FIFA Ignores Mistakes, Avoids Technology

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has shown no willingness to introduce technology to the game of soccer

As the days pass, officiating mistakes continue to pile up just like the stacks of money being earned during this World Cup by FIFA and its sponsors. Just this past weekend, two more blown calls cost teams a great deal of momentum and even a chance at victory. Frank Lampard’s disregarded goal against Germany robbed England of a chance to tie the game and shift momentum, while Carlos Tevez’s offside goal against Mexico disheartened the team early into the game.

Many have begin to wonder – is FIFA just plain ignorant or is there foul play at hand? If one were to even briefly glance at the errors that have occurred during matches, it could easily be perceived that FIFA may be trying to “help” certain teams. It certainly seems in their best interest that teams like Germany, Brazil, and Argentina make the finals. The only thing that keeps me skeptical of foul play is the pure stupidity of the errors. Would they really force referees to make such blatantly bad calls? Shouldn’t they be more slick or conniving about it?

Adding fuel to the fire, FIFA is now trying to ensure that there is no evidence of referee errors during games. When Tevez scored his offside goal it was subsequently played on the big screens in the stadium. This further outraged the Mexican team as they pleaded with the referees to fix their error (which was clearly visible to every person in the building).

According to AP,

FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said Monday that replaying the incident was “a clear mistake.”

“This will be corrected and we will have a closer look into that,” Maingot told a news conference Monday. “We will work on this and be a bit more, I would say, tight on this for the games to be played.”

Maingot said the screens were used to broadcast a FIFA “infotainment program” to fans before the match and could be used to replay some match action.

As you can see from the quote, the only mistake FIFA admits allowing fans to see a real mistake happen. Further on FIFA’s own website the games are summarized in a much less controversial manner. The summaries imply that Lampard’s shot had simply bounced straight off the crossbar, and that Tevez had broken through a series of defensive players to score.

So is it time, that we as fans stand up for what we believe in and push – force – FIFA to adopt instant play rules? I think so. While I do not believe replay should be used on every play, I do think, much like baseball, it should be applicable to all goal scoring opportunities. If a goal is scored or disregarded it should be up for review, especially if the referee isn’t even sure of the call himself. Technologically we are fully capable of installing sensors, both on the ball and in the net to electronically determine if goals are scored.

The fact that FIFA ignores this is suspicious at best. I suggest anyone interested in this subject check out the book The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime by Declan Hill

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