Monday, July 05, 2010

FIFA win the Queen Victoria memorial reactionary fuddy-duddy-ism award

In the spirit of the World Cup I'm going to veer off into football for this award, possibly for the only time ever.

I'm not a football fan, I prefer to follow "another code" (rugby union for those who don't speak in riddles) and I've been amazed and appalled at the number of times in this world cup, that the ref has appeared to have his hands tied and his eyes poked out by the victorian attitude to refereeing as expressed by FIFA.

International Rugby has sucessfuly benefited from video replays and from penalty-tries, and indeed from a clock that counts the seconds of play, cleverly pausing for injury or other "time out". None of these things interrupt the flow of the game. None of them compromise his authority.

The introduction of goal line "technology" however, would. That would delegate the decison to a machine.

In both codes the ref's decision is absolute and final, as it should be, and he has the option to exercise his opinion and experience at every stage of the game.

But by FIFA denying ref's access to the *option* to consult a video ref (or tv match official) or the *option* to award a goal for goal line offences we are saying that we do not trust their judgement. If FIFA do not trust the judgement of their referees what does that say for the game? Not to mention the appaling messages the handing of these incidents sends to our kids.

Decisions forced on ref's in this world cup undermine sportsmanship, and for that reason, FIFA, you get the Queen Victoria memorial award for reactionary fuddy-duddy-ism.


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