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Posted by Fernando Casarez on 06/27/2010

Referee’s mistakes are part of football, but there are mistakes and things beyond, and today we had what can be called robberies, in fact two big scandalous decisions that will make FIFA question once again the use of technology. These two atrocities will remain forever in the history of the World Cup.

In Bloemfontein, Germany had a particular revenge to an old scandal, the famous 1966 final, where England won with a bad decision similar to today’s call. While winning 2-1, England scored the equalizer, but the linesman saw no goal, even with the ball clearly crossing the line. Later in the Soccer City Stadium the linesman, the referee and the instant replay were the protagonist a new scandal.

Mexico faced Argentina in the round of 16 of the Cup, El Tri started playing well getting the best chances, Salcido hit the crossbar, Guardado sent the ball just a few inches from the post, and Argentina only tried to do something with long balls to the strikers.

But nothing happened, until the 26th minute, when Tévez got the ball inside the box to face El Conejo Pérez, the Mexican goalkeeper deflected the ball, then Messi just chipped it over Pérez and Tévez clearly in offside, scored easily with a header.

The play was very clear, but the linesman gave the goal, a terrible call, but a normal one. I mean, anyone can make a mistake either we like it or not, but the problem was that everyone in the stadium saw the instant replay in the magnificent Soccer City Stadium giant screens.

The players saw it and apparently the referees did as well, so all the Mexican players claimed the offside. The linesman started to talk with the Italian referee Roberto Rosetti, who wasn’t sure what to do, the men in red today talked for a while, in a weird and inexplicable way.

If it was a goal, you don’t need to ask the linesman, and if the assistant referee saw a valid goal, why did he ask to talk with Rosetti?

A scandalous call because it seemed the referee knew it was an offside, the linesman as well, everyone in the stadium knew that too, but anyway the no-technology policy of FIFA cost Mexico to suffer a goal.

The players were not in the game the next few moments, and seven minutes later Ricardo Osorio made a terrible pass that finished on the feet of Higuaín who beat El Conejo to score the second goal.

Argentina controlled the match for the rest of the half, doing it without deserving it and with a two goal advantage. The atmosphere was tense, we saw insults and almost a fight when the players went to the halftime break.

In the second half, at the 52nd minute Carlos Tévez got a big moment of talent and made a fantastic shot from outside the box, to beat once again Pérez and gave Argentina the 3-0 lead.

Maradona’s team had the control of the midfield at times, but until the 60th minute, they only had three clear chances and three goals. The first an unfair one, the second was product of the distractions created by the first and only the third one, was the result of the great Argentinean talent.

Mexico then took control of the match playing good football, creating opportunities, controlling the ball, and generally being better than the almighty Albiceleste.

At the 71st minute, a great play was finished by Chicharito who scored the only Mexican goal, Mexico deserved more, they played a very good second half, but it was too little too late. Argentina went all the way to win the match and advancing to the quarterfinals.

The score, unfair.
The mistake, a normal one.
The fact that Rosetti discussed the goal with his assistant
after everybody in the stadium saw it on the screen, and giving the goal for a valid one, a shameful moment in World Cup history.

The fact of Mexico losing to Argentina was something normal, I thought it was something to be expected, but the way it happened is a hurtful and shameful way of losing. The goal is everything in this game, the first one tonight was not fair and it changed the rest of the next 70 minutes.

Argentina is a team full of talent, but this game won’t be remembered for that in the years to come. The mess referees did, is what will be remembered of both matches today.

There are many more things I can say, but at the end, no matter how bad the decision was or how the referees affected Mexico and England today. The results are sealed, and we will need to see what the football authorities will say.

No technology in football hurts the game. The use of replays is not something to be avoided. Rugby, ice hockey, American football and many other sports use this resource to make the sport better. Hopefully, soon we will have someone with the vision to use technology to make this beautiful sport better.

For now this is it, this was the final day for Mexico in South Africa 2010, Argentina will face Germany. For the second time in a row, these historic nations will clash in the quarterfinals.

I almost forget to say something more about the game. For example, was I the only one shocked to see El Bofo Bautista from the start? The 23rd man of Aguirre did nothing and was replaced at the half.

The good things we saw, were the talent and will to attack of the Mexican team, Chicharito, Guardado, Gio, Salcido, Juárez and many more showed a great level during the World Cup. Chicharito is meant to do great things with Man. United.

Some other players surely were watched by big teams across Europe, that’s the good thing for Mexican football, after a very sad night that ended for the fifth World Cup in a row, El Tri’s hopes of getting into the quarterfinals.


Posted by Mari on 06/27/2010

The referees have been really bad all tournament, but there was really no way that they could have not counted that goal sadly. The assistant didn't see it, and he didn't put the flag up, so he went to the centre of the pitch validating the goal. After FIFA made the mistake of showing the replay on the screen (they usually don't show the plays like that), and the linesman saw it, the players saw and the entire pitch saw it. So the referee went to talk to him and immediately he told him that he saw in the screen it was offside. But obviously the referee couldn't do anything about it, it would have been worse to go back and cancel out the goal that had already been validated. There's a reason they don't show those repetition on the screen, once the ref or the assistant calls something he can't go back on it.

Posted by Danny Meza on 06/27/2010

Fernando, I couldn't agree with you more about video technology. After today, I think a lot more people will agree as well.

In the U.S. Hockey League, NHL, reviews of questionable goals always take place in important play-off games and usually add only another minute or so to break before play. I would guess that 99% of these rulings after video check are correct. Because players celebrate for about a minute after each goal, video teams could be reviewing goals in the same time it would take to restart the match without a review.

Believe me, I can't stand when video replay hinders the pace of a game. Look at American Football, NFL. Those games are hindered by long replay breaks that are too frequent and often for insignigicant plays.

However, if video replay only came into football ONLY for controversial goals, the game pace would not be signigicantly altered.

There is now no reason to maintain this archaic and obsolete system of faulty, human-only observation.

Posted by Frank Scicluna on 06/28/2010

Players can be suspended for "Bringing the game into disrepute" That is exactly what Sepp Blatter is doing by his refusal to use technology in the World Cup. It's time for him to go.

Join the group Enough is ENOUGH. Blatter MUST resign He is the only one who is stopping technology from being introduced

Posted by DMat on 06/28/2010

Argie here. Boy I feel for you guys, really bad call, FIFA needs to allow instant replay ASAP

Posted by Fernando Cásarez on 06/28/2010

It's true video replay could take long, but for example in the NFL almost any play can be reviewed and sometimes the line between a good and a bad call is just a second and they need a lot of time.

But in important plays, it would only take a few seconds to see that England's goal indeed crossed the line, or that Tévez was offside, the game could need a couple of more minutes, sure. But if at the end the result is fair for any team, the game wins.

About the instant replays in the stadium, it was a mistake to show the goal, they try to avoid showing controversial calls, the problem is that here the goal itself was the problem.

Another funny thing was that on the TV, there was no replay of the shot before Chicharito's goal, when a ball was stopped at the line by Argentina. I think there was no goal, but they didn't want more problems and didn't showed a thing.

Technology is good, it doesn't take too much time. But waiting four years for the next World Cup, that's a long time!

Posted by Maru on 06/28/2010

This isn't the first offside that resulted in a goal, there have been many. FIFA decided not to use video evidence, and obviously these things are going to happen. There's always going to be an offside, or a foul that a ref or a linesman doesn't see. The biggest problem was that accidentally they showed it on the screens at the stadium, so everyone saw it was offside, and the linesman realized his mistake. But it was too late by then, the Mexican players got all worked up, but it's FIFA's rule that they don't use video-evidence, so there was no way they could have contradicted the decision from before and cancel out the goal. The linesman didn't see it, he didn't put his flag up, and that was it. FIFA states very clearly that they don't use video replay, so he couldn't use it here.
FIFA has some thinking to do now. I think in situations that end in goal they should use video evidence. I'm from Argentina but I'm mad about this... Today we benefited from it, but many other times we didnt

Posted by j bangara on 06/28/2010

every world cup have got it`s fuss and the good thing is that soccer emerges the is high time our good game copes with technology.come on FIFA.

Posted by Blue Eagle in Sin on 06/28/2010

FIFA is blind and only interested in making money (that is why they tried to put those orange girls in jail).

Goal-line technology is already readily available to FIFA. All they have to do is approve it.

As for other controversial calls on video replay, to prevent repetitive and long disruptions, many have already suggested a tennis-style 3 challenges. For Tevez 1st goal last night, Mexico for example, via captain or coach, called for an immediate challenge. They do a video replay like tennis hawkeye. If the challenge is correct, they carry on with 3 challenges. If the challenge is wrong, they lose 1 challenge (ie, they have 2 left for the rest of the game).

Sack Sepp Blatter. Sack Michel Platini. Bring in some younger men with vision to embrace technology.

Posted by Rafael on 06/28/2010

Major league baseball and soccer are about the last major sports that in the name of "¿tradition?" insist in living in prehistory and primitivism. What a shame ! Whoever in FIFA voted for not accepting video technology for reviewing controversial calls should be sent to a museum, and not precisely because of his worth in soccer history, but as an example of an outdated specimen !

Posted by Harvinchal on 06/28/2010

The England goal was so blatant you did not even need an instant replay to see that the ball crossed the line and England scored a goal. The line's up was up with play almost and so did the referee. FIFA spends so much of money of referee committees that review matches and brief referees with the goal of making better decisions. But can this select committees be implemented at all levels of the game. That is the reason FIFA gave for deciding not to go for the video evidence implementation. FIFA is corrupt to the core. Sepp blatter is overstayed in tenure as president and needs to go. But then again the person who comes in is going to be another corrupt politician, so nothing is going to change.

Posted by Seba on 06/28/2010

Lets mention all the mistakes by the officials because this game is being painted as if Mexico was completely robbed. Messi was repeatedly hacked when making runs the official kept giving warnings instead of some warranted yellows. Also on a run Tevez made in the second half was squelched when a Mexican defender kicked the ball to his own goalie who picked it up, a clear penalty which Tevez asked for and video clearly showed should have been called. Both sides had important calls that were not made and the difference is Argentina capitalized on its chances and Mexico did not. Argentina was the better side for this reason, not the refs.

Posted by Carlo Montana on 06/28/2010

Hmm... Ok. That goal was not something to be proud of, but:

What about the Mexican 1-0 goal against France in the Group Stages that allowed them to open the game up and win their only game to even have the slightest chance of advancing to this round?

Blatant or close-call offside is still offside. Is that a shame that a controversial goal gave the Mexican team life and destroyed France too?

How about this, Osorio gives away the ball to Higuaín, blatantly horse-collar tackles him, unsuccessfully. Higuaín does not dive and scores. Goal is valid. Osorio still has to be sent off for the last man horse-collar tackle, right?

Truth is, refs will miss calls in every sport, hard or easy ones (Pass interference - Block/Charge anyone??). Best team still always wins 99% of the time. Why? Cause best teams overcome bad calls, don't suffer them.

Have a nice day.


Posted by K Tim on 06/28/2010

Throughout my life i have always heard of this standard of decisions, whereby when you make a mistake, you can't change it. Come on, that is rubbish.

I think refs and linesman needs to have some guts and change their decision if they have realised it's a wrong one. By NOT changing the decision, the effect is worst.

Posted by ramananda singh on 06/28/2010

after all the dissapointment n the anguise of seeing the better team lose,.. what is so frustrating is that some people cant accept the fact that mexico played better.. they lost, i can accept that..the linesman must also be as blind as a bat to not have seen the offside.. slow motion replays r happily accepted by the players n spectators in cricket, n the sport is much better for it.. FIFA can drool n dither,.. n such controversies will arise time and again..

Posted by Fernando Cásarez on 06/28/2010

The problem with this game, was the same when Zidane was sent off in the 2006 final, someone put the instant replay in the stadium and the problems got loose.

Here you have some opinions of mine.

This isn't only about Mexico being robbed, maybe without that play Argentina would had easily won, but the way the rules are made to allow a goal even when knowing it wasn't is outrageous.

Mexico's goal against France was no offside, the replay showed that, but even if that goal was a bad call, then instant replay would have been good to help France or any team heavily affected by a bad call.

You can't say good teams overcome bad calls, and try to justify a big mistake with that. To start you are saying bad calls are ok, but how about avoiding them.

Finally I agree the ref didn't showed some cards to Mexican players. I believe he had the mistake in his head and tried to compensate anyway he could and not booking was it, I know it's wrong, but he created the problem to himself.

Posted by Alex on 06/28/2010

To Carlo, I guess you are from Argentina, and as usual you cant se past tour own nose... I bet that befor the first goal you were not having a good time when Mexico was sweeping the floor with all your superstars (including Messi)... The frist goal is clearly offside... and you are right, the second one was a mental mistake by a mexican defender and Higuain did what it had to do... but at least,and I dont know if you can do that just as everyone that considers that the almighty albicesleste was so superior to Mexico, you have to accept you were being dominated and that a mistake changed the game... Argentina does not need help, you have a great team, but you can use some humility and accept that the blown call changed the game, and yes I am from Mexico, and I am mad because of the way we lost, not for the blown call, but because I know we can play you anytime... we lost, but we'll get over it, and hopefully we can have another shot at you in 2014

Posted by Bill on 06/28/2010

Mari, I agree with you on a couple of your points but disagree with you on the validation of the goal that was clearly offsides. If a call is blown, the ref and the assistance can change that ruling up until the ball is put back in play. The assistant was in the right place at the start of play but couldn't get into the correct place as the play developed because it happened so fast but even with that it should have been clear that he was offside on that header. At this level it is sad to see games determined by the refs poor placement and clear blown calls, when that is clearly not the intent. Replays can be good for the game!

Posted by Mari on 06/28/2010

Bill, yeah I understand, but what I mean is that the linesman didn't put up the flag and when the goal was scored he started running to the center line, which tells the ref that the goal is valid. They could have changed it after they saw the video, but FIFA states in its rules that they don't use video evidence so really they weren't going to do anything about it. The linesman made a mistake cause it all happened so fast, and if the video hadn't been played in the stadium, they would have stayed like that until after the game when they realized their mistake. But I'm saying they couldn't use the replay to cancel the goal because FIFA decided a long time ago that they DON'T use video evidence.
But I agree with you, I think after this WC FIFA needs to reconsider many things. These things SHOULDNT happen in teh 21st century with the amount of technology we have. It's time they change some things, and allow video evidence at least for these types of plays that end in goal!

Posted by lol on 06/28/2010

Heys guys.. forget it.. FIFA just wanna make more money! Its the same as NBA or any other leagues. There are god knows how many people betting on the games everyday how do u guys know if the matches are not fixed? As for the 2 controversy goals, its too obvious to make the wrong calls and they really owe both England and Mexico justice. But, there's no justice when money's involved so, forget it.

Posted by Mari on 06/28/2010

Mmm well, ramananda singh I wouldn't go as far as saying that Mexico lost because of that mistake. I mean, like I said before, ref's mistakes are always going to be a part of football if FIFA doesn't do something about it (which we all agree they should) so it's part of the team's ability to control the game not getting so frustrated after them, or being to control the game after a first goal, and not giving anything away. Also, Mexico had the ball the entire second half, they basically had posession for the last 45 minutes and were only able to score ONCE, so there's also some lack of goalscoring in the team, etc. Mexican players seem to really have a hard time turning the chances they create into goal, and that's something a great team, or the best team, shouldn't miss... Because the only way to win games is with goals.

Posted by Milton on 06/29/2010

England lost the game to a superior team like or not the Germans were a better team. The Goal was not decisive as they went on to lose 4-1(2?). In all fairness I think all this noise is made because it is England. Phillip Lahm handled the ball on goal line to deny Ghana a Goal but the ref did nothing and not even your media said anything about it because it was Ghana. We are tired of being shown replays of the "Goal".

Posted by Josefina Argüello on 07/02/2010

Mexico qualified for the world cup 14 times, and 14 times we failed in gaining the ultimate price. :(

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Fernando Casarez: Is a 24-year-old sports journalist who has covered World Cup 2006 and the Summer Olympics in 2004 and 2008. He has worked with three different radio stations at home in Mexico and studied for a Masters in Sports Journalism in Spain. He has also won three UEFA competitions to attend three Champions League finals

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