Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Technologically Challenged Sport

Willkommen zum Fußball !

This most popular sport in the world, in all its glory, lacks the technological benefit, enjoyed by the other sports in the world. Football has stayed on as it was. Some rules added, some revised, some deleted but referee stayed put and so did referee errors. Referee, though in constant touch on with referees off-field, make so many erratic decisions that some end up altering the result of the match. FIFA World Cup 2006 is no different that the world cup of the eighties.

Why is no third-referee (in line with cricket’s third-umpire) who is looking at the television replays? Or if there is one, why is he not allowed to over rule the on-field referee’s wrong decision? Cricket has kept up with the technology like so many other sports. Why hasn’t football coped up yet?

Referees in this World Cup, have broken the record of maximum red cards shown. Some of them maybe very much necessary and correct, some just are plain erratic decisions. Not only the cards but many penalties granted for no reason or deserving penalties not given ( like thw penalties in favour of Ivory Coast in their last match). These are penalties which might have altered the course of the match. Yellow cards and free kicks were distributed like freebies because of the good acting skills shown by the some footballers (like Thiery Henry’s face covering act to get the free kick [27th Jun – France vs. Spain]). This just reinstates the fact that to err is human and referee is a human.

English referee Graham Poll topped the erratic referee list with stupid decisions in the Croatia-Australia match. The referee in Swiss-German match committed blunder by red-carding Sweden defender Teddy Lucic. Ref Valentin Ivanov, slapped French captain Zinédine Zidane with a yellow card for taking free kick before the whistle had sounded. This is an offense; but not worth a yellow card at least. The examples are endless.

Why is FIFA afraid of technology?
Will it hinder the openness of the sport? Will it hamper fair players? Is FIFA such a poor federation which cannot afford using video feeds to verify decisions instantly? Will it make referees less attentive? Will it discourage lesser fights on field and hence, discourage entertainment?

I fail to understand. But I know one thing for sure, using the technology will not have another ‘Hand of demi-God’ coming into play.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the best intention this article represents.

There is no denying that results of many crucial matches have been affected by referee error.

But in my opinion embracing to technology by bringing in third referee to make decisions would spoil the originality of the game. Some games are good the way they are.

It is this small imperfection that adds to the thrill of the game.

Moreover any amount of regulation would not change the spirit of the game unless the teams change thier mindset.

To give an example, for the 2006 worldcup FIFA introduced zero tolerance for rough tackling, but this has been misused by many teams(the great Thierry Henry included!!!) where in they pretend to tumble and roll over perpetually for the slightest touch by the defenders. This resulted in the record number of highest yellow cards in a worldcup exceeding the previous worldcup total of 272 even before the knock out stage fully began.

So I just want to say that just technology wudn't change things it is the palyers and their spirit that can make a difference.

Dinesh said...

Cheers dude! Players play to win and become heroes in their countries! The changing of mindsets is too far-fetched and will not happen.

The misuse of the rules..including Henry's could have been avoided and foul would have been given against Henry if a third-referee could decide watchin his act on TV feed!

If the imperfection is thrill, then sport is perfect ;)

Keshi said...

hey Dinesh thanks alot for the bday wishes!