Jun 22, 2010

Superiority Complex

I will be the first to admit that I am football mad. In my mind there’s no better way to spend my weekend than watching a live game of football, preferably in a stadium but mostly in the comfort of my home or local sports bar. 

Understandably when the Africa Cup and World Cup come along I go a little rabid. However, with respect to my co-workers and others around me that do not watch the sport I do try to tone it down until I am in an environment that is conducive for my euphoria. I do not get into arguments with people about the merits of football especially living in a country where it is considered a sport for primary school going children. I am not an apostle of football here to convert people, and I would rather not have my blood pressure rise due to insipid arguments with the lost.

So, keeping this mind it’s been my determination to just watch the games, read the news from my trusted sources and follow the blogs from commentators that love the game like I do. I have made no time to listen to the age old gripes:
“What’s so special about watching 11 men chasing a round ball for 90 minutes?”
“Why can’t games always end with a winner and a loser, as opposed to sometimes ending in a draw?”
You have a quip? I’ve probably already heard it in various versions. Move on.

Needless to say, I was a little irritated when I came across an article by Peter King of Sports Illustrated in my mailbox. In it he’s bemoaning the US national team’s draw with Slovenia and in particular the disallowed goal. Sorry mate, but the whistle was blown before Edu got the ball – therefore the goal was invalid. 

But what really annoys me about King’s article is how he describes the referee, Koman Coulibaly, as being unfit and over his head because his “highest previous assignment was the African Cup,” which according to him is “the equivalent of a Mid-American Conference ref being assigned the Super Bowl”.  W.O.W.

It wasn’t enough for the ESPN commentators to call Coulibaly a disgrace but insults had to be heaped on about his nationality and qualifications? I wonder if this type of language would have been used if Koman wasn’t from a “little landlocked country” called Mali but instead hailed from England or Germany? 

Is it little wonder that black children are taught they will have to work twice as hard as someone with lighter skin to prove that they’re capable of doing the job? When you mess up it won’t just be, “Koman, you may have made a mistake” but rather “Koman, you black idiot, you cost US the game”. 

So, to you Mr King and your lynch mob (those that have set up facebook pages calling for Coulibaly’s head and defaced his wikipedia page) quit your whining and grow up. Your behaviour is insufferable and leaves the rest of us with brains in awe of your stupidity and unbridled bigotry.

To FIFA, shame on you for being spineless and calling for an expedited review. Where was that review when Thierry Henry’s handball was allowed to stand and France qualified for the World Cup at the expense of the Republic of Ireland? If you want to reform the game, don’t start by leading a referee to the slaughter without cause to placate U.S. fans and big mouthed pundits with no understanding of the game.  

2 comments:

But what really annoys me about King’s article is how he describes the referee, Koman Coulibaly, as being unfit and over his head because his “highest previous assignment was the African Cup,” which according to him is “the equivalent of a Mid-American Conference ref being assigned the Super Bowl”.

lol!

Very American!

Irritating! Especially when they think of Football as a game for people in grade school. Not too long ago there was nobody playing serious football on these shores. All of a sudden they have become experts. Americans! The thing that pleases me to the level exceeding that of irritation is they were sent packing by the black stars.

Just a little rubbing in.

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