Monday 2 May 2011
Cheating and the inaction of authority
This weekend we have again seen countless incidents in games of football that could have been better judged by using video technology in order to reduce error. There was the ball that never crossed the line and the offside goal at the lane, the Vidic handball at the Emirates and some rather dubious penalties elsewhere. In midweek we also saw countless examples of despicable cheating and the feigning of injury in the Madrid-Barca game, in fact a dodgy red card changed the entire complexion of the game.
Enough should be enough but this does not appear to be the case for our useless and incompetent footballing governing bodies, the FA, UEFA and FIFA. If UEFA cared about discipline then they would be charging several Barcelona players with the feigning of injury (Pedro/Busquets) and both sets of players for their shocking intimidation of the officials. The fact that they will do nothing about the cheating and intimidation says it all, they lack the moral fibre or courage to act. The only thing UEFA have done in recent years is introduce extra officials, hardly something that is likely to make much difference to anything at all.
This weekend in the Premiership there were two extremely dodgy penalties given, one for Wolves against Birmingham and one for Liverpool against Newcastle. The former saw Ward go down after virtually no contact from the Brum keeper Ben Foster, after he had lost control of the ball too, the second saw Suarez go down in rather theatrical fashion after the slightest of touches from the Newcastle defender. Strangely the media just don't pick up on these rather blatant acts of gamesmanship, just as they ignored Michael Owen's dive against Arsenal yesterday.
The diving in the box for dodgy penalties is getting worse and worse, it is also being catalysed by incompetent referees who give decisions based on the player's dive rather than the nature of any foul or the contact itself. This was all summed up earlier this season when Howard Webb justified not giving a penalty because the striker had not gone down, this simply shouldn't matter, if it is a decent foul that knocks a player off balance then it should be a penalty, while if there is minimal contact, and the player makes no effort to stay on his feet whilst going down in a Michael Owen parachuting dive manner, then no penalty should be given. The same logic applies to dives outside the box too.
The case for the use of video technology is undeniable, it is such a great shame that our footballing governing bodies have their vacuous heads in the sand on this issue. The fans want it, the media want it, the experts want it and the referees want it. It would be so easy to sort out goal line disputes, it would be so easy to have some kind of citing system after games, it would be so easy to start retrospectively punishing violence and cheating, it would be so easy to help referees by assisting them sensibly with video technology for the big decisions. It is appalling that so many dodgy decisions are routinely deciding games and championships, until something is done cheating will simply continue to proliferate.