When is a brand powerful enough to ignore the wishes of most, if not all of the people it appeals to? Common sense says never, but FIFA seem to think differently… and they might just be right as well. There’s been lots of chat about the disallowed Frank Lampard goal for England in the recent soccer game against Germany.
Worse still was the wrongly allowed goal for Argentina in the recent match vs Mexico. Arguably Mexico looked the better side until that point, and there seems little doubt that the psychological impact of this woeful error hurt their chances.
The beautiful game is being debased by blatantly obvious injustices due to the incompetence of the referees and linesmen.
Not just in this World Cup, but it has always been so. Remember Maradonna’s ‘Hand of God’ goal in 1986? He should have been sent off, but instead ultimately lifted the World Cup trophy as possibly the biggest cheat in soccer history.
Fast forward to 2004, where Manchester United had a goal ruled offside in a Champion’s League which would have won them the game against Porto, and would have knocked Porto out of the competition. Porto went on to win the Champion’s League, and Jose Mourinho became a legend… on the strength of another iniquity.
So, this is nothing new. The technology to fix this has been available for years – look at the NHL and the NBA – even Wimbledon, perhaps the most old fashioned of sporting institutions. Yet, FIFA have ignored the issue for years and the sport of soccer still goes from strength to strength.
Maybe FIFA actually are bigger than the game itself. It’s an encouraging sign that they felt compelled to announce they will look at the issue of technology aided decisions in the next couple of months. Let’s hope they mean it.