Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Why can’t divers be punished immediately?

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SOCCER-ITALY/Juventus winger Milos Krasic dived to win a penalty in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Bologna. We know this because his team mates have admitted it, even if the replay evidence was pretty clear anyway. No contact at all and no slip.

Justice was done for Bologna when Vincenzo Iaquinta fluffed the spotkick but if he had scored, the goal would have stood and there is nothing in soccer’s rules to reverse it.

Krasic could face a ban from Serie A in the next couple of days because of Italian federation rules allowing video evidence to be used to review referees’ decisions.

Several other leagues don’t permit the referee’s authority to be questioned in this way and only rule on cases of mistaken identity or on action the officials haven’t seen.

Tougher action needed on soccer ‘simulation’

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SOCCER-WORLDChile’s Group H game against Switzerland was wrecked as a spectacle by the dismissal of Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami for what the referee saw as a serious foul on Chile’s Arturo Vidal — to the disbelief of Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and his players.

It was an incident that changed the game from a nicely balanced encounter into one where Switzerland were forced to defend with 10 men for the best part of an hour eventually losing 1-0.

A proposal from Germany could help cut out diving

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Referee Peter Walton could face a suspension from the Premier League list if it is decided he made a mistake in Monday’s 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Birmingham.

Walton reckoned Liverpool striker David Ngog had been fouled by Lee Carsley and ignored the protests of his Birmingham team mates before Steven Gerrard converted the spotkick. Even Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez said afterwards he did not think it was a penalty.

Is Eduardo’s two-match ban too harsh?

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UEFA’s decision to hand Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva a two-match ban for diving has infuriated the Croatian media, many fans and national team coach Slaven Bilic.

“It is a shameful decision, especially in view of the fact that Eduardo personifies everything that’s decent in professional sport,” Bilic told Zagreb daily Vecernji List after learning the verdict.

Should video challenges be used in soccer?

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Anyone who tuned into Wimbledon over the past fortnight would have seen how the world’s best tennis players have the right to challenge line calls they deem incorrect.

From the days when John McEnroe screaming ‘You cannot be serious’ was seen as the height of bad manners,  we have progressed to a TV-friendly present when Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and co have the right to question decisions — and have them reassessed on video.    

Theatricals starting to spoil the football

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Villa gets a yellow card

When I go to the theatre, I wouldn’t expect to see a soccer match break out on stage.
 
And so when I’m watching a soccer match I don’t want to see theatrics.

But watching the diving, feigned injuries and other nefarious attempts to fool the referee when Spain played against Italy in the quarter-finals made me wish both teams could somehow be eliminated.
 
It’s a beautiful game, but it was bad theatre and worse soccer. It was the first match of the tournament that I stopped watching after a while because the acting was putting me off.
 
Italy’s Luca Toni might be tall and intimidating when he runs towards the goal — and a likeable player at Bayern Munich — but several times it looked like it only took a gentle breeze to topple him in Vienna.

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