Well, you can’t blame them for trying, two weeks after that hand ball incident and FIFA and UEFA being as patronising as possible, the Football Association of Ireland have asked to be included in the World Cup draw on Friday as a 33rd team.I’ve just had the misfortune of sitting through a Sepp Blatter press conference, which saw a bunch of smug and arrogant bureaucrats laugh at Ireland’s suggestions. Quite what was so funny about it and Blatter’s excuse that Costa Rica would also want to go simply makes them look out of touch from reality.
He then decided to mention that Henry’s family had received death threats. Quite what that had to do with Irelands request wasn’t clear, but the message was. Ireland haven’t a prayer against this cartel. I’m struggling to understand what’s so funny about FIFA’s cowardice in dealing with this situation in an adult manner. An organisation that is run by autocratic and very undemocratic voting procedures seems adamant to cling to the past as long as it possibly can. By continually refusing to look at the bigger picture here, which has seen FIFA’s standing fall even lower than most people thought possible, they are beginning to resemble dinosaurs.
This continual defence of “We can’t introduce video technology” is fast losing any semblance of reality. Football is now the only major sport which will not allow video replays to decide incidents in play. Cricket, NFL, Rugby League and Rugby Union all now use the technology available to them to assist in supporting the match officials. How many mistakes must be brushed under as “human error” before Blatter and his cronies get the message. The match officials need help and only video technology can do it to the level required.
The old argument about the game being able to be played from top to bottom of the football tree with the same set up up is beyond pointless now. Top level football bares absolutely no comparison with Sunday morning football anymore. The balls, boots, pitches, officials, diets, goalkeepers gloves even the half time refueling are all miles apart now. When such matters as World Cup qualification are on the line, especially when accusations of bias abound, video technology allows the officials postion to be strengthened not weakened.
The other argument of slowing the game down is also pointless. Ireland’s protestations over Henry’s cheating took over 3 minutes to settle down. Are you telling me it would take 3 minutes for the replay to prove Henry handled it twice? Of course it wouldn’t. People say that it’s decisions like this that make the game what it is today and we need things to talk about. What an idiotic argument, we live in the 21st century, if anything it’s incidents like the Henry incident that can do untold damage to the game. It makes fans like me think whats the point when blatant cheating can go unpunished.
By refusing to even consider the possibility of bringing football into the 1980’s never mind the 21st century, Sepp Blatter and his self protecting friends are pouring scorn on the beautiful game. The dodgy European seedings, constant slating of English sides, refusal to accept video technology and the obvious fact that South Africa will be given the easiest group in Friday’s World Cup seedings show that FIFA is only interested in paying lip service to fair play and its place in the modern world. The reality is that FIFA will always protect its favourite countries over teams such as Ireland, Costa Rica and Turkey, surrounding itself with useless bureaucrats who only care about themselves and stuff the fans and football.
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