What does it mean to a sport when its credibility is brought into question on its biggest stage?
That’s exactly what FIFA must address as it comes to terms with disallowed Frank Lampard’s goal against Germany in the World Cup’s Round of 16.
I don’t really understand what makes football any different from other sports when it comes to technological progress. Even Wimbledon has allowed for video reviews of crucial plays, and have seamlessly integrated them into the game.
FIFA will have you believe that football is a purer form of sport, and that all levels of the game must be aligned in terms of rules and technology. Thus, a footballer in Scarborough would be subject to the same conditions as one at the World Cup in Johannesburg, and this would breed some kind of equity into the game. This is a noble pursuit, and FIFA should be encouraged to continue with this goal in mind. However, sports evolve with time, and it would be a shame to see the world’s most popular sport left in the dust.
FIFA also argues that video reviews would disrupt the flow of their games. While this is a semi-valid argument, what it really means is that FIFA will likely seek the alternative of an additional referee behind the goal.
This will most probably have a trickle down effect on the footballing world, and it would not be surprising to see these referees take up their positions across amateur leagues, and even universities, in the relatively near future. This is an excellent example of just how deeply connected the sport is to FIFA, and highlights how important a role it plays in affecting change in football.
Do not be fooled Varsity Blues, Sepp Blatter is your overlord, and whatever changes he decides to institute will likely be adopted at U of T sometime in the future.
In the end, only one certainty remains: FIFA must change something.