Thursday, July 20, 2006

Punishment fits the crime?

Score a big one to Zinedine Zidane and his pathetic victimisation routine. Unbelievable that physical assault warrants a 3-match ban (which has no impact on a retired player), and a few verbals, which pointedly were not of a racial or religious nature, merit a 2-match ban for Marco Materazzi.

FIFA have engaged in a wonderful act of defenstration, tossing out all the norms of both amateur and professional sport. If sportsmen around the globe are no longer permitted to engage in verbals of any sort, then what could possibly remain for some of them? Will every player who mouths off at a fellow professional in the coming football season be banned for two games?

Just imagine if this ridiculous standard was applied to cricket. Would Australia still be the team to beat? Their second XI would certainly gain a lot of experience, that's for sure. And I shudder to think what would happen out here in Northern California. After all, it's currently acceptable to hit players with a cricket bat, so to suddenly raise the bar for behavioural standards is well nigh unthinkable. An entire league structure could collapse.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating the point, but I am stunned at the decision. Of course, I suppose that FIFA couldn't have their golden ball winner be tainted, not least because that indelible stain would be cast upon the entire tournament. So what better way to resolve the situation than imply that the provocateur was in fact the villain of the piece.

A sad day for football.


Lulu said...

just catching up with your blog. you continue to impress me with your unebelievable depth of knowledge when it comes to sports and that too so many of them!
i too am sad that the world cup is over. it was a fun filled month indeed and i saw as many matches as possible. england's under achievement was hugely disappointing and i was also sad that the underdogs like south korea and the african nations didn't shine.
i think i'm going to start following the premiership as the world cup really got me into football! be warned, i'm a chelsea fan :)

Fourth Umpire said...

Lulu - there's nothing like knowing a lot about completely meaningless and worthless things :-)

As for being a Chelsea fan, well, no comment. You should definitely try to get to a game or two - it's a sporting and cultural (or not) experience like no other.