How's this for drama? First, the German team get away to an amazing start thanks to some shocking goal keeping blunders by David James who let through not one but two somewhat easily defensible goals in the first half hour or so. Then when things look impossible, Matt Upson manages to claw one back for the English side. But that's not the best bit...
Not more than a minute later a second equalizing goal was knocked in by Frank Lampard and totally dismissed by the referee! That the ball crossed the line is beyond question, and for such a massive mistake to be made in an important match such as this is... well... there simply are not words to describe it. This is unique. It is a moment that English and German fans alike will remember for a long time to come.
The tragedy of it is that if Germany does manage to win this game, some of the shine of that win has to be rubbed off. Even more importantly is the outcome for people who had bet on the half time result. Some would have been aided, but countless thousands more have been robbed.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup has been diabolically controversial so far, and in many cases that comes down to some extremely questionable refereeing decisions. Even the fact that FIFA has appointed a Uruguayan referee for this match is a little bit questionable, because really - although I would never attempt to suggest that there is any deliberate unfairness going on here - it would be so much better to have completely neutral referees from countries such as Hungary or Ukraine who have no possible stake in the outcome.
FIFA must learn from the mistakes of 2010 and ensure that they are not repeated in 2014. Possibly the most important thing that should be introduced is to make technology available to referees that will enable them to check the accuracy of their line calls.
One potential problem with this is that it could be difficult to keep the momentum of play going if a video referee such as that used in rugby and cricket were to be employed, but in a case like this it would have helped enormously if the referee could have been informed by radio that the goal had in fact been scored.
To allow one man's opinion to decide such things in a day when so much amazing technology is available to us is clearly a huge mistake.
Another thing that would benefit the game enormously is to have some sort of "Ref Cam" where we in the audience can see things from the referee's point of view. There is no adequate reason why such technology could not be provided, and it would help to clear up a lot of controversy by allowing us insight into what the referee was thinking when the call was made.
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