February 25, 2009

inter v man united — good game — too much cheating

Filed under: just whinging,sport — anne thrope (miss) @ 1:53 am

cristiano ronaldo: footballer of the year, not surprisingly, and quite right too.

this young man is a hard worker as well as being truly gifted in almost every area of the game. put together his speed, power, physique, awareness, ball control, aerial and set piece threats and you have a truly extraordinary package and a weapon to be feared and coveted in equal measure by any team in the world.

so why should he (and others) feel the need to cheat so much? back in the day, german legend jurgen klinsmann earned a justified reputation for diving to obtain unfair advantage by way of free kicks and penalties.

in present company his behaviour would likely go unnoticed: indeed, such is the prevalence of diving, it has acquired a soubriquet which is in danger of conferring respectability: simulation.

as of now this disgraceful, perhaps worst form of cheating given it’s direct reflection on the opponent is punishable by booking, though ronaldo’s examples in this game escaped sanction of any kind.

cheating in any form only serves to bring a sport into disrepute, but to spot it in the heat of a match can be tricky indeed and refereeing at the highest level, under the scrutiny of action replays from numerous camera angles is only likely to see more decisions called into question.

i suggest that leaves the possibility of two ways forward:-

1. since not unreasonably, action replays are not going away, accept that referees are human and therefore fallible and aside of improving their training and supervision, get off their case, or

2. introduce american football style reviews, of the kind that are becoming increasingly prevalent in cricket, via an off-pitch official.

some would say that this is likely to improve the overall quality of decisions and commonsense could not argue. nonetheless, there is, perhaps perversely, something about the controversy surrounding contentious decisions which actually adds to the game, at least for the viewers.

a bit fed-up of grown-men on £120,000 a week acting their shoe size instead of their age.

it’s not big, and it’s not clever.

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