Hanging Judge | A pandemic is attacking football, writes Errol Sweeney
I guess you’d have to have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, or in a galaxy other than the one housing Earth, to not be aware of the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the globe.
At the time of writing, we are, according to experts, in the middle of a third wave, with some signs of progress in overcoming this terrible disease.READ: Sadly, not all countries have the vaccine supplies to cater for their populations and still others can’t afford the cost of the jabs.
Isn’t it such an unfair world?It also has to be said that some people are refusing to take the injections when offered, due to fear, suspicion and even superstition.I know from my own country, Ireland, that we bought 1 million additional doses from Romania because they said their people were not interested in being inoculated. Well, that’s their personal choice, I guess, and I hope they don’t live to regret it.
What I really want to talk about is another pandemic – and yes, it is a pandemic – sweeping the football world (or, as the Americans like to call it, soccer).It’s been at the forefront of the “beautiful game” for some time now and there appears to be little or no appetite from the powers that be to eradicate it. headtopics.com
Football is my “game” and I watch a lot of games, with my real focus, of course, on refereeing.Recently, I watched almost the entire Euro 2020 tournament, which came with the shameful disregard for the Fifa laws of the game, leaving me bewildered and frustrated.
I don’t necessarily blame the players and their managers for such shenanigans. However, I do blame the administrators for not backing the match officials when they try to do their job.I’ve long advocated the need for an independent refereeing body, free from the shackles of soccer politicians who could insist, through the referees, that players conform to the laws and bring back some respectability to the game.
Anyway, I had blown my trumpet about the carry on in the Euros and settled down to watch some Olympic football. Now, while it’s not nearly as widespread in the Tokyo Games, I was shocked to see a woman player take a deliberate dive in one game.She was awarded a free kick and gladly and cheekily, in my opinion, got up and took the kick.
READ: Trail thrills for Thembi KgatlanaThankfully, a goal did not result because it would have been a great miscarriage of justice.I remember a top English Premiership player tripping himself – the ref was fooled into thinking he’d been tripped, and awarded a penalty. headtopics.com
This same player, instead of telling the referee that he wasn’t fouled, accepted the penalty, and went on to score. Shameful!It was my first experience of seeing a woman perform such an act. I just hope and pray that it’s not something that is going to creep into the women’s game.
With all the changes being introduced to the laws of the game by the International Football Association Board, the administrators would be better suited to cleaning up this pandemic once and for all for the betterment of the game.Otherwise, we could be on a slippery road to destruction.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.Please stay safe and well out there. This pandemic is not over yet. Protect yourselves and your families, and observe all the medical and scientific advice. No one is safe until everyone is safe. Read more: City Press »
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