Sunday, June 18, 2006

USA vs Italy : Did Referee Screw Team USA?

The answer is NO. The referee simply followed the rules -- he did not act out of ordinary. Scapegoating the referee is easy but hardly serves any purpose. Sadly, majority of the folks jumping in the "referee screwed us" bandwagon are either ignorant or hopelessly out of touch with the game or how it is played at the top level.

Many are not aware of the fact that FIFA issued a circular with new instructions for the referees just before the World Cup. Among others, the new orders include,

Serious foul play
Lunging- Red card.

Elbowing- (intentional) Red card

An excellent discussion of the new rules and their possible impact on the World Cup games can be found in the Guardian.

The USA-Italy match was surely interesting and exciting but also downright ugly, a mesurable departure from the kind of football being played in the World Cup. London Times takes a hard hitting look (some of you might not be pleased!).

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