Rul­ings du­bi­ous

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page -

Am I a bad per­son for not be­ing that into the soc­cer World Cup? It’s all the rage at the mo­ment and sud­denly many people seem to know many things about the sport. I have tried to keep up with the lat­est, but can’t seem to en­joy the tour­na­ment a huge amount.

One ex­cep­tion was see­ing the Dutch team de­stroy the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Spain. If there is one team I’m a sup­porter of it’s the boys in or­ange – they have come so close to win­ning, but never quite got there. I love a good un­der­dog story.

Also, my wife is of Dutch her­itage so there may be some bias there too.

When I say I en­joyed watch­ing the Dutch beat the Span­ish, what I mean is I en­joyed watch­ing the high­lights pack­age. The only goal Spain man­aged to score was a penalty, which to my un­trained, aver­age Joe eye looked pretty du­bi­ous.

And therein lies my main prob­lem with soc­cer – all to of­ten the out­come is left al­most to chance. Did the ref­eree or lines­man make the right call? Was the player on side or not? Did the striker use his hand or his head to score?

Many times we only know what the cor­rect call should have been once its shown in slow mo­tion re­ply – af­ter the fact. By then the wrong de­ci­sion may have been made, ir­re­vo­ca­bly al­ter­ing the out­come in a way it never should have.

Yet, de­spite this the game re­mains the most pop­u­lar in the world, and I can see why – the skill of the play­ers is in­cred­i­ble and the pas­sion of the fans is in­fec­tious.

Sven Hersel­man

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