Sunday, June 27, 2010
There is one thing every soccer fan in the planet would agree that FIFA 2010 has been the loudest Soccer World Cup ever, thanks to the vuvuzela horns. African soccer fans seem to have a good time blowing it nonstop and as loud as they can. I am not sure if everybody likes it or not. I, for one, certainly don’t. It bugs my ears even hearing it on TV, but I share their joy and celebration. Even though Soccer World Cups are the most awaited and watched sporting event in the world, they usually have their share of controversies, and this world cup, is no exception. The soccer ball itself is in the midst of controversy. Many players have complained that they find it hard to control this ball. They say it turns the wrong way in the mid air. To be fair to the players, we did see a lot of balls flying way over the net in the games so far, and it makes one wonder if these talented players will mishit by that far, that often? Not sure. But the company that makes the ball (Adidas) reasons that it is the lack of practice in higher altitude that causes these problems, not the ball. They also boast the new Jabulani ball is the roundest ball ever made. Now, I am not sure if anyone ever had an issue with the soccer ball not being perfectly round. If that was the case, we could have used a ball that we use for basketball. As soccer fans, we have been waiting for four years to see those magical shots, those unbelievable free kicks from our favorite players. I guess Adidas don’t’ really care about us fans. For them, it is all about selling new stuff and making money, and FIFA will agree as long as they get a share of the profit. It is no surprise that FIFA has come under fire for the things they do and the things they don’t. A lot of people think FIFA is not doing enough to maintain fairness and integrity of the game while reaping all the financial rewards from the game. One week into the tournament, we have already seen some bad calls; some unnoticed handballs, unnecessary red cards. Referees make mistakes. Sometimes the errors are so grave that they change the course of the game. You cannot blame referees for bad calls. They often don’t get to see what actually happened, but have to make the decision based on whatever little bit they see in fraction of a second from the angle they see it. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they aren’t. This is why it is important that major penalties and red cards should be reviewed by the fourth referee. Also, the team captain or coach should be able to request for a review. Almost all the games played today use these methods to make sure that calls are fair. It is fair to say since the introduction of third(TV) umpire in Cricket in 1992, umpiring have become less controversial. Over the years, FIFA has pondered with the idea of introducing technology to help better officiating in soccer, but our disappointment, they have always backed off. In order to take the most popular game on earth to the 21st century, changes are necessary. It will certainly help avoid controversies and lead to more accurate officiating. I am sure most of the people who love the game will agree with me. In this age of social networking, it might take a facebook group with millions of members might influence such a change. At the least, it is definitely worth a try.
Posted by Noush at 2:02 AM