the Brazil - Ivory Coast match. Fabiano scored a goal in which he handed the ball TWICE. And then he handed a 2nd yellow card to Kaka for knocking down a player from the Ivory Coast. Which was a player with very poor acting lessons, apparently. Replay shows that he slightly elbowed in the chest, but his hands went directly to his face.

The point is: Humans make errors. Especially sports officials. That should require some sort of accountability. They do not have to even explain what call they are making on the pitch. Utter insanity. It appears that at this point, FIFA is not too concerned about this and will not be correcting any of these issues. And that, in my opinion, is what makes FIFA a complete farce.

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