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        Saturday, July 01, 2006
        Trying to be civil here

        I don't want to be a sore loser. I am trying very hard to use my team's – Brazil – loss gracefully and positively. Mind you, it would have been perfectly justified if I lose it and rant away after what I went through for that team. Instead, I want to re-write the laws of the game so that I can focus on something positive – or am I merely shifting blames here?

        Lesson from America
        Compared to referees of American football, soccer referees act like dictators. I don't blame them because all power of decision rests on them and what they say is final. But how many times have they messed up because they are only human and they are expected to be god – at least in the field? To be fair to referees, they also have a fraction of a second to decide.

        So, if it is so obvious that it is humanly impossible to be accurate all the time, how about doing something about it? There are several things that have improved over the years – rules of body contact are stricter, killing time by the leading team is punishable, referees are wearing their whistle on their wrists these days and they even walk around with a slick headset Britney Spears style.

        I think its time to further the soccer evolution and assist referees with some visual aid. Make a little shelter thingie like the one the coaches sit and bite their nails from, put a small screen hooked up to a video player, where in doubt stop the game temporarily, rewind the tape and give your verdict. How difficult is that?

        In all seriousness, I am surprised that this has not been practiced in soccer as it is in American football. Unless it is in a pathetic effort to distinguish between American and European game, why else isn’t soccer using this technology? If anything, it will give players a chance to catch their breath, take a gulp of water and spit more. It is OK to learn and borrow something from America – if that's what worrying FIFA.

        In the NFL, a number of rulings (but typically not penalties) can be reviewed by officials or challenged by coaches (see Instant replay). If a coach wants to challenge a play, he must do so before the next play begins, and he does so by throwing a red flag similar to the officials' yellow flags. Coaches are allowed two challenges per game and may be granted a third if their first two are successful. The team loses a timeout if they lose the challenge. Plays inside the two-minute-warning cannot be challenged; any review of that play must be initiated by a replay official off-field. The referee performs the actual review via a video screen on the sideline. The referee will announce the result of instant replay reviews over his wireless microphone.

        Now, that's pretty simple. It's only fair to the players, to the game and to the millions of viewers who witness every single fowl and error in judgment in sloooow motion. Imagine if this was in place, Maradona wouldn’t have had the "Hand of God", Argentina would have qualified to the semi-finals, the Brazil vs Ghana’s score would have been 2-0...

        Sokari dear, I don’t want to hear it. At least give me a week to recover 
        posted by Fikirte @ 6:47 PM   Digg!
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