Monday, June 28, 2010

FIFA plays Ostrich, and does it so well.

Clap, clap, clap. Well done FIFA. You just go and stick your heads in the sand like the collective, cowardly Ostriches you are. This is how the official FIFA website describes 'that' incident in the tumultuous England/Germany showdown yesterday in Africa.

''Meetings between these two sides often provide talking points and this one's came 60 seconds later when Lampard's shot from the edge of the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down, with the referee ruling the ball had not crossed the goalline.''



That's it. Nothing else at all. No pictures, no comment that the ball clearly had crossed the line. But hey, we shouldn't be shocked, right? This is the same organisation that thrust its head in the sand and basically left Thierry Henry hanging in the wind as France handled their way past Ireland in the playoffs.


In a way, it's almost reassuring to see at least FIFA are stubbornly consistent. So far no special dispensation is being made or shown despite the fact this match was played between two enormous footballing super powers.

Imagine, such an enormous incident reduced to one completely inauspicious paragraph on the official site of the tournament. Feels like Stalin's Russia, or something you would read in the North Korean Daily Star, right under a section about North Korea beating Brazil.

More sinister is that any mention of the incident has been stricken from the comments section. They must have someone trawling through all the comments looking for any reference to the embarrassing goal that never was, and deleting said comments like some sort of World War Two censor.

Seriously, where are we, 1950's Hungary? This is completely embarrassing. Sports fans in the States are watching this and scratching their heads and asking, 'This is the biggest tournament in the World, really?'


So where does yesterday's game leave us? The English are left to write soul searching (if brilliant) pieces on where England has gone wrong on the International stage. Happy Irish fans scream 'See?! I told you!' pointing like lunatics at the screen as Lampard's shot cannoned in off the bar, only for FIFA to shrug, turn their noses up and say 'This is our game, we're not changing'. Did I mention those Irish fans were on their way to the bookmaker to collect on their German bets? Germany, they move on to tackle Argentina in a match that doesn't need any hype, it sells itself as a potentially brilliant encounter.

FIFA? Business as usual at FIFA. At this very moment some FIFA lower level scrub is busy deleting comments on the official game report comment section about the goal that never was.

Much like the big French handball, they just don't want to know about it.


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