FIFA rejects use of technology again
FIFA’s president Joseph Blatter explained in a letter the motives why his organization opposes the use of technology to analyze uncertain plays, emphasizing the game has to be played under the same conditions whether it takes place in a village or in a modern stadium.
FIFA studied two proposed systems of establishing whether the ball crossed the goal line, one including a chip inside the ball and another similar to the technology used in tennis, but neither convinced them.
According to Blatter, “one of FIFA’s principal Data HK objectives is protecting the universality of the game of football. It means that the game must be played in the same manner everywhere in the world,” said the president.
“If one coaches a group of youths in a small village of the planet, they will be playing by the same rules applied to the professional players shown on TV.”
FIFA’s concern is that the cost of the technology would prevent its implementation in poorer regions.
“The implementation of modern technologies can be very costly and due to that it could not be used everywhere in the world. Around 900 World Cup qualifying games were played and the same rules have to be applied to all the matches within the same competition,” concluded a non-technologically minded Blatter.
Guerrero overcomes his fear of flying
The Peruvian international Jose Paulo Guerrero spent several months in his homeland, unable to return to Germany, where he plays for Hamburger SV, due to an intense flying phobia.
A few weeks ago the Germans sent him a psychologist whose task it was to treate Guerrero’s phobia and the move seemed to pay off. Last Thursday Guerrero took a trip to the airport in the company of his mother Petronila Gonzalez and boarded a KLM flight to Europe, where he is continuing a treatment for an injury he suffered early into the season.
Previous to the psychologist’s intervention, Guerrero did not manage to board a plane, alleging the phobia caused him gastric disturbances. It was even speculated he might travel back to Europe by boat, but finally he mustered courage and overcame the disorder that used to plague Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp.
Brazil’s president against Ronaldinho’s call-up
The Brazilian president Inacio Luiz Lula da Silva is a recognized soccer fan and frequently speaks his mind on his favourite sport. His last rant was about Ronaldinho Gaucho, who in his opinion should not be included in the team for South Africa.
“He is a player of great talent, but that is not sufficient. It is necessary to look at how each player fits into the national team’s scheme. It’s something that goes beyond a player’s individual quality, it’s a question of the group. Ronaldinho does not deserve to go to the World Cup. He played few good games for Brazil and he was never decisive,” Lula said to Associated Press.
Lula must have forgotten about the 2002 quarterfinals against England, when Ronaldinho beat David Seaman from a 35-yard free kick and gave Brazil a famous 2-1 win.
Dunga apparently shares Lula’s opinion since he has not picked Ronaldinho since April 2009 and does not look like he will call him again any time soon, or ever again for that matter.
Chinese authorities put refs in a camp in a bid to make them confess
Corruption in soccer has became such a concern in China that the sporting authorities have rounded up hundreds of referees and coaches in two camps, one near Beijing, another in Canton province, in order to “reeducate” them and make them confess their offences.
According to reports in the South China Morning Post, these camps are the “last chance for them to own up to their crimes in exchange for lesser sentences.”
The Chinese FA chairman Wei Di warned that those who fail to confess during the “grace period” will be severely punished.
Last year the country’s communist president Hu Jintao expressed concern over the moral fragility in Chinese soccer, making the soccer officials fair game. Rarely does a week pass without news of new coaches, players, directors and referees being involved in illegal betting and match fixing.
The observers believe that soccer has become a testing ground for the national campaign against corruption at large. If the tactics involving concentration camps prove to work, they may be applied to the accused in other industries.
Raul among the unwanted for Real’s fans
Real Madrid’s elimination by Olympique Lyon in last week’s Champions League round of 16 second leg match set off rumours regarding some serious turnover in the roster and the technical staff. The Spanish leading daily Marca invited its readers to name the players who should be transferred next July and among those singled out was the skipper Raul Gonzalez.
Over 100,000 votes were cast indicating the six undesirables in the following order of unpopularity: Christoph Metzelder, Fernando Gago, Mamadou Diarra, Royston Drenthe, Raul and Jerzy Dudek. Raul attracted no less than 63,000 votes from fans who do not want to see him in Real’s team next season, which may mean the team followers are fed up of the player who has worn the white shirt since 1994.
On the other hand, the most respected players have turned out to be the keeper Iker Casillas, the defender Raul Albiol, the midfielder Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Didier Drogba voted best in Africa
Chelsea’s Didier Drogba was voted the African player of the year for the second time in his career and was awarded the trophy at a ceremony in Accra, Ghana. The Ivory Coast striker, who already won this distinction in 2006, on this occasion edged Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon and Michael Essien of Chelsea.
The ideal African eleven, as voted for by the national team coaches, included five players from the Premiership, including Fulham’s John Pantsil, Portsmouth’s Nadir Belhadj and Arsenal’s Alexander Song.