The 2010 FIFA World Cup is currently being hosted by South Africa. It’s the 19th time that the tournament has been hosted (since the first tournament in Uruguay in 1930). So far its been a FIFA World Cup of upsets. The tournament has also been a display of some of the best football the African continent has ever seen (in my opinion). Argentina has scored 10 goals in the tournament so far (4 against South Korea, 3 against Mexico, 2 against Greece and 1 against Nigeria). Germany has scored 9 goals so far in the tournament (4 goals against Australia, 1 goal against Ghana and 4 goals against England). The vibe around South Africa has been absolutely brilliant, but some teams have been the plagued by bad decisions by FIFA officials in matches:
- In the United States vs Slovenia group match a goal scored by the United States was disallowed (even though it was clear from the TV replay that the player scoring the goal was on side).
- In the 2nd round match between England and Germany on Sunday England & Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard’s goal was disallowed even though the television replay showed that the ball had indeed crossed the line.
- Kune, the South African goal keeper was red-carded in the group match between Bafana Bafana and Uruguay even though it clearly looked like the Uruguay player was diving over his hands.
- In the 2nd round match between Argentina and Mexico the first goal of the match scored by Tevez should have been disallowed. Tevez was miles offside.
These incidents all occurred in the last few weeks in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. FIFA has been unresponsive regardless of complaints from football fans about bad decisions from FIFA officials. Currently video replays of matches are used to determine the outcome of disciplinary hearings for complaints about bad player conduct. I think its absolute nonsense. Football games should have TV referees (like there’s for Rugby and Cricket) for offside calls, goal line decisions and bad or foul conduct by football players. It’s only reasonable and fair. It seems to me that FIFA wants to live in the dark ages. In a statement FIFA has said that they “will not make any comments on decisions of the referee on the field of play”. In March 2010 football’s rules-making panel agreed not to pursue experiments with technology that could help referees judge goal-line decisions. FIFA President Sepp Blatter said “Let it be as it is and let’s leave [football] with errors. The television companies will have the right to say [the referee] was right or wrong, but still the referee makes the decision — a man, not a machine.” (in 2008). It seems that football’s governing body does not want to change, even though the technology is available for change.
Football is the world’s biggest sport. FIFA recognizes 208 national football associations (for men) and 129 national football associations (for women). The modern game was codified in England following the formation of The Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today. All this is good and well. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the rules of football. FIFA just needs to realize that times change, something I hope they will realize in the near future (for the sake of football fans all over the globe).
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