Nov 20, 2009

Soccer to fair play: Drop dead

To echo our host's views on this, what took place between France and Ireland on Wednesday night really was a travesty. And lo and behold, here to rub salt in still-fresh wounds is soccer's top authority, FIFA.

For those who don't know, FIFA is about as honest, fair-minded and interested in bettering the world as your average African dictator -- and even that's probably an insult to African dictators.

So it really is no surprise when they not only completely reject Ireland's request for a replay, but in doing so refuse to even admit that mistakes were made. These days you get more accountability from a Wall Street CEO.

The post on the topic yesterday mentioned Diego Maradona's infamous Hand of God handball in 1986. Take it from one who was a wee English schoolboy at the time -- that was bad. But it was also somewhat forgivable because the technology wasn't there to have changed the outcome. Fast forward 23 years and we have dozens of cameras covering all angles, high-definition feeds, and sufficient technology to have instant replays pitch-side. It's absurd that for all the changes to the sport, we're still using the same officiating standards that were in place a century ago.

Addendum: Roy Keane has a slightly different take, though he's hardly an impartial observer.


Photo taken from without permission.


  1. I'm with you. This decision is absurd, and the failure to employ technology to undo mistakes like this is even more absurd. FIFA is an organization that is stuck in the past, both in their rejection of technology and their favoritism of the world's "powerhouses."

  2. I think a replay is a bit too much to expect from FIFA, as is admission of anything. This is the 21st Century and Western Civilization is more litigious than ever. Although I am angry with FIFA, I understand tha any admissions would probably end in a lawsuit and possible dissolution. I don't want FIFA dissolved. As flawed as is FIFA, I would hate to see what the billionaires at Real Madrid, AC Milan, ManUre, and Bayern Munchen would put in its place. We are probably better-off suffering FIFA (warts and all).

    I think that this is the opportunity for FIFA to prevent this happening again in the future. Implementation of video replay and/or additional officials on the field must be the end result.

    Ireland was robbed. They will not get anything back.

  3. it's true as corrupt and flawed as FIFA is, they do put on the biggest sporting event on the planet. If the clubs had their say the world cup would boil down to a few Under 23 sides (and without guys like Messi).