English Newspaper Reacts to Bad Call
England lost to Germany 4-1 in their World Cup game this weekend. But it's not the skillful play of the Germans that will be remembered -- once again it's a bad call by a referee that has the world talking.
The ball in question bounces at least 18 inches inside the goal line. The fans in the stands could see it was a goal. Those of us watching on TV could see it was a goal. But neither the referee nor linesman was in position to see it clearly. Or perhaps they chose not to see it. Here's the thing -- there's so little accountability with these refs that we can't help but be cynical when they blow a call.
This goal would have tied the game up at 2-2. In all likelihood, England still would have lost -- they certainly seemed outmatched by the Germans. But a bad call of this magnitude drains your momentum and affects the psychology of the game.
Here's video of the disallowed goal by English player Frank Lampard, in case you missed it:
It's not the first bad call in this World Cup and certainly won't be the last. As a casual fan of soccer, I've seen more than enough already. There was the US goal in the game against Algeria that was taken away after an erroneous offsides call. In the Argentina vs. Mexico game yesterday, the opposite happened -- a goal was awarded to Argentina when the striker was clearly offsides. Then, of course, there's the mysterious and unexplainable call in the US vs. Slovenia game where the goal that would have put the US ahead 3-2 was disallowed.
Sigh. I want to love the World Cup, but it's hard to become a fan when I see game after game decided by referees and not the players on the field. Referees are human and will make mistakes, but there is technology that could easily remedy some of these bad calls. Every major sport in the US now uses technology to help make sure referees are held accountable and that the players on the field (or court or rink) have a means of protest.
Most sports wade into replay and goal line technology slowly for fear of disrupting the flow of the game. It's a valid concern, but one that should not stop FIFA from even trying it. The easiest first step would be to add goal line technology that would recognize when a ball crosses the plane of the goal line. It won't disrupt the flow of the game because the game stops anyhow when a goal is scored. So far, FIFA has refused to sanction the use of this technology.
Refereeing errors are plaguing the World Cup and working to undermine the integrity of the sport. The next time someone shouts "Gooooooooooal," let's know with certainty whether it's a legitimate goal or not. Come on, FIFA, do it for the fans.
Are you watching the World Cup? Have the bad calls bothered you?