To Liverpool fans, sunday’s loss was cushioned with the return of Kenny Dalglish . A hero and legend to Liverpool fans. After the game,us liverpool fans looked at the end result with disappointment that we lost and pride with how the team performed.We had the right to be optimistic, the passion was back, the King was back and more importantly the will to win was finally back to Liverpool football club.
Sadly Sunday’s game will always be remembered as the day Howard Webb’s decisions helped ruin the Fairy tale return of one of the clubs most beloved Idols, against one of the clubs most fiercest rivals. After taking days to think and dwell back on the game, i asked myself ” what were we really angry about?” were we Liverpool fans just bitter about the magical night it would have been had we won?…Maybe . I thought to myself how would i have felt if it had gone the other way around. If we had received the 29th second wrongful penalty and they had their most influential player sent off in the first half. Would the Man utd fans have been bitter and angry at Webb? Yes, most defiantly ! Would we have ended the game thinking, ” Oh that was sad,i wish we’d won fair and square” NO ! I’d have been doing back flips and somersaults all the live long day, texting my Man utd friends saying ” What penalty?” . But the truth is, deep inside i’d be thinking, Justice ! Justice for all the wrong decisions that went our way. Which as a fan, is an unhealthy way of thinking but we’re not to blame.
The reason fans nowadays react the way they do to footballing decisions is because of how consistently inconsistent it’s become. It’s a disgrace that we’re meant to accept the fact that referees can each have their own style of refereeing . Referees look at different situations and decisions in different ways. Some allow contact and some book it. Some are more lenient to players if they’ve had a good track record in the game giving them second or third chances and some book players based on their track record in past games or their reputation. Some wag their finger on the first challenge before pulling out a yellow card on the next and some wag a yellow card on the first challenge before showing a Red. What’s going it ? This isn’t football, this isn’t what it should be based on. A game should be won and lost depending on how well a team does or doesn’t play on the pitch. Not what the referee saw and didn’t see, called and didn’t call. It should be based on the effort the team and coaching staff who worked hard to prepare for the game. The footballing battle on the field between the players, tactical battles on the sidelines between managers and the witty battles on the stands between the fans. That’s football, that’s the beauty of it. That’s what it should be all about.
The Sad Corrupt Monopoly of football
Notice how i said ” Monopoly of football” not sport. Other sports have impressively evolved to satisfy their empire and i’ll get to the details of that in a bit. Just in case anyone doesn’t know the exact meaning of Monopoly, let’s look at a detailed description of what a monopoly is.
“Monopoly” is an economic term that refers to a situation where only a single company is providing an irreplaceable good or service. Because the firm in question is the only place where the good or service can be found, they have the ability to charge whatever they want, to the detriment of market competition that is the foundation of a healthy economy. Such a company is said to be monopolizing a portion of the market.”
Sound familiar ?
Year after year we’re reminded about how corrupt this sport really is. It’s become all about two things to the governors of the sport. Their image and their money. Now i’ll admit, in business those two points are one of the most important aspects you should look to. But football is more than just a business, it’s a sport, it’s a life style, it’s a passion. In a business you work on either competing with other companies or if you’re lucky enough to monopolize the market, you work on competing with yourself to improve everyday, so as to satisfy your customers.
The governing body of football didn’t invent the sport, yet it’s reaping off the benefits of a monopolized Market, more so every year. Instead of competing with themselves every year they’re just living in ‘ LALA Land ‘ looking down on us fans and our clubs,ready to criticize us back when we make a comment, looking at their watches waiting for the alarm on to ring so they can collect their share of money. We love our clubs and the sport way too much to just walk away, they know it and they’re loving it.
The FIFA world cup picks for 2018 and 2022 only proves my point more. I watched the announcements with no personal opinion in who i’d wanted. Obviously i would have loved England but only cos i’m a Liverpool fan and i knew the club would benefit from it. I knew a world cup in 2018 meant J. W. Henry and his team will have to speed things up when it came to Liverpool’s stadium plans. They’d at least have a deadline and so would we.
They picked Russia and Qatar. Which i found pretty funny, not because of who they picked. I’m sure both countries will pull off outstanding world cup events. I found it funny that the Owners of football said no to the inventors of football, not even if pigs flew is what i took out of their final votes. If that’s not irony i don’t know what is. I was most surprised by the remarks made by Sepp blatter:
“To be honest, I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fair play ideas, Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers,” he said. “You can’t come afterwards and say so and so promised to vote for England. The results are known. The outcome came out clearly.”
Not even a sense of sympathy from Fifa’s chief ,all i read was ” Monopoly, my monopoly, our monopoly, our law” . Yet few months later no one is talking about the members of the voting committee that were illegally selling their votes. How many world cups did that happen in? how are we, the general public not certain it didn’t happen this year with the other voters this year?
Sport takes one step forward, FIFA’s football take two back.
The reason why refereeing is so consistently inconsistent is because of how far behind the sport is. Technology is something they seem to be against. I remember reading comments by Sepp blatter stating how video replays would slow down and delay the game. Which is just total nonsense . Think of the penalty at OT on sunday’s game. How many seconds did the referee waste when the liverpool players pleaded their case? The incident happened on around the 30th second and i recall the penalty being taken on the 2nd minute . A minute and a half and that’s with liverpool players who aren’t the type to go crazy on a referee for ages. Is Sepp Blatter trying to tell us that watching players surround a referee for for minutes is better for the game of football than having the referee run along to the sidelines with his assistants and watch the reply of the decision?
Two other sports i follow are Basketball and tennis, both of which make a yearly effort to improve. In tennis they introduced instant reply in 2006.It started off with a rule allowing players to have two challenges per set. If the challenge was ruled in the player’s favor, the player was not charged for the challenge. According to Wimbledon.org, in 2008, the rule was changed to allow for more. If a player has three challenges that were not correct, he is not permitted another challenge in that set. A player is, however, entitled to an additional challenge if the set goes into a tiebreaker. In the NBA ( National basketball association, American basketball ) referees are able to in the last few minutes of games head over to the replay screen and make sure a call they made was right, if they’re not sure that is. An interesting fact about basketball is, the basketball court ( field) is just about twice the size of a penalty box, so more than half the size of a football pitch, has 12 less players on it than in football, yet has the same amount of referees officiating the game.
Now you may ask yourself, why do those sports change and adapt and not football. First off, we’re run by the wrong people, secondly those sports feel the pressure to succeed. Tennis has to improve to satisfy the demands and criticism of the Players since it’s a one on one sport and the players opinions matter. The NBA has to improve because of the competition in sports it has with the other american sports, NFL(National football League,American football) NHL(National Hockey League,American ice hockey ) and MLS (Major league baseball, American baseball).More importantly because they want to improve. Something FIFA doesn’t seem too keen on yet.
The recent FA charge of liverpool’s Ryan Babel is another example. They’re not willing to understand technology. In my opinion, their was nothing malicious about his ” retweeting” of the picture. Let’s think of it in a real life situation since the FA still seem to be riding their carriages and living in the past. Imagine the player was walking down the street and a fan gave him the edited picture of Howard webb wearing the Man utd shirt. The player then turns around, raises it up and shows it to anyone whose around to see it and laughs. Does that deserve a fine? That’s the problem with them, they don’t understand the present. They’re still living in the past.
Going back to the game play part of it, in the past footballers would get hit and stand up.Footballers in general wouldn’t go down easy or feel the contact and fall to ground. True, players are talented and not all players play that game, but the game has changed. Watch any Youth game or reserve game and you can at times get a glimpse of the game that used to be. I’ve sometimes just sat in owe at how i can go a whole game without watching a player roll around for 20 minutes as if he’d had his leg shot off, to bounce back up a second later. Do you blame the money they’re getting ? i don’t think so, they still have the same love for the game, money may affect where they play but not how they play. You only have one thing to blame, the people in charge. Howard webb has shown he’s inconsistent and the proof is their for anyone to see. Look at the world cup final for example, so many wrongs that stuck on fans all over the world’s minds. Yet despite his inconsistencies the FA still put him in the top games, the games were the smallest errors are magnified. They’re to blame. If Howard Webb retires tomorrow, things won’t change right? we’re just going to get another referee to pick at.
Until the governors of football realise that, we the fans just have to be prepared for disappointment. Sunday was an FA cup loss to us but last year it was a World cup spot to a nation, to Ireland. Who knows which Irish kid may have been driven by watching his nation play in the world cup, driven to becoming something in his life, following his dream. If not in football then in anything else. Who knows how the world cup may have slightly helped Ireland and it’s financial crises? Maybe i’m going way over the line between reality but my point is, they’re messing with more than just a team in a team bus driving to a pitch with a few thousand fans that will be disappointed. It’s 2011 and tens of millions around the world are affected by the ” Human errors” Sepp blatter said was a part of the game.
Football under FIFA needs to change and until that happens, every single football fan around the world, be them Man utd fans or Everton fans, Africans or south Americans, they all have the right to show their disgust and anger at a refereeing decision that could have made the difference between winning and losing…
Until then we as Liverpool fans have the right to be angry and disappointed at wrong refereeing decisions like we were on Sunday. If that makes us ” bitter” then toss a bag of salt and vinegar over us. Bitter we will be !
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