Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world. But there are still two massive continents in this world (Asia and North America) as well as other regions where the sport could be much more popular and where the populations are burgeoning.
However, FIFA continues to make cataclysmic mistakes that severely ruin the chances of new sports fans being attracted to the sport of soccer. The cataclysmic and fundamental mistakes focus on the most important part of the game: fairness. If there is no justice in this sport, then it is poisoned and soccer fans, no matter what country they support, will feel cheated. Not because their team lost, but because a mistake was made. And that ruins the very heart of soccer.
Some of you may feel I’m bitter because England had a perfectly decent goal disallowed. And the United States had two. That isn’t the reason why I’m writing this article (not to count the numerous other blatant mistakes in this tournament; Mexico must feel cheated too, just as one other example). Instead, I’m writing this editorial because I believe that the fundamental essence of soccer is broken. The laws of the game.
When sports fans who are not soccer fans but who are trying to give the game a chance during the World Cup come up to me, we often have a discussion that’s based on common sense. Typical questions come them such as “Why doesn’t FIFA allow video technology or add assistant referees behind the goal?” and “Why don’t referees crack down harder on players who are taking fake dives?”
Sadly, it’s very difficult to answer those questions without me throwing up my hands and saying that FIFA refuses to budge on their archaic beliefs. So when casual American soccer fans hear this, they become disillusioned with the sport because (1) it seems that there is no solution coming, (2) the sport is unfair when controversial incidents ruin a game, and (3) it doesn’t make any sense.
While I love the sport of soccer just as much as the most passionate fans do, I can completely understand why soccer isn’t as big as it could be in the United States. As long as FIFA continues to live in the dark ages, soccer will never be as big as it could be in the States.
On top of all of that, FIFA is censoring its own content on its website. After the USA v Slovenia game, the FIFA.com website conveniently didn’t feature any video of the disallowed Maurice Edu goal. And now we learn that FIFA has similarly been up to their old tricks by covering up its mistakes from the England versus Germany game.
The litany of cataclysmic mistakes that FIFA has made over the decades is extremely long. While I don’t expect to see many changes off the field, FIFA needs to understand that changes need to be made on it. At the heart of this is the very essence of soccer. The sport will always be popular, but it could be far more popular if only FIFA made it more fair.
UPDATE: FIFA has decided that it will censor TV replays from being shown within stadiums in the World Cup after Argentina’s disputed first goal fueled arguments on the pitch, according to ESPN Soccernet.
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.”
Ladies and gentlemen, this is even more evidence of how FIFA is trying to keep control and power to prevent people from seeing the truth. It’s time for FIFA to change, and the change has to happen at the top.