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Jan 19th, 2011 - 21:48:14

Of Fouls and Football

The last few games I watched left me with a feeling that something has changed in football.  I realize now that it has to do with how officials are abused with just a head shake or being addressed as ‘sir’ distastefully.


Following is the differences between cricket, football rugby league and rugby union.


In rugby there are no limits on the number of games a player will miss due to suspension for disciplinary reasons.  For a highly offensive act a player may be placed on suspension for a good number of games.


Abuse of rugby officials is not tolerated and those running the game are more than willing to take the necessary measures.  It is accepted that officials might make some wrong decisions sometimes but what is not accepted is making matters worse by abusing an official who will not change the decision.  Whether it be the clubs and it managers, players or the supporters all are expected to act responsibly.


Fouls, even the most serious ones are not confused with incidents between managers, players and officials.   


In rugby to ensure that the correct decisions are made, technology has been brought in.  When there is an important decision to be taken, officials who have access to TV replays are contacted.  This effectively avoids chances of wrong decisions being taken.


Even if an official misses something while the game is on, players are held accountable in rugby thanks to the technology that is available and used.  It does not make a difference whether not a player was reported on for misconduct.  Necessary action is taken retrospectively.


I have watched these games live with a drink in hand, sitting next to some of the most vocal and passionate fans but never have I been worried about being targeted for abuse, verbally or physically.  I am also yet to see officials being abused even when they make the wrong decisions.


Much as I wait for the football season I also wonder why technology cannot be brought in and used as effectively as it being used in rugby.  The wonderful game of football would be a much greater better one without the on and off field bad behaviour and unacceptable fouls.


At all levels, those who are in football do not want to try and bring in the measures that are there in rugby.  To most it is "we don't do that in football" and that's it. Try telling how some of the age old problems can be solved; no one would listen, especially if it’s coming from an outsider.


What one gets for any such suggestions is a steady stream of reasons as to why it will not work when it comes to football.  No thoughts on how it can be modified for the game or any such thing.  When statements are made that even with technology there is not enough proof to take action in most cases, it really is unbelievable. 

In games like cricket and tennis and even basketball, it is evident as to how technology is used to help make accurate decisions, it is a pity that this cannot be extended to football.


"What do you know about football?" or "If your sport is so good why is football the most popular game in the world?" are couple of arrogant questions that the so called lovers of football have to ask those who want to help make it a better game.


Such a beautiful game is also many a time one of the most shameful ones thanks to the fans, players, managers and directors of the game who refuse to change their behaviour and do not want to bring in anything that could make it better.

By Gamble Index
Jan 29, 2010, 00:50
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