Thursday, July 15, 2010

Return from hiatus: World Cup Controversies and more

Hello, I'm back from hiatus.

I have a lot of material I will gradually put up.

This past month, I wrote approximately 12 articles for helium.

My best read is probably this one about the World Cup controversies:

The United States (where I come from) is currently full of a lot of irate part-time football fans who are upset at being denied a goal in the 85th minute of the Slovenia match by the referee. Goals do get disallowed quite often (see Holland vs Croatia, 98, Italy vs S. Korea 02) but in this case, the referee did not give an explanation and replays do not show much of a foul to begin with. It's speculated that the referee ignored the pleas of players on the field for an explanation because he did not speak English. With the immense pressure that the US holds, FIFA is currently doing a probe on that particular ref and in the meantime, he gets to be the most hated man in America's 24-hour news cycle, because he was unlucky enough to make a bad call against a country that has more people and more media clout than any other country in the World Cup this year.

The Yanks are also complaining of a yellow card being called on a U.S. player who wasn't able to get out of the way of hand ball in time, but it should be noted that Australia lost a man (to a red card) and a goal to Ghana because the same thing happened to him in the penalty area.

At the same time, Mexico got the short end of the stick when a goal was also disallowed on Carlos Vela for being offside and they had to take a tie to South Africa. Even worse, South Africa had to endure a red card to their goalie for making a fairly legitimate tackle dooming the host country to suffer a damning penalty kick with the the backup goalie rushed from the bench into the net without any warm-up in between. Luck has a habit of working both ways like that.
Even as I'm writing this, more news is surfacing that the Brazilian striker Lucio Fabiano admitted that he handballed the second goal in Brazil's 3-1 win over Ivory Coast.

The fact of the matter is that soccer's a sport that's difficult for referees to make the right calls and they mess up a lot. This has never been anything new and although there might be a legitimate reason to reform FIFA's policies with regard to refereeing to ensure more accuracy with calls, nothing will change in the present and the World Cup because that's the way football works.

At the very least, South Africans, Yanks, Mexicans and citizens of the Ivory Coast can take comfort in knowing that they're in the World Cup and don't have it as bad as Ireland. Ireland doesn't even have the opportunity to cheer for their own team at the World Cup. The do-or-die qualifying match which put France through to the World Cup and denied Ireland its spot was the result of a referee failing to call a handball on Thierry Henry as he scored a goal. FIFA said they wouldn't reverse that call even though they acknowledged it was wrong.

Article can be found here

Basketball Player Profiles on OJ Mayo, Gilbert Arenas, and Brandon Jennings.

NBA Draft and High School Players

And lastly, for
How an Oscar for Tom Cruise Could Have Changed it All

Many more posts coming soon

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