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Friday, June 13, 2014

Brazil's undeserved penalty is a call for use of video replay

Photo credit: Reuters

Brazil defeated Croatia yesterday in the opening game of the World Cup by the score of 3-1. The go-ahead goal however, came due to a controversial penalty kick.

The goal came in the 79th minute, just in time to give Brazil the psychological bump it needed to bring the crowd into the game. However, how this PK came is debatable. In fact, it is clear from the replays that Fred wasn't touched, at least not ith enough force to pull him down.

This latest lack of fairness in a major soccer match has called, once again, for action from FIFA. But will they ever get this to happen? The goal line technology that is finally being employed took more than a decade to implement, even though the capability has been around for other sports, such as hockey, for much longer.

There are the usual arguments. Referees are part of the game and human error is a tradition, of sorts. This has been Michel Platini's assertion, for example. And yet, as the game gets a further hold of the North American sports scene, it is likely that more pressure will be placed on FIFA to act.

The way that the Mexico and Spain games went also add credence to the argument that at least one replay should be allowed per team per game. A couple more minutes per game is something most soccer lovers can live with. Giovanni dos Santos had a goal called back without a clear reason and Spain's lone goal versus The Netherlands came through another questionable penalty. Clearly, goal line tech is a great start, but it's still not enough to make the beautiful game also a fair game.

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