Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Why football is at risk of becoming the laughing stock of international sport

Why do we watch sport? Is it the elation of winning or is it the drama that could amass at any moment?

Drama runs through the heart of football, on and off the pitch. Players score last minute goals, players escape red for 2 footed lunges and managers can be sacked at any moment. But when does it get a bit silly? As I write this I’ve just read on the BBC Sport website that Michael Appleton has been sacked after 67 days in charge of Blackburn Rovers. What is even more remarkable is that this was Appleton’s 3rd managerial role since the end of 2011 and Blackburn’s 5th manager since September 2012. Matt Smith, the Doctor Who star, described the Venkeys who run Blackburn Rovers as ‘numpties’ and it’s hard to disagree. Where is the loyalty in football? If Sir Alex Ferguson was sacked in the first 3 years of his reign, Manchester United would still be languishing behind Liverpool and would not be the club they are today.

As a Newcastle supporter I felt aggrieved on Sunday when Callum Mcmanaman was not shown a red card for his lunge that saw young Frenchmen Massadio Haidara fall to the floor in agony. Evidence has shown that the referee Mark Halsey did not see the incident however it has been proven that the assistant had a clear view but did not raise his flag. This is outrageous. In 2013 football is miles behind other sports in the way the game is patrolled. Why can’t there be a 10 second break in play when the ball goes out to review the challenge? This argument supports goal line technology as well but I think everyone’s heard too much on that subject.
The Horror Tackle

Arguably, football wouldn’t be the game it is without controversy. But when players have their legs broken and teams aren’t awarded blatant goals the feeling of injustice is justified and needs to be rectified. Take cricket and football as an example, the ball travels at over 100MPH yet technology allows us to track the movement off the ball and can provide replays in seconds. FIFA’s stubbornness is perplexing.

The FA's response to the incident has been nothing short of disgraceful. Wilfred zaha has been banned for responding angrily to racism yet Mcmanaman walks away unscathed.  You can't make it up. The FA is an embarrassment to the home of football and I agree with Llambias' comments on the NUFC website.Football is crying out for consistency. In one game a two footed lunge which misses the player and the ball can be given as a red due to intent but tackles that result in broken legs can not be dealt with retrospectively if the referee saw it. Where is the logic in that? Rugby has benefited from the technology and has lead to a fairer and more exciting game. Teams can’t rely on poor decisions anymore; they require a high standard of sport from the first minute to the last.Although football may be the biggest sport on the continent, in terms of sense it is very much near the bottom of the list. Technology won’t kill football, it’ll enhance it. What example does it set for up and coming coaches if managers are dismissed 67 days into a job?

Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it's so incredible, it's unbelievable. And sometimes it’s just plain daft.

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