Sunday, June 27, 2010

The World Cup (So Far)

I've very much enjoyed watching many of the matches, which have gone pretty much as expected - the US and England were both fortunate to get through the group stage and it was not surprising that they went out in the round of sixteen. Argentina, Brazil, Germany, and the Netherlands look like the class of the tournament. So what else is new?

The only real story so far in the World Cup is the consistently appalling quality of the officiating. Referees and linesmen, especially but not exclusively those from non-European countries, have simply not been up to the task at hand. Goals have been allowed that should have been disallowed, and vice versa. Some of bad calls have plainly affected the outcome of matches, though none so far (to my knowledge) has led to a team advancing or failing to advance unjustly. After this World Cup, FIFA must at a minimum embrace goal-line technology for international matches. In addition, FIFA should probably add linesmen behind each goal to help assess fouls in the box (among other things).

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