A Modest Proposal

I love soccer, and I’m fully aware that 90% of Americans don’t care about it, but how’s about FIFA grant the ability to the referee, in consultation with the linesmen, to award a goal when an opposing defender (say, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez) commits an intentional handball within the six-yard box, and said infraction is the last line of defense between the ball and a certain goal?

Heck, limit it to within the lateral limits of the goal mouth if you want. But it’s pretty clear to all involved that what Suarez did was a (legal, under the current rules) deal with the devil that cost Ghana the match. If that goal is awarded, Gyan doesn’t miss a penalty, and Uruguay is forced to score in the last few seconds of the game. Suarez himself said the red card and automatic one-match suspension were “worth it”, and no one would argue otherwise — without that handball, the match for which Suarez would earn his suspension would be some meaningless international six months down the road with Uruguay out of the World Cup.

Life isn’t fair, but sport is man’s attempt to construct a framework of fair competition. Awarding only a penalty as compensation after a defender has illegally prevented a certain goal is, well, unfair. Memo to FIFA: fix it.

posted by Chris on 05 July 2010 at 2056 in sports


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