Now that the hoopla of the World Cup is over, I can express something I know a lot of people have felt (see here for example).
This World Cup set a record for cautions with 345 yellow cards, a 27 per cent jump from 2002, and an astounding 28 red cards. And the lasting image will be of Zidane (three times world footballer of the year, and bizarrely named the 2006 World Cup Golden Boot) head butting Materazzi in the 110th minute, and ending his career with a red card.
But what struck me was how all the “FIFA Fair play” stuff made no impact on the field of the play. Some games (especially, it must be said, the Italians) looked more like theatre classes than sports fields, with guys collapsing and writhing in “agony” when in reality they were hardly touched. Its just sad to see some of the highest paid athletes in the world rolling around on the ground clutching their shins in pain. And then running after the ball 2 minutes later.
And let’s not even talk about how referees and officials are treated by these spoilt brats. They should make a rule about that – and require yellow cards for talking back. Actually, it would need to be for shouting and cursing back, because no-one “talks” to the ref in football.
And my final beef with the “beautiful game” is the lack of technology. Some of the fouls could be easily checked out – especially if inside the area for penalties.
But, hey, maybe I’m just bitter that the country with biggest football scandal gets to win the cup. And you should probably ignore my views on sport anyway – I’m one of the crazy ones that can sit through five days of Test cricket, and enjoy the fact that it ends in a draw πŸ™‚
I don’t have a clever point to make here. I just think soccer needs help.

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