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Dear FIFA, I Told You So

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Creative Commons License photo credit: James Bird

When Thierry Henry swatted a ball with his hand I didn’t blame the Frenchman.  Why?  Because he was doing his job. 

It is a footballers job to try to score goals anyway possible.  Sure breaking the rules is frowned upon, but last time I checked Diego Maradona was known as one of the greatest soccer players ever and not as one of the greatest cheaters ever (although he did cheat). 

So for Thierry Henry it should be no different.

But FIFA is another topic.  FIFA deserves much of the blame for the Henry play.  Why you ask?  Because the organization runs things too old school.  Now old school isn’t always bad.  In fact I am often a fan of the traditional way of doing things, but with evolution comes change.  And with all the technological advancements made in the last ten years there is no reason why FIFA should not allow an instant replay official.  I know it slows down the game (and in this case stops a continuous match), but isn’t the most important thing getting the call right? 

If you watched the UEFA Champions League this week then you know exactly what I am talking about.  Two clubs were robbed at the end of the match due to poor officiating and one of the two plays never should have happened if instant replay was an option.  Things like guys being yards offsides should never stand for an event as big as the World Cup.  Ask Fiorentina about this who lost their first leg of the Champions League due to a Bayern Munich player being way offsides. 

Just like football in the U.S. there should be certain things that deserve a review and certain things that do not.  A hard tackle.  Nope.  A blatant hand ball.  Yes.

I know that more officials do not necessarily mean better calls on the pitch, but when clubs are winning matches that they do not reserve it is hard to come up with another resolution to the conflict.  I understand the traditionalist point of view that things should not dramatically change over the course time, but how long has FIFA really been around?

Not too long, but long enough to know better.

FIFA needs to change their ways or we might see some of the same mistakes that we saw earlier this week happen again this summer.  Except in those matches a team doesn’t get a second chance.