Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Football Dipped To New Low?

Rejoice football fans! The long awaited Champions League is finally back after the draw was been made back in December of 2006 and fans and neutrals alike were anticipating this week for quite some time.

But the return of Champions League was marred by controversies and things that should never happen in a football ground.

Of course, we're talking about the match between French side, Lille and Man Utd. A match that seemed so harmless and looked like an easy walk-over for United turns out to be an ugly one and of course, it exposes the flaws of the game and that we all still need to take a serious look at stadium security and how the authorities handle the fans.

Because what happened yesterday could've been another disaster like Hillsborough and Heysel.

It might not be serious as there were only some victims with minor injuries. But it serves us as a warning that even till this day, there are stadiums around with security problems and UEFA will have to investigate and football should not be something which take the lives of people away.

Crowd trouble once again rings the alarm bell of the football governing body as only recently, Italian football came under scrutiny for the way they handled the death of the policeman during the Catania - Palermo game.

The modern game should not be marred by this sort of things already. It's time the authorities have a good look at things and ensure the safety of the tens of thousands of fans within the stadium.

Next major talking point in the game would have to be Ryan Gigg's quickly taken free kick that resulted in a goal. Lille felt unjust and rewind to a month ago when the Thai players walked off the pitch after they felt they're treated unfairly by the referee, it was like a deja vu feeling.

When did footballers became such a bunch of unsportsmanlike 'sportsmen'?

To me, I'm never for the idea of taking free kicks quickly. They're seemed to be used only in amateur football games but the thing now is that it's the gray part of the rule book whereby it's not entirely clear whether when is taking a quick one right or wrong.

But that's beside the point now. Although we do need clarification as to when is a quick free kick allowed and how do we all know whether the referee of the game will allow, the main point will be the way the Lille players reacted after that.


But we know all humans shows emotions and it was when the emotions ran high, adrenaline pumping and knowing that your team have lost a game that they're so capable of winning. Peter Odemwingie thought he had put them ahead just before the incident but he was adjudged to have pushed Nemanja Vidic before latching on the ball with a header. It was ruled out for a foul.

Very soft if you ask me. Vidic is built like a brick sh*t-house and I don't think a little hands on his back will cause any sort of problems for him to stay on his feet.

It's disappointing to see the return of the so called 'biggest' league in the world with the most concentration of football stars marred by incidents that shouldn't even have been part of football. And to think that FIFA are looking into things like restricting players to some 'celebration styles' rather than the safety of the supporters and players behaving like kids throwing toys out of the pram, it just saddens me a little.

The Lille players should be punish heavily for their unsportsmanlike behavior while stadiums across Europe should conduct a thorough check and make sure they pass the standards set by the governing body. Or even better, review the safety standards of the stadiums.

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