FIFA Should Take A Lesson From Major League Baseball

St. Louis – June 23, 2010
By Jeremy Clements

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup well underway fans across the globe have been treated to some great moments. From breathtaking saves to last minute goals soccer has taken over the sports world. But for as many great moments this tournament has provided there have been just as many horrid calls.

It didn’t start with the phantom foul that almost cost the United States a birth in the first knockout round either, though that has been the most talked about blunder by the officials. We’ve seen refs show cards on tackles that didn’t warrant them and we’ve even seen calls that should have been cards not even called. But through all of the horrid calls the worst call was made by FIFA when they decided that no explanations were necessary for any of the calls made.

FIFA’s archaic constitution says that referees nor FIFA as a governing body never have to explain any calls that are made on the pitch. To put it simply, when a referee makes a bad call, like the one Koman Coulibaly made, FIFA allows the referee to hide behind their governing body, never to own up to their mistakes.

American’s know all about “fair play” and recently we were reminded about human error. In that instance though, Jim Joyce, the umpire who made the bad call instantly owned up to his mistake. He graciously admitted his error, apologized, and moved on. The missed call was not changed either. So I’m not saying that FIFA should change the call and give the United States that win. That’s not the point.

The point is this: FIFA as a governing body, and the referees who are guilty of poor calls should follow the example set by Major League Baseball, own up to your mistakes and stop hiding behind petty rules that in the end actually make you look weak and ancient while marring your sport on it’s biggest stage.

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