March 1, 2009
Blatter Blats VIII
By Ben Knight
The eighth installment of an ongoing series, chronicling the verbal misadventures of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the most powerful man (and mercifully one of the least effective) in all soccerdom.
This one’s more of a brain cramp than a verbal gaffe. Blatter is asking FIFA’s rules mucky-mucks to consider adding a “sin bin” – rugby idea, similar to hockey – where players could be briefly banished following yellow-card offences.
The problems are many – and obvious.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]- Yellow cards are not created equal. There are referees who consistently call one card a game, and others who dish out ten. Pulling players off the field for something so chronically subjective seems needlessly disruptive to the flow of the game.
- Unlike hockey, being a man up does not lead to more goals. The shorthanded soccer side simply puts everyone behind the ball, and scoring actually drops.
- Card fouls often anger fans. So what happens when you put players the fans are mad at on the sidelines – directly next to the fans? Even one extra disturbance incident is too many, yes?
- There is already a suspension system in place for accumulated yellows – and it’s already subject to the global inconsistencies of what exactly constitutes a card offence.
- Yellow cards are also known as “cautions,” and are meant to be exactly that. Expulsion and suspension come only with repetition. That ought to be enough.
In other words, the man in charge of the world’s most simple, nearly perfect sport wants to arbitrarily run offenders on and off the field all game, with no regard to soccer’s primal, basic essence – our eleven guys trying to solve, baffle and best your eleven guys.
With any luck, this strange and needless interference will die a quiet, bureaucratic back-room death. But it might be a good idea to light up the message boards in protest … just in case.