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.

A revolutionary (and slightly wacky) idea to spot handballs

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I have come up with an idea that will revolutionise football. And I was sober at the time.
 
It would solve immediately the problem of knowing when players handle the ball and help referees and linesmen give the right decision every time and cut out attempts by players pleading they never handled the ball when they have — especially in the penalty area.
 
I admit its still a work in progress … but I reckon someone could invent an electro-magnetic liquid which players have to dip their arms in before kickoff. This solution, invisible, weightless, and undetectable would then dry to create a “second skin” from the points of the arm and hands the laws state constitute the areas of handball.
 
An electro-magnetic chip would then be placed in a ball, or the ball would be dipped in the same electro-magnetic fluid — and every time the two made contact … ball and arm/hand — a buzzer would sound from special loudspeakers in the stadium. The system would also be read through long-sleeved shirts and gloves.
 
Immediatly the buzzer goes off, everyone among the players, officials and fans, would know the player has handled — no argument. Naturally, goalkeepers would be exempt and the system would only be activated when the ball was in play, meaning players could still take throw-ins and pick up the ball when a whistle has been blown. 
 
The beauty of this system is that the referee can still decide whether it is accidental handball or not, or ball to hand.
 
The idea occurred to me after being at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea v Bolton last week and Spurs v Chelsea on Saturday.

After the game at Stamford Bridge, Bolton manager Owen Coyle claimed his team were denied two definite penalties after handballs by Didier Drogba and John Terry were missed by the officials. Watching the replays afterwards, he was right. They were both definite handballs.

With technology binned, maybe players should just stop cheating

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Players and coaches are going to have to grin (or rather whinge) and bear it after football’s rule-makers decided that preserving the game’s essence and traditions are more important than the grievances of a few unlucky losers.

Controversies such as Geoff Hurst’s third goal for England in the 1966 World Cup final, Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal at the 1986 World Cup and, more recently, Thierry Henry’s ball-juggling effort against Ireland, are etched into football’s history.

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