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FIFA: The urgent need to rethink certain rules

By Aloysius AGENDIA

I may not be a football pundit but viewing the catastrophic refereeing of the 2010 world Cup, and the delibrate acts of cheating by certain players, one can only crave for the urgent need for  World Football governing body, FIFA, to rethink some of its regulations and the use of video technology .  It is a good thing FIFA’s intransigent president Sepp Blatter has even accepted to open up discussion again on the issue of video technology. But there is something more; The Need for a penalty-goal regulation.

The world was certainly shocked when a certain Suarez, a Uruguayan player turned into a goalkeeper and caught with his hands and on the line, a Ghanian header which was bound for the net seconds to the end of the game. This was on July o2 during a quarter final match of the 2010 Corld cup in South Africa.   Some people like the coach of Uruguay  described it as instinctive. It could not been instinctive because a thousand and one players have been in such situation but none ever attempted doing what Suarez did. Other bloggers say it is heroic, some describe it as deliberate cheating but a lot more agree that it is simply unacceptable. 

Suarez was red carded and a penalty given but Ghana went ahead and missed the penalty and eventually lost during further penalty shoot outs that sanctioned one of the most thrilling  but heart-breaking game of the 2010 World Cup and may be in the history of the FIFA World Cup.

 A lot has been said about this but the bottom line is that, Ghana missed the penalty. Period. No need  whining because the rules were applied.

 However, FIFA could learn from this and adjust certain rules. It is Ghana today; it may be another nation tomorrow. What happened on July 2nd  in South Africa has never happened in the history of football though on certain occasion, players have equally cheated and scored with their hands. But the situation of stopping a ball on the line with the hands is completely different from scoring with the hand.

 If a goal-bound ball passes the goalkeeper and finds a player who handles it with the hand, FIFA could either make such a move an automatic goal, or a penalty should be kicked in an empty box without the goal keeper.

A penalty kick with the goal keeper should not hold in this case because the probability of missing such a penalty is 100 percent whereas the probability of the goal-bound ball reaching the net is 100%

This again, is completely different when a player is fouled by an opponent in the ring or when the last player is brought down by the goalkeeper. In all of such situations it is not yet certain that the goal will get to the net so a penalty with a goalkeeper in the box is ok. But in a situation where only a player is left and he delibrately catches the ball with the hands, it is completely different.

FIFA can also place extremely harsh financial sanctions on both the player and the team which commits such an outrageous cheat. In that case, players will not bear such risk to destroy the game of football that far.

Unfortunately for Ghana, the current rules state that Suarez had to be red carded and penalty given. But Ghana failed to concretise the penalty though the ball handled by Suarez was bound to be a goal.

We have to respect the rules and that is what the rules state. I feel so much for Ghana and Africa as well. But again, FIFA needs to rethink it rules so as to make the game more entertaining. Football has not become handball and FIFA endorsing the handball of French playmaker Thierry Henry during the FIFA 2010 World Cup qualification game between France and Ireland was a pity. It has made another mistake by suspending Suarez for just one game. A lot more needs to be done to savage the games from crooks.

 Catastrophic refereeing and blatant cheating

Though the FIFA 2010 WC in South Africa may enter history as one of the best organised world cup which also beat all the rumours and propaganda made by sceptic media and jealous organizations to mar the event, the refereeing in South Africa also enters the history as one of the most disastrous with a record four referees sent home for gross incompetence.

 The Malian who refereed the game between USA and Slovenia was sent home for refusing a clear USA goal for no just reasons.  The French referee who over-sawed the most catastrophic game of the World Cup which pitted Brazil against Ivory Coast was also sent home.

That referee is said to have been deceived by Ivorian player, Keita who claimed to have been fouled by Brazilian striker Kaka. This subsequently led to the expulsion of Kaka.

 However, some argue that though the Ivorian Keita exaggerated and lied, Kaka still merited a sanction for a tactful and technical foul and bad intention. This situation was not different from that of the Greek player who caused a Nigerian striker to be sent out. Oncegain, the Nigerian attacker was sent out for bad intention  but the Greek player went away for tricking the referee.

But the worst error of the Brazil/Ivory Coast game was the referee's validation of the second goal for Brazil scored by Luis Fabiono. Besides being a double handball, the referee went ahead to facially congratulating Fabiano for the handball whereas, other experts believe the goal should not only have been disallowed but Fabiono given a straight red card.

Furthermore, the referee who allowed an offside first goal of the Argentine team against Mexico in the 8th final game was also sent packing. However on the issue of offside goals, there were aplenty.

The Uruguayan referee who also oversaw the game that pitted England and Germany was also a disaster for not accepting the goal of Lampard when the ball crossed the line more than 40cm. FIFA had to aplogise to Englanf and Mexico for some of the lapses of the referees.

Furthermore, the Spanish referee who oversaw the game between Germany and Serbia just as that who refereed the match that pitted Argentina and Nigeria were far below expectations.

All these errors made by refereeing could have been immediately corrected if the video and goal line technology had been introduced. However critics of such technology claim that its introduction will make any single infringement on the field subject to replays and analysis and this will lead to further unnecessary delays and so many complains.

That notwithstanding, the issue of penalty-goal   and those who deliberately cheat must be re-examined by FIFA for the sake of the game.

Go Back

We cannot blame FiFa because Ghana lost a pernalty. That is just part of football and it is not the first time it is happening. A Portuagal player did a similar thing 8 year ago. The penalty was scored. As concerns video/Goal line technology, I still don't beleive it is the solution. Some poor countries will be not able to acquire the tecnology and run them. I propose an increase in the number of refereers by two. One positioned 18m at each end of the goal post. (That is the area where there has been alot of confusion/cheating). They will be at opposite sides with the line man on the same half of the feild. It will also allow a centre referee less space to cover. The two lines men will then be assisting 3 refereers. At any moment, there will be three person who can take a decision. Problem Solved?


When situations like these occur, we make decisions in the heat of the moment believing ourselves to be right. I wouldn't want a football match to turn to a tennis match, referees pausing the game to look at a particular playback, if the goal line technology can be implemented in such a way as not to disturb the flow of the game, then by all means Fifa should implement that. What happened to Ghana is a shame but a goal should only count as a gold when the ball crosses the goal line period. That is football. You don't like it, go watch something else.


We learn through mistakes. Iff that is going to improve the game then FIFA will learn from it. I keep asking myself why should we wait for this type of situations. If you look at the game Ghana had all the opportunities but poor finishing. It shows how we are still lacking in own homes. Wating for others to make miracles for us.It has taken decades for FIFA to think of Afria to host the WC. When will this chance come again. If you look at the level of the game now Africa this was an opportunity to take this Cup and make a diffce to the World. We have ourselves to blame not FIFA bla! bla!. We have to clean so many aspects. African teams prepared so poorly. Some naming their coaches a night before the games. How can you compete with such mindsets? No, good example of hosting this event in the nearest future. Look at how another nation, Nigeria's leader reacted. I was so dissapointed. It shows how backward we are in terms of bringing a change that we can believe in. There is no fooling here; the opportunity was there but as always the case we mess up at the end. Good luck!!!!!!!!!



Thanks for your lucid contributions, u said most if not all of wat i would have written in this very pertinent issue. Just want to draw your attention to the fact that either this FIFA become really fairplay as they claim to be or fool play and let this prestigious game down! Ghana is Semi-finalist and not Urugary please...if there is any good conscience and fair play, if not then this world football gorverning is just fooling Africans and other countries of the world not on the list of it's GREAT FOOTBALL NATIONS: BRAZIL.GERMANY.FRANCE.ENGLAND.ARGENTINA.SPAIN. ETC Please let FIFA act now or never! God bless u all the BLACK STARS OF GHANA AND THE ENTIRE AFRICA. TROP C'est TROP!


WHEN A CRIME BECOMES A SOLUTION. In the Ghana vs Uruguaya march in South Africa, Suarez who deliberately deprived Ghana, indeed Africa, of victory and place in semi final, committed a heinous crime unprecedented in FIFA World Cup competition history. Though sent out with a red card, the fact that Uruguaya which was on its way out, finally advanced to semi final, Suarez is a hero to his nation. He committed a crime according to FIFA standards, but to his nation, he provided a solution and redeemed their lost glory. The serious problem concerns the future of World football. Should a player who stops a ball that passed the goalkeeper and crossed the line with his hands be punished simply with a red card? Was this not a sure goal? Is awarding a penalty instead of accepting the goal, equal reward? Is a penalty a sure goal? The obvious answer is a resounding NO! Suarez should have had his red card and Ghana their goal. This is justice not sentiments. For it was a clear goal. Justice to be justice should be seen to be fair to all. No football team has two goalkeepers, so how came a Suarez?
Ghana and Africa desrve a strong apology from FIFA and and in future such GOAL should not be replaced with a penalty. The rule should be amended. Thank you.