After the latest series of “questionable” calls at the World Cup (see: England’s disallowed goal & Argentina’s offsides goal), the officials at FIFA have come up with an ingenious solution – censor the instant replays from fans.
Um, no. I know the referees may not have understood everything that the Mexican players were screaming at them following an obviously missed offsides call that gave Argentina a 1-0 lead, but I can assure them that it was most definitely not to censor the stadium instant replay.
Jermaine Craig, who is the spokesman for the South Africa World Cup organizing committee (the people responsible for operating the country’s 10 World Cup stadiums), admitted that they had made a mistake in showing the replay of Argentine forward Carlos Tevez heading the ball into the goal while standing 5 yards offsides.
“The goal was awarded and it happened relatively quickly,” Craig said. “In retrospect, maybe it shouldn’t have been shown. It was shown and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that.”
Are we sure that the World Cup isn’t being run by Stalin? Did he somehow infiltrate FIFA and nobody bothered to tell us? Censorship is BAD, remember? Or is the governing body of international soccer just that inept?
Look, I understand FIFA’s resistance to using technology. They’ve been around since 1904 (with the first World Cup in 1930), and there’s a natural affinity to having the game played the same way it was played over a 100 years ago – complete with referee biases and blatant flopping. Some traditions should never change, but the absence of technology is not one of those traditions.
FIFA has to understand that the average soccer fan has changed a great deal since 1904. Technology is omnipresent in every aspect of our lives, and there is not a single other international sport that does not utilize technology at least to some extent. It may slow down the game a little, but isn’t it more important that the match be fair?
If FIFA is so determined against instant replay, then maybe they should take a page from Ultimate Frisbee. Take the referees out and have the players call their own fouls and goals. Don’t put the match in the hands of the referees, especially anybody named ‘Coulibaly’.
However, if the constant on-field and off-field skirmishes between teams are any indication of the capability of players to self-officiate, then maybe we need referees after all. Just give them the tools to do their job correctly! Please FIFA, before it’s too late.