Monday, August 24, 2009
I am often annoyed by poor refereeing but was taught a lesson today about what that really means after watching Botafogo play Corinthians. At the same time, the match stands as a textbook example of why the referee plays an essential role in a game. A series of bad calls, culminating in (1) a ball punched into goal by an extended left fist; and (2) as perhaps compensation for Corinthians, a penalty awarded for one of the most ridiculous dives executed. Following the phantom penalty, the game degenerated and every contact resulted in acting too garish for even the most maudlin telenovela. Every feigned mortal strike could potentially result in a foul (and amonestar), so why play when the better move is to throw oneself violently to the ground? The effect is behavior that denigrated the game far worse than ten yard markers on the pitch in the Red Bulls - FC Dallas match in the Meadowlands today. If this is how league football is played in Brazil, why would anyone watch it and, more importantly, how would anyone know if the game was crooked?