FIFA World Cup: A Success Despite Poor Leadership

I am somewhat hesitant to jump into the debate on the use of replay in the FIFA World Cup.  Instinctively, it makes sense to get things right in the biggest sports tournament in the world, especially one that only happens every four years.  It seems to me to be a shame to have England and its fans absolutely gutted because the sport refuses to take advantage of the technology of the day.

FIFA are lucky they are in charge of the biggest tournament of the most popular sport in the world.  If it weren’t for the natural interest that comes with Nationalistic pride, FIFA might just be dim enough to ruin a great thing. 

The following was in an article I read today:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who attended both games Sunday, strongly opposes introducing any video technology to help referees.

“Let it be as it is and let’s leave football with errors,” Blatter said after video experiments were halted at a March 2008 meeting of the rules panel, the International Football Association Board.

“Other sports regularly change the laws of the game to react to the new technology. We don’t do it and this makes also the fascination and the popularity of football.”

The above could be called arrogance, it could be called naivety, or it could just be called stupidity.  What other organization in the world would hold fast to outdated views and opinions despite clear facts to the contrary?  Who else says that critical mistakes and errors in judgment are an essential part of what  they are trying to sell?  In answering those questions, perhaps what Blatter says makes sense:  if the inexplicable weren’t allowed to stand, there would be no opportunity to look towards the heavens and say, “Why God why?”  Although football is viewed as religion in many parts of the world, there is no reason why it shouldn’t slowly evolve for the better and take advantage of technological improvements.


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