Friday, June 18, 2010

Why is FIFA silent about US/Slovenia?

Whether you are a soccer fan or not chances are by now you've heard about the US Mens National Team getting robbed at the World Cup today late in their game versus Slovenia.

The officials called back a goal that would have given the USA a 3-2 win and put them on track to advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. Instead what followed was mass confusion. The referee himself didn't seem sure why he had refused to award the goal and no one seemed to have answers. Wide spread anger spread amongst not only fans of the USA but most soccer fans around the world. This of course followed a yellow card that was given to Robbie Findley in the 39th minute when the ball clearly hit Findley's head. The officiating was a widely discussed and high trending topic on twitter which is obviously a shame.

 From what I gathered FIFA does not make its officials available to reporters after the game. Any time a sport or league does something like this they end up looking like a joke. According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, under FIFA rules the official in question "doesn't have to say what the infraction was." That is an absolute joke. Why shouldn't officials be open to ridicule? The quotes that are coming out of South Africa tonight make FIFA and the World Cup look like a joke.

Landon Donovan:
"Who knows what it was? I am not sure how much English he spoke, or if he spoke English. But we asked him several times in a non-confrontational way. He just ignored us.'
Jozy Altidore:
"Four years of your life you put into this game, and this happens. I am baffled. We all are. We were all just in the locker room, asking, 'What's the call?' I thought it was a clean goal.''
Slovenian Coach Matjaz Kek:
"I will not pass any judgment on refereeing, I believe the referee hasn't had an impact on the final result.''
 The picture here speaks for itself. No matter how many times you watch a replay of the goal it looks like any potential call should have gone against Slovenia, but the referee seemed to be the only one who thought otherwise.

Thankfully this big error from referee Koman Coulibaly does not eliminate the US. There are still several scenarios out there that will ensure that the US is one of the two teams that advances to the knockout stage from their group. Yahoo Sports is reporting that the referee could be removed from the remainder of the World Cup.
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