Firas Al-Atraqchi: Keep Officiating to the Pros
Keep the Officiating to the ProsBy Firas Al-Atraqchi
Questionable officiating is already marring the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup.
With seven games already played, football critics and experts are demanding to know why FIFA has chosen to ‘internationalize’ the officiating rather than rely on an expert crop of tried and tested referees.
The latest outrage is Brazil’s undeserved win over a fierce Turkish side. Korean referee Kim Young Joo made several contentious calls including the awarding of a penalty to Brazil when the foul was clearly committed several feet outside the penalty box.
Then came the typical ‘acting’ that has become part and parcel of Brazil’s performance in the past few years. Brazilian striker Rivaldo tried to bluff his way past the thousands of photographers and billions of viewers when he claimed the ball was purposely tossed in his face.
A corner kick had been called in Brazil’s favor. A Turkish player, rather than hand the ball over, kicked it in the direction of Rivaldo, who was waiting to take the corner kick. The ball hit Rivaldo on the knee – Rivaldo clutched his face and fell to the ground - all within a few feet of the linesman.
The referee immediately handed a red card to the Turkish player.
Was the linesman asleep?
This is another example of Brazil’s slow decline into shameful tactics of cheating their way to a win.
If the current trend of officiating continues, this will prove to be the most controversial World Cup yet.