Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So thanks to the power of television replays, we know roughly what the ignorant Italian defender said to Zidane. I say ignorant, as that's purely what he has labelled himself as, when it comes to the world "terrorist". Given the rising frequency of terrorist events across the world, I find it hard to believe that the player in question does not know the meaning of the word - especially after his time spent in England - and frequent trips through airport security. However the damage is already done, and his silence just confirms his guilt.

FIFA should hold a moratorium not only on that incident but the whole tournament, which died a death after the group stages. Part of the problem was the fear of losing, along with the fear of being booked - you cannot celebrate a goal these days. Decisions and bookings almost guaranteed a suspension amongst any team getting through to the next round, which created a theatrical display of opponents ensuring if you did get through, that you would be severely depleted. Revenge comes not only when you are the same pitch.

For once I do feel sorry for referees, although this does not apply to the linesmen (I refuse to call them "assistant referees" until they actually do more) who have come under severe pressure and criticism. Orders from FIFA before the tournament lead to an air of confusion, and even criticism from FIFA (on certain performances) when they were just trying to toe the line.

The next World Cup is being held in South Africa (a great honour for the country) but imagine how hot it will be then? Four more years of global warming, will surely put an end to England's chances, despite the next squad being even fitter. Why this guarantee that each tournment much be held in a warm country during the height of summer?

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