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Don’t blame the referees, blame the players

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I watched the Brazil v Ivory Coast match in the bar of a Cape Town media hotel on Sunday and, not that it was really needed, was given another reminder of what an impossible job referees have in modern football.

When Luis Fabiano broke through to score Brazil’s second goal, the reaction of around 60 watching journalists ranged from joy to disappointment – but nobody was crying “handball.”

After three TV replays, suddenly it seemed that French referee Stephane Lannoy had blundered in missing what had now somehow become an “obvious handball.”

More replays, a second handling offence revealed, and it was a world conspiracy against African soccer.

Rivaldo, Ronaldo and that last big pay cheque

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Rivaldo

If you had told Rivaldo a few years ago that he would end up playing in Uzbekistan, it is doubtful he would have believed you.

Playing in Greece with Olimpiakos and AEK Athens was already an unusual place for the ageing former World Cup winner to wind down his career. Gary Lineker went to Japan, David Beckham to the U.S. but the Brazilian signing for Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor is something else.

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