What happened in the Germany-England and Argentina-Mexico games is a disgrace for the referees who made the errors. England was denied a clear goal that would have leveled its match against Germany at 2-2, while Argentina took the lead against Mexico with a goal that was clearly offside. Sure, the later performances of both England and Mexico were not World Cup level, but we have to take into consideration the psychological effect of these errors.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to England and Mexico for the errors that helped eliminate them from the World Cup and promised to reopen the debate on introducing video technology to aid referees in the future. FIFA also will update its referee training program. The delegations of both teams accepted the apology, hoping that a change will happen.
Blatter said FIFA will discuss the possibility of introducing video technology at a meeting of its rule-making panel in Wales next month. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the system for England and Mexico, and this is also out of the question at this stage of the World Cup:
“Naturally we will take on board again the discussion about technology. Something has to be changed.”
This issue caused FIFA a lot of problems already, as the public opinion is pushing for a change, judging the tournament as unfair, and some fans even suggesting that the games were “fixed” or the referees “bought.” Take Pravda, for example, where Hans Vogel is firmly convinced that this year’s World Cup has already been fixed to let Spain win:
This year Spain, apart from having a good side, faces tremendous socioeconomic problems. A Spanish victory would be in the interest not only of the Spanish government, but also of the other EU governments and the US administration. A victory for their team would divert the attention of the Spanish public and make them perhaps more mellow in their criticism of government policies. The later the Spanish ulcer bursts, the better it is for the other states in economic straits. That is why it can be prophesied with reasonable accuracy that Spain will win the World Cup.
Spain is the reigning European champion team, having won the UEFA European Championship in 2008. Spain also won the European Nations’ Cup in 1964 and reached the UEFA Euro 1984 Final. Spain has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 12 times, reaching fourth place in the 1950 tournament and reached the quarter finals 4 times in the world cup (34, 86, 94 and 2002). Spain is ranked second in the World as of May 2010. However, Portugal follows closely and to be honest, Portugal’s socioeconomic problems are as deep as Spain’s. We cannot make a prognostic based on such consideration, however. Both these teams are equally strong, skilled and passionate about the sport.
It will be a beautiful game tonight, and even when Spain wins, it’s very unlikely that they reach the final. Paraguay is an easy match for Spain or Portugal. The next level, however, will bring tonight’s winner in different company. No, Spain will not win this year. Maybe next time.
In the meanwhile, the good news is that the World Cup caused FIFA to move forward and at least consider bringing in technology that will force the referees to make correct and fair decisions. Many teams in the history of the World Cup had suffered because of such errors and unfair decisions. Many players were given yellow, and red card for no reason. And so on. F
IFA has to listen to the public opinion now, because the public has a stronger voice, and can make a lot of noise. I am not referring here at Vuvuzela noise!