All the Kicks and Head Butts Come to End
I never realized soccer rules were so strict. Apparently, you can’t even use your hands to fight.
The oldest play in the book is the one where a player refers to the activities of an opposing player’s sister. These days, it seems, the insults are far more creative. This is beside the point. At that time, in a game of that magnitude, Zinedine Zidane lost control of himself and quite possibly the cup. He let France down. He blew it.
With all of the problems soccer has had (and is still having) with racism and all of the fake concern FIFA and the other soccer organizations pay to it, it will be interesting to see how the Zidane incident plays out if it is revealed racist language was used.
My guess is it will be business as usual. FIFA will let Zidane take the heat rather than focus on the problem.
KYLE H. WORRELL
Playa del Rey
Congratulations to well-deserved world champion Italy, but soccer’s governing body deserves nothing less than the boot. FIFA has again shown its lack of professionalism, further cementing the opinion of many if not most Americans that soccer is wimpy and absurd.
To cite these examples: After 76 years, the referees are still inconsistent and erratic, making endless bad calls. Zidane is ejected for an unforgivably violent act yet is still given the award for the tournament’s top player; while the morally challenged press did the voting, FIFA didn’t have the guts or leadership to withdraw Zidane’s eligibility. And finally, in the new rankings, Italy is still second to Brazil, which went out in the quarterfinals.
The World Cup was a terrible tournament marked by incompetent and wildly inconsistent officiating, very few memorable games or goals, and enough bad acting to fill a Suzanne Somers special. It was kind of like “The English Patient” -- you had to have infinite patience for the sparest of pleasures to enjoy it.
So Italy is the champion of the entire globe because the Italians made all their penalty kicks? Bah! Here’s an idea FIFA should take seriously. Why not return to a golden goal overtime, but every 10 minutes remove one player from each team?
Imagine the game getting down to five-on-five or four-on-four and tell me it wouldn’t create a lot more excitement.
For American sports fans quick to give soccer the boot, consider that our “football” Super Bowl features an exhausting number of commercials with periodic cutaways to the action on the field. The other “futbol” World Cup contains nonstop action for 90-plus minutes with only a halftime commercial break.
A sporting event not controlled by television? I score it: futbol 1, football 0.
Why Americans hate soccer:
Time runs out on another low-scoring tie, but not really, because we keep right on going into the vague indeterminate limbo of “extra time.” When will it end? Who knows?
Nobody scores. Then comes overtime. A guy head-butts another guy in the chest and gets thrown out, but in spite of having a one-man advantage, the other team still can’t score.
After more running around, plus more extra time, a decision is made to start playing some whole other game, “Shoot point-blank at the poor goalies.” At least this one has scoring.
Coming in January, after the Super Bowl: “Why the rest of the world hates American football.”
Because the U.S. tied Italy, 1-1, and therefore turned out to be the only team that the World Cup champions couldn’t beat, can we proclaim ourselves co-champions? That sort of logic seems to work for the USC athletic department.