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World Cup shows sorry state of today’s football – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 12th, 2010 by Steve

World Cup shows sorry state of today’s football
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While the premise of the World Cup is still a great idea, the tournament actually showed all that is wrong with the sport of football instead of showcasing its good points. There was cheating, diving, poor officiating, security breaches, bad tackles, rugby fouls, strange rules, time wasting, a controversial ball, empty seats, and so on. So all in all it was a typical FIFA-operated tournament.

It seems FIFA shoots itself in the foot most chances it gets. When the biggest story of the World Cup involves a game-predicting octopus, then it’s time the sport was overhauled. Do you remember any great goals, games, and saves from the event? Sure, there were a few fine performances, most notably those of Diego Forlan, David Villa, Wesley Sneijder, and Thomas Mueller, because they scored goals. The best of them were struck from distance by Holland’s Giovanni van Bronkhurst and Argentina’s Carlos Tevez, and there were some fine saves, but something was lacking.

We also saw player after player give the ball away, shoot miles wide and over the net, and show a general lack of skill for this level of football. The adidas ball could be the cause for some of it, but fans expect more of players when it comes to the World Cup.

But while the players themselves deserve some of the blame, FIFA should shoulder the majority of it. For some strange reason everything the organization does when it comes to rules and lack of enforcing them is surrounded in controversy. It’s not surprising most referees and linesmen are unsure when to call offside because of to the complexity of the rule. The officials are treated unfairly by angry fans on many occasions as FIFA leaves them hanging out to dry.

For instance, why not take the pressure off the officials when it comes to time keeping. Why doesn’t soccer use an official time clock for everybody to clearly see instead of shrouding it in secrecy? Other time-related sports such as ice hockey, American football, basketball and lacrosse use them. One official has all of the power in a soccer game and it seems this person isn’t really accountable to anyone.

This makes soccer a breeding ground for controversy and corruption. A referee has the power to call back any goal, as we saw in the U.S. vs Slovenia game, and not have to give any explanation for it and as we saw in the England vs Germany game, the officials simply say, “I didn’t see it,” when the ball clearly crosses the goal line.

The World Cup should be the world’s greatest sporting event, but it needs to dig itself out of the Stone Age. The same problems that plagued it back in 1966 were still present in 2010. This is the responsibility of everybody involved in the sport as well as football fans around the world. Supporters should expect and demand the best, especially for the money they pay to see matches. Questions should be asked and mediocrity needs to be stamped out of the game.

I suppose when you look at the tournament on a competitive note, the 30 games that were decided by just one goal may show there’s now parity in world football. But it may also mean the top-level teams have now sunk to a lower level instead of the lower level squads rising to the top.

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