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Posted by Billy Blagg on 07/05/2010

July 4th and 5th 2010

More rest days until the semi-final and - despite what I said last time - I may actually use these for the purpose for which they were intended!

As a debating point (and to see if anyone actually reads this thing!) I'm inviting comments about the English FA's decision to continue with Fabio Capello. Good thing or bad? Let's hear from you!

Let's 'ave a Poll

Former World Cup referee Graham Poll - lest we forget a man sent home in disgrace from the 2006 World Cup after booking the same player three times - has called for the introduction of penalty goals following Luis Suarez's blatant hand-ball for Uruguay in the dying seconds of the match against Ghana. As we know, although Suarez was sent-off, the resulting spot-kick was missed and a penalty shoot-out ensued which Uruguay won, effectively proving the old maxim 'Cheats never prosper' is the load of old Jubilani's we all knew it was.

"The officials got it spot on, dismissing Suarez and awarding a penalty, but that gave Uruguay a lifeline they did not deserve," Poll writes in today's Daily Fascist. "Referee Olegario Benquerenca would have been relieved to spot the handball, but in the dressing room afterwards his team would have discussed the sense of injustice.

"The clause in the law under which Suarez was dismissed was the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. The problem is that Ghana were denied a goal, not just the opportunity to score one. A penalty-goal in these circumstances would be appropriate."

Poll dismissed the mitigating circumstances mooted by some of the BBC panel that Suarez acted 'instinctively' and that 'anyone would have done the same'. "If that is true then awarding a penalty-goal and a yellow card seems more appropriate. Then the wronged team would not be denied a goal and the instinctive act less harshly punished."

Poll also had something to say about the penalty awarded in the other quarter final in which Paraguay's Alcaraz was only booked for bringing down David Villa and not dismissed as some thought he should have been.

"No striker converts every chance, so awarding a penalty seems fair. Referee Carlos Batres failed to dismiss the Paraguay defender, but it was only an opportunity denied and not a certain goal."

I actually agree with Poll that Alcaraz shouldn't have been dismissed but am less keen on the penalty goal suggestion. In any case, being as FIFA are still arguing goal-line technology and will probably still be doing so by the time the next tournament comes around, I think the call for a radical rule change is likely to be met about as warmly as a third yellow card from Mr. Poll.


Posted by eduardo Alvarez on 07/05/2010

excellent post, mr blagg.

Posted by Paul on 07/05/2010

Many nations use a 4 year cycle for managers. And after the World Cup, the changes are usually made. England quickened the pace and threw off the cycle when they dismissed Steve "I think I'll try out a new keeper" McLaren after only 2 years. Capello, for his part, should wipe the slate clean. That means no guaranteed spots. No insisting that he find a partner for Rooney if the best solution might be a partnership that does not include him. If 'in form players' are what he wants, then Heskeys need not apply no matter how much a Rooney may want him. A first half/2nd half experiment with Lampard & Gerrard might be worthwhile. And selecting Adam Johnson at the expense of Lennon & SWP for the next series of games might be worthy. Slow guys cannot be considered even if coming back from an ankle injury.

Progress might be measured by the development of a new keeper, back line, and strike force. Winning Euro '12 should not be the goal here.

Posted by tim on 07/05/2010

Reguardless of who the manager is, the focus should on picking a team that plays as a team, even if that means leaving out your big stars. Pick 11 players that are passionate about playing for there country, even if there not the highest paid. It makes me sick to see the lack of commitment from some of these over paid thugs.

Posted by Man Alive! on 07/06/2010

At last - someone who wants justice in this world! Of COURSE rules should be changed to award a goal to a side which has had a certain goal prevented by a foul by the other side. Surely this is obvious to everyone? If not, then I assume it's a case of "none so blind as will not see". On what possible basis, Billy, can you say that you're not keen for this justice to be done?! I'm flabbergasted.
I will say, though, that I do love reading your articles even if I don't always totally agree with the contents thereof.

Blagg: Quite simply mate, it wasn't a goal and you can't start awarding one to make things 'fair'

Posted by Man Alive! on 07/07/2010

Quite simply, mate, it WAS a 100% certain goal which the breaking of the rules prevented from being directly observable. If you don't want fairness to prevail in a game then why have any rules at all? The function of rules (apart from defining the purpose/s of a game) is to define how participants may and may not achieve the purposes of the game. The primary purpose of law, and the rules of soccer, is to ensure that rights are not abused and to make proper consequences result - and I'm afraid that the current soccer rules allowed Ghana's rights to be abused in that game. I'm not denying that it wasn't a goal according to the current rules - I'm saying that the current rules allowed an injustice and should be rectified as a result. The England non-goal was merely the result of human error but the Ghana non-goal resulted from the rules of the game itself - and we don't want rules structured in a way which encourages cheating, do we? Or do you?

Blagg: It's rare a situation arises where such a blatant bit of cheating results in such an obvious nonsense - I genuinely can't remember when a result was so skewed by such an action - and I don't think the rules should be changed to accomodate it. Let's not forget Ghana did get a penalty and should have scored as a result. Cheating goes on all the time on the rest of the field and we need to look at that first. I genuinely believe to change the rules to allow a goal when one doesn't occur is something that cannot be entertained.

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