"Once again, Fifa rejects 'video referee' Fri, Dec 04, 2009 my paper
CAPE TOWN: In the end, it was much ado about nothing, as football world governing body Fifa continues to staunchly resist changing the game to help referees make critical decisions correctly, reported The Times of London.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter declared that the game must 'never lose the human face' even as he called for an emergency meeting to discussed about 'the handball' controversy by French captain that knocked Ireland out of the World Cup in South Africa 2010."
Well I never thought I will comment on sports issues 2 days in a row on this blog.
Lessons for me are:
1. it is not about FIFA but about this gentleman, Mr. Sepp Blatter. He is adamant from day 1 that football MUST not go the way of one of the oldest 'gentlemen sports played by rascals', Rugby Union; the ultra-modern America Football with the oval shape 'ball' chased by a gazillion players in protective helmets and gears; the tennis played by some of the finest athletes in the world; etc that 'lost the human face' due to the use of available technology to provide 'fair and instant verification' of potentially game changing mistakes made by referees. He has been consistent in rejecting use of technology. That much I give it to him. Though his logic is clearly flawed;
2. I am pretty sure at one time or the other, the people running Rugby Union, America Football, and Tennis and many other international sports, had Mr. Sepp's reservation before. At the end, as the cry for fair play, the cry for sportsmanlike conduct to prevail, the cry for how such game changing decision may alter the fate of one person or one club and cost multi-million dollar to change hand, modern technology was introduced to ensure that human errors have a chance to be verified. There will be no affront to the skills of the referees as EVERYONE agreed that the game has become faster, the players stronger and fitter than ever, and professional referees still CANNOT be at the right place at the right time all the time! Hence, using technology to assist the referees makes perfect sense! Human commands the technology!! The human face is still very much there as far as I am concerned!!;
3. will this ever change. I don't think it will happen in Mr. Sepp's watch though no one though USSR will disintegrate and the Berlin Wall crumbled in their lifetime but they did! So, never say never though I will not place a wager on it happening during Mr. Sepp's watch. This bring home the point of: it is very hard to change a deep-rooted mindset, a value. Are there disagreement in FIFA committee? I am sure there are. This is another unique point about FIFA. It is not really a democracy but a 'tacit coalition of barter-trading powerful few'. Now is not the time. Perhaps when a New President of FIFA emerged in not too long a future.
As for Henry, the French Captain, he has his share of curses by the Irish folks and some other neutral spectators, some who were once his admirers. May justice be served with France getting knock out in the 1st round of the World Cup 2010! This from someone who once admired the French team of Michel Platini, Tigana, Laurance, Zidane, Viera, (yes and Henry), etc...