I am of a generation who looked upon sport as a pleasure, for those on the touchline and for those playing, not something that was so important that it had grown men crying in public. When I was younger I played in amateur games, went to matches as a spectator, and watched sports on television like any normal person. Now, I rarely look at contact sport because firstly it is all too serious, secondly the level of dirty play has become unacceptable and vicious.
I was watching the Italian match yesterday and two things came out of it, the first was that the Slavs were highly trained, controlled and very fit. By contrast the Italians seemed to have no serious game plan, and also to operate on the basis that anything goes if you can get away with it. This is not the only match that I have watched, but I have come to the conclusion that the level of refereeing on such an important occasion as the World Cup, is blatantly abysmally low.
I therefore, stupidly, because no one will agree with me, offer a solution. The number of people involved in refereeing would need to be increased. Firstly there would need to be a panel of three experienced professional footballers high in the stands, watching the game, and portrayed on television, and reporting any adverse occurrences. Secondly there would need to be about two extra people on the two touchlines, in communication with the three in the stand, and with the referee, who, among them all, could then perhaps bring order to the conduct on the pitch.
There will always be people who don’t play by the rules, but sport is not that important that people’s health, and in some cases, their lives, need to be put in danger by some vicious, hot headed hooligan. Both systems of rugby are a prime example.