We’re not opposed to referees cutting down on violent play, shirt tugging, diving etc as they’ve apparently been instructed to do this World CUp. And we understand the motivation for changes that make the game more attacking. But on the evidence of the games so far, FIFA seems to have passed a directive banning tackles altogether, and its ruining the game.
The group stages are especially poor because we’ve got to include referees whose biggest achievements have been presiding over the West African Youth Cup semi-finals, but the number of whistles for aggressive, but fair tackles that take the ball has been obscene. Both Ghana and the Czech’s suffered in today’s game and already that famed hard man Francesco Totti has been booked against the USA (Ed: and Uruguayan ref Jorge Larrionda is currently doing his best to ruin the match entirely). We constantly hear how consistency is the most important, and I wouldn’t argue there’s been much of a problem there in games, but tackles are part of the game and we’re not happy with what we’re seeing.
It’s as though warnings have gone out the window and the refs are just lazily letting the card do the talking for them. If things don’t change, what has been a fantastic World Cup thus far will be ruined as we’re forced to watch nations fielding B teams every other match.
Sort it out Blatter, you crazy, crazy bastard.