April 1, 2020

More World Cup Controversy!

Yesterday I watched another day of World Cup football, and again there was more conversation surrounding the officiating than there was about the quality of the games. A disallowed Frank Lampard goal in the England v. Germany game changed the complexion of the match, leading to a 4-1 Germany victory.

In Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Mexico, Argentine striker, Carlos Tévez, scored Argentina’s first goal of the match from an obvious offside position. Again, a goal at this stage of a match changed how Mexico played tactically and defended subsequently.

I was chatting with my friend, “Tommy D,” the other day. Like me, Tommy’s a big sports fan, but relatively new to soccer. He explained he started following the World Cup, but was baffled by the officiating. All his points and questions were valid and, unfortunately, I had no good answers for him. What a shame for fans old and new to the game that terrible officiating is the main talking point.

Countries wait four years and go through trying qualifying rounds to reach the World Cup. Players leave their club teams and drag their butt’s around the world to help their country qualify. People spend their hard-earned money to support their teams and to go to games. Fans travel thousands of miles around the globe to cheer their teams in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of sports. This is the planet’s most watched sport. It is not too much to ask that we have competent officiating.

It’s not a complicated sport but—like all world class athletics—challenging to officiate. Nevertheless, FIFA, football’s governing body continually resists sensible changes like goal line technology and extra officials on the pitch. We don’t care how many officials it takes, just get it right, man! Most other international sports adopted these changes years ago. Wake up FIFA! Wake up Sepp Blatter, you jackass.

Footnote:

I believe the best teams prevailed in both matches referenced above, which is important, but we could very well have had more exciting matches were the officiating competent.

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