Well what can I really say about the Socceroos missing the Germany 2006 quarter finals? I too could write a rant (just as many Aussies have done) about how poor the referee was, what a bad decision the penalty was, how Australia dominated procession and the match and deserved to win. But I think I will leave that to everyone else.
In my opinion, Australia’s performances were some of the best at the World Cup. We qualified for the round of 16 in what was one of the toughest groups at the tournament. We played and matched it with some of the best teams in the world. We won our first World Cup finals game ever! We made so many opportunities, but just didn’t quite have enough to stick them all in the back of the net (mind you not one side in the world can finish every single chance!). We just didn’t get that luck that is needed to win a World Cup.
I have to say that to loose the match in this fashion was heart breaking. If it had of been a clear foul, and it was awarded, fair enough. If Italy had of scored a goal in regulation time fair enough. Even to loose to a goal in extra time, or loose on penalties fair enough. Fairs fair right?
I have to make the observation that there always seems to be a lot of controversy at the Soccer World Cup. If you do a Google search for “controversy World Cup” you come up with some 300 000 matches, and this is just in English. The first one that pops up was this link:
This article details the top 10 most controversial moments of the World Cup. It seems that every four years there is some controversial moment that denies or robbs a team from achieving what they deserve. How can FIFA continue to let this go on? Do they like it this way? Fairs fair right? It seems not.
This is disappointing, and in my opinion is one of the reasons that Soccer is not so popular in Australia. Australians, myself included, like to see a fair contest. How can it be fair when a player takes a dive, and ends up rolling around on the ground, in pain, when there was clearly no contact? That isn’t fair, its just plain stupid. It spoils what is an excellent sport, and destroys the image of the sport.
So what is needed? Why is it still possible for everyone watching at the stadium, and on TV to know a wrong decision was made, but to have the match carry on. What are the refs at the World Cup wearing headsets for? What a waste of time.
Australia now has the A League. Why not stamp this behaviour out in our national league and make a statement to the world? Introduce the video referee, allow them to help the on field official, review all goals, and penalties. This can’t take too much time because there is sometimes only 1 or 2 goals scored in each match. Get tough on diving! More serve penalties should be imposed on players that dive. There should be a video match review committee just as in other Australian sports that look for this type of behaviour and punish those offending with match suspensions.
I am sure there are more things that would help make this sport better. I would love for the A League to make something like this happen, and show the world it can be done. Maybe then other leagues around the world would introduce similar rules, and then maybe FIFA might get with the times, and make the best decisions based on the information at hand.
Go Australia! Well done Socceroos, you did us proud.