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FIFA, Fairplay & Peace

By       Message Hamad S Alomar     Permalink
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Since we are at it, it might be appropriate this week to talk FIFA. This is high time for Football or soccer as it is called in America as we approach the final match. For one month the world was unified in a way that no other way can match. People are watching the same games, the same time, and Brazil became the capital of the world. If there is anything that unifies people across the globe and put them on the same wave length it is the World Cup finals.

The question can FIFA contribute to world peace? Can the art of football beats the roots of hate, racism and religious fundamentalism? Has FIFA done anything simultaneous with the games to promote world peace and co-existence? Not really.

For those who enjoy watching soccer games they must share the following concerns about some technical aspects of the game.

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The penalty kick is a major event. We have seen some unfair penalty kicks awarded to a team because some players throw themselves on the ground in the penalty area taking advantage of the referee not being close enough to see what actually happened. The team gets a (gift) goal. Countries now spend good amount of money on national teams and all this could be lost if some other players are good actors winning the game the easy and an unethical way.

What could be done? I believe we should not question the referee's judgment even if what we see on the screen is clear acting. However, if an actor gets away with it in the field he shouldn't get away with it later. In the World Cup finals after every match a dedicated committee should review all match events that led to a yellow card or a penalty kick and if acting is clear, the player should be suspended.

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The red card is another major event in the life of a football match. This might be radical but I believe it's worth considering. Giving a red card to a player and sending him out of the game is equal to handing the game result to the other team. I believe another option for the referee before showing a red card or giving a penalty kick is to consult another referee ( a fifth one ) who is watching the game on TV in the field. His views are to be taken by the main referee before a red card is given or penalty kick is awarded.

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