FIFA Ruining Growth of Soccer Worldwide

FIFA's Sepp Blatter..FIFA World Cup 2010 Group A..South Africa v Mexico..11th June, 2010.

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 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.

54 thoughts on “FIFA Ruining Growth of Soccer Worldwide”

  1. I have to agree with this. Many of my friends won’t follow soccer because of this exact issue of not using all the tools available.

    Additionally, this just allows corruption with referees to continue by not having a tech check to keep the games honest. There is a reason why football continually have probes for refs that cheat.

  2. The question has to be asked, how much more growth do you want and what are you willing to give up for said growth because for better or worse something has to be given up for growth? just asking.

    1. This is the crux of the issue. Putting aside FIFA’s ineptitude in many areas, is it really their main job to popularize the sort in Asia and North America? While I’m sure that is a goal, at what cost should it be achieved?

      Should shoot outs from the NASL be introduced, if that would appeal to American fans? Maybe the offside law should be changed to make it easier to understand for the casual viewer.

      Goal line technology is needed, but the argument that it is needed to increase the popularity of the game is ridiculous. If that is a byproduct, then so be it.

      1. It’s not FIFA’s job to popularize the sport in Asia and North America, but if they want to make heaps more money than what they already do, it is important that the sport does well in those countries. I was using the example of Asia and N. America to illustrate how FIFA needs to make sure that they modernize and that not everyone is going to support soccer no matter what happens on or off the field.

        The Gaffer

      2. Goal line tech is coming, nothing we can do about that at this point.

        I agree that it isn’t FIFA’s job to bring it to popularize the game. The reason why its a popular sport is because the people learned to love it on their own, same as every other sport. If you want to grow the sport anywhere, let it be organic. Forcing it down peoples throats will only lead to throwing up.

        Another question

    2. I think there is a difference between promoting growth, and preventing it. Nothing FIFA can do is going to make soccer a major sport where its not. But FIFA can do a great deal to stifle the growth that is occurring.

      As for what we give up? At least some of the blatantly bad calls that have been happening all over this World Cup?

      Yes we have to be careful how we implement things like replays so as not to kill the flow of the game, but if replays were limited to just a couple a game, I think it could take care of the worst of the calls without hurting the flow too much

  3. Good article with many spot-on points. I’m not sure what exactly FIFA thinks it is protecting by keeping the game in the dark ages? What is it afraid of the game becoming? More fair, reliable, and appealing?!

    1. While FIFA can give guidance to elsewhere in the world on how to develope football, the same rule DOESN’T apply with the biggest football nations. Video replays ARE VERY NECESSARY in today’s world, as human errors have ruined the very enjoyment we, the football fans around the world, should have. Why should football insists on stick their asses in the Dark Ages when we could get the calls right the first time? ‘Xcuse my language, but please get rid off the shits about the romance of having human errors as part of the game.

  4. This article is spot on. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard casual American sports fans put down soccer because of FIFA’s mismanagement of the game. The casual American fan easily grasps the fact that there is an international body that governs the rules of the game along with the world’s largest sporting event. The casual American sports fan also visits daily to watch video highlights. The casual American sports fan doesn’t like the sport because the ‘fundamental essence of soccer is broken’.

    I can’t even remember the last time I heard ‘Its boring’, or ‘They should score more’, or ‘Why was that offsides, thats dumb’.

  5. Wrong wrong wrong! It is exactly their sense of fairness and developing sports in these countries that stops them introducing the technology! These countries cannot afford the technology….!! The vast vast majority of FIFA’s member associations are small, poor nations. Introducing this technology as a requirement would mean either ruin them, or stop them competing internationally.
    FIFA put MILLIONS of dollars per year into their Goal Projects aimed at developing football in these countries through resources, helping member association administration. There are bigger challenges facing world football than technology that only 10% of fifa’s members could afford!!!

    1. Then just have it at the highest competition in the world. The World Cup. There’s a little bit of money floating around that tournament.

    2. Alastair, it doesn’t have to video technology. It could be an extra assistant referee behind each goal. But so far, they’re giving us nothing and are going into their shell so FIFA doesn’t have to face the music.

      The Gaffer

      1. When they just take the replays on the screen at the stadium, they might as well telling all the broadcasts must be done in the radio. FIFA, especially with Blatter, is de-evolving, which is utterly rubbish. Do the players have to bring back the more volitile aspect of the game before FIFA finally faces the music?

      2. That is not true and you know it they are in the process of introducing extra referees to the game. It’s been tried in last season’s Europa League, and will be tried in the Champions League next season. I know it’s fashionable to hate on FIFA, but as a reporter you have to be fair in your argument and not conveniently ignore some things just to make your point.

        As far as not letting the video replay in the stadium, I agree with that 100% (for the record: I disagree about them not showing the bad calls on their website highlights). It’s a simple matter of security. I was baffled that video replays were allowed to be shown in the stadiums considering that the referees cannot use them. The incident on Sunday did not get out of hand, but imagine if it turned out worst. So until referees are allowed to use video replay, it makes no sense to let thousands fans and staffs in the same stadium have access to those replay, in case a bad call happen and some of those fans might want to take matters into their own hands and attack the field.

        One more point, the decision to change the laws of the game have to be made by the 4 FAs of the UK + four heads representing FIFA. Why do you think that the Wales FA and the N. Ireland FA voted against goal line technology in March, when the Scotland FA and England FA voted for it. Not surprisingly the 2 FAs who voted against it don’t have the resources to implement the technology in their top leagues.

    3. I think we need to keep things in perspective here. I don’t think anyone necessarily expects video replay and goal detection technology to be instituted at every level of soccer.

      That being said, the games where the mistakes are most obvious are where the technology is already in use. In other words, the games that already have cameras on them — most of time it was only obvious how bad the calls were after they were watched over and over again by analysts. The major European and American Leagues (Using America to mean both North and South America) for the most part are already covered by Television. Very little extra technology would be needed for replays to be made available to either the refs on the field or to a special replay official.

      At other levels, where television does not regularly cover the games, there is less need because odds are the fans will notice fewer bad calls.

  6. It’s a shame.

    You’re right that there’s the possibility that FIFA is hurting the potentially huge US market due to these issues. US fans may not want to watch a sport that can’t get decisions right and the game is changed by people other than the players (I don’t blame them at all).

    I can try to explain that this is the “beauty” of the game and that sometimes it works in your favor too (that I do mostly believe) but that’s a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people.

  7. The last 25 minutes of US/Ghana couldn’t have been fun for an American sports fan trying to get on board with soccer. Ghana basically spent the entire time lying on the pitch and delaying as much as humanly possible. Attempting to win by not playing is going to turn off American fans.

  8. I think FIFA’s biggest concern is that football is a such a global game they probably feel that video refs wouldn’t be able to be implemented everywhere and that doesn’t fall in line with their attempt to “help a nations football grow”

    I’m not really sure about it, I like it in cricket, but in a strange way, i like how human error is part of the game, even if it is against my own team. Obviously i get outraged when it happens, but theres a strange thing about that outrage that brings out passion that you wouldn’t get with a video decision.

    In any case, England’s disallowed goal wouldn’t have changed anything, completley outplayed by a German side they underestimated

    1. But why does it have to be instituted at every level? That would be saying that peewee football needs Instant Replay because the NFL has it.

      My personal thought is this. Open it up as an option to individual leagues and make it the norm in international tournaments. That way if a league can’t afford the tech, they don’t need to use it.

      Personally, I get upset with bad calls period. It runs contrary to my belief that the game should be decided by how it is played by each side, not how the ref calls it. Not to mention, the current system makes it easy for a dishonest ref to fudge calls.

      1. It does not have to be implemented at every levels, but definitely at every top leagues of each members of FIFA. Once the rule is part of the Laws of the Game, as decided by the IFAB, all members of FIFA have to apply those rules. So the problem is not it has to be played the same way at amateur level as at professional level, but it has t be played the same way at all professional leagues sanctioned by FIFA.

        1. it’s not my personal belief that it shouldn’t be in because it can’t be based in every aspect, I just believe that is the way FIFA might look at it and they may think it undermimes leagues in countries where its harder to use it

    2. I disagree with your assessment re. England. In a one-off tie, anything can happen. Look no further than Germany v Serbia as one of numerous examples in the WC where the underdogs pulled off shock results. Once the score was 2-1, England were clearly gaining confidence and had that perfectly valid goal by Lampard stood, they would have had the psychological advantage at the end of the 1st half, which can be the decisive factor in the subsequent 45minutes. I do believe that the strategy for the 2nd half would have differed. England could conceivably have taken that tie.

      Having said that, England have been a pitiful, pale shadow of Englands past and in truth deserved to be well beaten. For that reason, Germany are to be congratulated.

  9. I agree wholeheartedly on the need for the use of some type of video replay technology. My frustration with FIFA goes beyond the actual officiating of the matches. Their utter arrogance is astounding with the perfect example being the missed Edu goal. American sports aren’t perfect but one thing that they do ensure is some type of accountability from the officials. The fact that FIFA just allows the goals to be disallowed and doesn’t even provide any type of explanation is what really irks me. It’s not necessary for the referee himself to take part in a press conference, but it would be nice if they at least had a director of officiating or some other title to provide explanations.

    In order for the sport to grow in America there has to be a perception of fairness. Such incidents as the Edu overturned goal and frequent diving by certain countries flies in the face of fairness and encourages people to marginalize the sport.

  10. I agree with the use of goal line technology and do not believe it would cause game disruption. In fact it’s use would be minimal. Think of how many games throughout this World Cup it would have called into use – one? this past Sunday? Therefore, the argument it would create game disruptions is simply not valid and may well calm inscensed players (if not crowds) when they are able to see a birdseye view of the monitors.

    However, my fear is we start to see players screaming during a game for reviews for such things as questionable offsides etc. This is when the rules have to be strictly enforced otherwise we could start down a slippery slope. This is similar in my view when players wave imaginary cards trying to intimidate the referee into showing a card. Unfortunately many times the protest will sway the referee. My view is “you want a card?” “here’s one, it’s yours” But how many refs actually have the courage of their convictions to do this? and so to video assistants, how will they handle pestering players?

    Finally Sepp Blater is out for anything that will line his pockets. If the camera manufacturer dropped him a nice little stipend we’d see FIFA sanctioning cameras from Warsaw to Workington to Wagga Wagga and back again.

    1. There isn’t a camera manufacturer in the world who could pay Blatter enough to equal what he could get if he could just stop pissing off American fans. This whole post and thread have been right on point.

  11. Anybody notice how quickly the shaded-area-freeze-frame-shot is available for close off sides plays? We get the replay within 4-5 seconds in most cases.

    No reason that couldn’t be an incredibly quick fix for a referee in the booth. That extra ref could monitor a goal camera and take care of offsides plays without any noticeable delay in play.

  12. I think it is important to segregate the two bad calls from yesterday’s matches.

    The England-Germany match was the best case for technology. Any brief TV replay would have shown the ball over the line and a goal awarded. Even an official stationed behind the goal could have seen that. This is the best argument for FIFA’s need to adopt limited technology.

    But Argentina/Mexico is gross incompetence. It was abundantly clear that Tevez was offside even without replay. It should have been apparent on the pitch, as apparent as it was in the stands. In this situation you need better trained officials. The general quality of officials in some of these matches is deplorable. FIFA needs to spend some of its billions training the best officials from the highest leagues to not only be technically correct, but to have a feel for the flow of a World Cup match and be able to know the situation. This is true of all sports – you need to know the rulebook but also be able to adopt to a higher level of play, which is why many high school basketball officials, for example, cannot work an NBA game. I hope FIFA addresses its referees before it addresses technology.

  13. One of FIFA’s main concerns is that if goal-line technology is introduced (and I am all for it) that people will then slowly call for more use of video replays for offsides, bad tackles, etc. Where does one draw the line? Part of football’s DNA is the human element, for better or for worse, that makes it such a passionate sport and controversy has always been a large part of the sport.

    I believe that FIFA will introduce two more assistants, one behind each goal, as in the Europa League.

    1. I fear the number of people who see things the way you do are getting fewer and fewer.

      FIFA has a legitimate concern here and so are the cries from “fans”. It comes down to 2 factors:
      1: If FIFA does start down this path (and we all know it wont end with goal line tech) then they and ESPN make a lot of money from all the new fans
      2: FIFA stays stubborn and things stay the same. People complain every four years but the same handful watch (I know its actually millions).

      I agree that FIFA will go with extra men behind the goal-line because it is easier for poorer countries to implement that.

  14. Com’on MLB threw american fans a bone by having replays but the sport still isn’t perfect. Remember a blown call that ended a Perfect Game? Shit happens in life and keep things in perspective, this is only a game.

  15. simple solutions?

    have replay in games where replay is possible.

    give each team two opportunities to ask refs for a replay. if the team was wrong, they lose one, if they’re correct, and the ref got it wrong, they keep the opportunity. added time for viewing.


  16. I agree with several comments above concerning the extent to which technology should be implemented, because of fears it would escalate far beyond what it should. Lots of lost time etc.
    The two improvements that are actually needed? Goal and offsides either replay or notifications. The goal “sensor” technology is a bad bet, sensors, especially one in á soccer ball being hit around can be damaged quickly. A second goal viewer is the best for that. The offside video replay is an excellent idea and as mentioned above happens within seconds, easily.
    Also I think most people are offended that these horrendous calls are being made in a World Cup. A small game or league wouldn’t be so terribly offended, albeit the scores could also be changed easily compared to a World Cup (like a Germany/England mistake). So the technology hindering poor countries argument is really not the point here, it’s for the world cup that everyone wants more adequate refereeing/technology. We want the REAL winners and game changers, not the “oh the referee bogged it, we’ll just do better next season”; not the “we’ll do better 4 *YEARS* later”.
    Also, for games like the England/Germany one, a tie could have changed things. England might not be amazing this year, but a tie could have made a HUGE difference. People who play soccer would tell you that. Morale is amazingly important in this game.

  17. I consider myself a passionate soccer (football) fan. I always felt that in past world cups there was something “questionable” with the referees decisions. After Sunday games, it’s just obvious the game is not played fair. Implementing technology to aid referees doesn’t mean to stop the game, off sides and controversial goals could be reviewed during half time. Nothing different than players mimicking an injury to “cool” and “slow down” the game. For my part, the I’m disappointed & have no more desire of watching the remaining of the world cup games and after Sunday, I don’t blame those who don’t have any desire to become fans of the sport.

    1. I agree completely about the faked injury part of the equation. While the end result would have been the same, I thought that the way the Ghanian players laid down in the second period of extra time on Saturday was almost despicable. Sadly, it’s all too much a part of the game.

      One way to end all of that would be to put a stopwatch on the injury timeouts where the player has a minute to get up and get on with it and if he cannot he must be replaced or the team play a man down.

  18. So just because of lack of tv replays and referee’s unable to find simulation=FIFA failing to make football mainstream? Okay, lets look at it like this, NFL, perfect refs and video evidence=not popular worldwide. NHL, perfect refs and video evidence=not popular worldwide. NBA, perfect refs and video evidence=not popular worldwide. Rugby, perfect refs and video evidence=not popular worldwide. Cricket, perfect refs, video evidence=not popular worldwide.

    Also talking about players ‘diving’, it is cultural, in South America, it is seen as being crafty and bending the rules, and playing the ref, why should they follow European norms that include more legs breaks than seen in rugby-american football etc? Why not mention harsh tackles before diving?

    FIFA is doing a good job, FIFA have taken the World Cup around the world, every continent has hosted it, what more should they do? FIFA have helped highlight big issues in the world like their mistakes in the Chile debacle vs USSR, or clamping on South Africa apartheid, or allowing peaceful engagement between North and South Korea to play each other and not kill each other?

    We have had many doom mongers that FIFA are inept, what is clear for me, the game has improved, the world brought closer because of FIFA. What you may want in Europe and North America may not be applicable in Africa/Asia/South America, and FIFA is the only stage where the world is equal and can compete on equal chances. Think of what we have, rather than what we do not have.

    1. I know your comment up their might be dismissed by emotional fans of the game who feel cheated every time a bad call is made against them, but you are spot on on all points you made. There’s no doubt that the game has been growing worldwide and keeps on growing worldwide (video replay be damn!), and there’s no doubt that such growth should be credited mostly to FIFA’s works around the world.

      There’s also no doubt that there’s no such thing as games called fair in the sports that you mentioned above just because they have video replay. That is something that video replay proponents ignore surprisingly: Video replay still require the person watching the video to make a decision on what he just saw; In the NFL for example, calls get called wrong or fouls ignored, or touchdowns allowed or not, video replay or not.

      Beside the notion that not having replay will somehow prevent new fans to adopt the game is fallacious. There have not been replays in the game for years since video use has been available. That has not prevented the growth of the game and will not prevent it. Someone may watch the game and not like it; then when asked to rationalize his decision (that’s like asking to rationalize a feeling) they might come up with lack of video replay as a reason why they’re don’t like the game but it’s BS. They just don’t like the game. I can guarantee yo this. No one became a fan of American Football, Rugby, Cricket, Tennis, Basketball in the last 10 years because they learn that those sport have video replay.

      For the record, I wouldn’t mind goal line technology if applied correctly. But ask yourself this: how to implement a goal line technology that will assure that the whole ball went over the line and not just part of the ball? Because a goal in soccer is only a goal if the whole ball pass the line. I think it’s unfair to say FIFA are not opened to change when they have given goal line technology a try and it was found to be inaccurate.

    2. “So just because of lack of tv replays and referee’s unable to find simulation=FIFA failing to make football mainstream? ”

      What? I don’t understand this.

      Then you’ve basically gone and named all the most popular sports in the world and said they are “=not popular worldwide”. Cricket is extremely popular worldwide, especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the West Indies. So is the NBA, especially in China (since the arrival of Yao Ming, nothing to do with “perfect refs and video evidence”). There’s also tennis and Formula One, which are pretty much perfect in video technology. In North America, obviously, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL are the most popular. In South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, football is. In Oceania, Rugby. Have we got all the continents covered? Pretty much. Now spot the odd one out?

      ” what more should they do?”
      “Think of what we have, rather than what we do not have.”

      So in other words, you’re trying to say that FIFA have done enough??? That they, and we, should sit back and ignore the problems ruining the integrity of our sport??? That this is all part of the universality of our sport that needs “human touch” or whatever bullcrap they try to tell us?

      Was this great country built with such an attitude?

  19. Gaffer,
    The popularity, or lack of it, of football has very little, if anything, to do with fairness. For decades the sport has grown despite all the unfair decisions in matches. I would argue that the passion of the sport is in part due to the human element which sometimes results in controversy. It is all part and parcel of the sport. This very season in the EPL, Sunderland were awarded a goal against Liverpool when the ball hit a beachball before going into the net. According to the rules, the goal should not have been awarded as play should have stopped at the moment the ball hit the beachball. This goal was one of the talking points of the match and Liverpool fans felt cheated. But they moved on and nobody decided to stop watching or following EPL matches because of it. This incident made news worldwide and I doubt if it resulted in turning anyone away from the sport. England’s disallowed goal in this World Cup will forever be talked about just as the one in 1966 is still talked about. It keeps the memory of these matches alive. So in a perverse way these bad decisions help us remember the events and by arguing about it we become part of the narrative.

    The popularity of the sport usually begins at an early age. Who among us has never felt cheated while playing football as children? A goal wrongfully disallowed, a referee penalizing you when you thought you did nothing wrong, etc. The endless hours of heated debate about a match you played in or a match in which your team lost. It’s all part of the magic of the beautiful game. And we learn about it from a very early age. I would hate to have this taken away from me, even if I am no longer a young fan.

    Yes, by all means use a couple more assistants behind each goal as they are presently used in the Europa League but anything like video replays of the type used in American football or basketball and I’d be against it. I honestly do not feel that the popularity of football in Asia and North America will be affected by the issue of fairness. In any sport, fairness is a relative term.

  20. Cricketlover, I agree that the occasional bad call would not hurt the game… the problem is that in this World Cup, it has gone a bit beyond an occasional bad call — how many games have been material impacted by a bad call? 4, 5? Two in the round of 16 (so far). What makes it even worse is that FIFA is often going out of their way to pretend that the bad calls didn’t happen (for example, not including the controversial plays in their highlights).

    A replay system that was based on a coach’s challenge, where the coach only had one or two a game to use (and perhaps would cost him a substitution if it was found to be invalid) and limited only to calls that stop plays (i.e. review a goal, or a penalty call, etc.) would have a minimal impact on the flow of the game and would do a lot to improve the reputation of FIFA.

  21. This World Cup is not being ruined by a lack of technology but poor refereeing. It seems as if we are trying to gloss over the poor officiating by calling for the use of technology. While the use of technology will help in say offsides and goals, you may still get poor decisions elsewhere on the pitch which could be just as vital in determining the result of a game. Better referees will eliminate much of the debate we are having in this World Cup.

    To grow soccer in Asia or North America you need soccer players that kids can relate to and that are popular in their countries. The growth of Afican soccer is related to kids there wanting to be the next Drogba, Essien, Toure, Eto. etc. These players are hugely popular in their home countries. How popular is Donovan in the USA? Not as popular as any of the other athletes here. The only time we get coverage of US soccer players on any scale is during certain tournaments. So while making the game fairer, through the use of technology, won’t hurt the popularity of soccer in this country I don’t think it will help all that much. In this country it’s all about the media blitz. How many ads do you see for ESPN’s soccer events compared to the number of ads for baseball, basketball or football? Not that many.

    1. Why are you talking as if we have some sort of obligation to “grow soccer”??? And you think the best way to do this would be to create controversy? Why do we care if the USA isn’t interested in soccer??? They have many great sports to watch. And I can assure you soccer is huge in Asia, by far the most popular sport.

    1. The question is not how many fans have decided to quit because of the bad calls, its how many people never became fans in the first place because it seemed to them that the referees were often wrong and that nothing had been done by FIFA to correct the problem.

      1. You have a great point. The officiating needs work at the human level. its hard to implement rule changes mid tournament would be the counter argument.Better powerpoint training classes are in order or whatever.
        I will accept officials at the goal line ala Europa League . The Hawk-eye and Chip in ball is just nonsense.

        With almost a billion fans, I think should we should just keep loving our sport and the fans will come just like they came this World Cup, most might not like it but at least they had a look.

        We (the people trying to grow the sport) might end up looking like the pathetic desperate ex-boyfriend with the boombox outside ex’s window.

        Let them take it as it is. if they dont like it, theres plenty of other thing they could watch.

        1. I agree that refereeing needs improvement at the human level. But how would you go about doing this? There is no way a referee can train for situations like players blocking their view of the goal-line.

          I’m not sure about Hawk-Eye and the chip in ball either, but why not video replays? Make them available to refs, that is they can use it if they feel that neither they nor their assistants were in a position to make the correct decision.

          It is available to TV viewers worldwide within a split second of the incident, EVERYONE can see the mistake the ref made, except the ref himself. He might think he got something wrong in the back of his head but can’t do anything about it. Don’t you think that’s a bit absurd?

          Video replays are MMEDIATELY available to viewers, so why can’t we have an extra official or two watching replays and relaying info to the refs if you advocate the use of goal-line officials? How many offsides, off-the-ball incidents or goal line incidents are contentious and require reviewing every game? maybe 5? 6? How long does it take to review this info? 10-30 seconds? Will it REALLY affect the flow of the game? Or do you just want to be special and different? You think our sport can be PROUD of the “human touch (or human error)” that gives us this type of controversy?

  22. Not a soccer fan, but I do make a point of tuning into the World Cup every four years. The officiating at this year’s tournament has been horrific. For a casual North American fan, the biggest televised sporting event in the world looks like an elementary school scrum.

    The same arguments about technology have been made about the most popular US team sports (football, baseball, basketball, hockey). Yet, all of them have introduced some level of replay review or goal line technology to make sure that calls affecting the outcome of a game are done right.

    For decades, baseball was the most tradition-driven of US team sports. The sport tolerates umpiring errors with ball and strike calls, and whether a player is safe or out. Nothing has been introduced that takes the subjective element out of the game. But, what MLB does allow instant replay review for home runs, if it’s a borderline call.

    Basketball is another very subjective sport in terms of officiating. There’s no review on foul calls, but the NBA does allow for replay reviews on three-point baskets (i.e., was the player’s foot on the line?) and last second shots (i.e., did the player get the shot off before the clock expired?). For all the flak that the NBA gets for bad officiating (especially with foul calls), the league will retroactively fine or suspend players for flagrant fouls not called during the game.

    Hockey I think is where soccer should look. The NHL stations a goal judge behind each net. If a goal is scored, the goal judge turns on the red goal light. That’s been in place for decades. But, the NHL also allows for instant replay review on close goal calls. With net cameras and overhead cameras, there’s no excuse to miss a goal call, and in this respect, the NHL got it right.

    The situation with the disallowed English goal could easily be avoided by using something like the Hawk-Eye system, which is used during the US Open tennis tournament. That setup gives an instant confirmation on whether the ball crossed the line, and it’s accurate enough to be used on a tennis ball traveling over 100 MPH.

    Bad officiating, and even worse, defending bad officiating, will most definitely keep soccer from growing in the North American market, where replay review has already been deployed in the four major team sports.

    1. It’s crazy when you think back to the 1966 World Cup Final – 44 years ago – when something similar happened`, but FIFA has introduced zero changes from that time ’til now to help referees judge whether a ball has crossed a line or not.

      The Gaffer

  23. I don’t know about you guys, but I think the 2010 world cup was the weirdest one, with so many favorite teams going home…I still loved it thou….I wish I didn’t have to wait 4 more years…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *