It’s Time To End The Reign Of The Football Cheats
It’s Germany 2006, another World Cup and another outrageous exhibition of diving, gamesmanship and just downright cheating. The time has come to call a halt on this scandalous behavior and restore the image of the beautiful game. Sepp Blatter ordered referees to come down hard and keep the lid on unruly players. The problem is the cheats have seen this as an opportunity to take advantage of the hard-line approach. By diving and conning the referee they know they can get even more of their opponents booked or sent off and banned for forthcoming games. It seems a ridiculous situation where millions of fans around the world can view replays and know the truth within seconds, yet the only man in the dark is the man in charge and entrusted with keeping the integrity of the match.
With the referees now wired for sound and in constant communication with each other, surely the time has come for an official sat in front of a television replay who can inform the referee of what really happened. Indeed, cheating has now sunk to such depths that even one of football’s finest professionals has succumbed. Thierry Henry is a player adored both sides of the English Channel and has always showed the greatest sincerity on a football pitch. Yet this was the same Henry who went down clutching his face as if he had been elbowed, yet suffered nothing more than a firm shoulder to his chest. The resulting free kick led to effectively what was the winning goal for France against Spain in the second round of the World Cup.
Now I’ve nothing but the greatest admiration for Thierry Henry as both a man and a professional footballer, but what chance has the game got when one of its greatest ambassadors sinks to such levels. Come on FIFA, its time cheating was removed from the beautiful game.