By Walter Broeckx
If we look at the last finals from international tournaments from Uefa or Fifa (or similar organisations) we get this as the final scores of the matches after 90 minutes:
- WC 2010: Spain – Holland 0-0
- EC 2012: Spain – Italy 4-0
- WC 2014: Germany – Argentina 0-0
- EC 2016: France – Portugal 0-0
Or let us take the Copa America
- CA 2011 : Uruguay – Paraguay 3-0
- Ca 2015: Chile – Argentina 0-0
- CA 2016 Chile – Argentina 0-0
So I have taken 8 matches from the last 6 years that should have been the highlights of football in those years. And what did we get?
6 of those finals were excellent when you need something to fall asleep. Six finals in which after 90 minutes the score was a dreadful 0-0. That is 75% of the finals ending up in a boring contest.
The media talk it up before the match as THE EVENT of the year, century (depending on how far they will go) but in the end… all people get is a match that makes you fall asleep or after 90 minutes you wonder: how on earth did I wasted 90 minutes of my life on this.
Now of course I didn’t watch the most recent final between France and Portugal. I left international football behind me ever since I started digging a bit deeper into what sort of organisations Fifa and Uefa are. With all the corruption that has been found I really want them to be gone. No, I don’t want new leaders as the new leaders are doing just the same as the old did but with another name.
So when I had the choice of having a BBQ with the family in honour of my daughter finishing her education to become a teacher or the final of the European championship I didn’t hesitated for one moment and got my BBQ going.
But as I am not alone in this world I do care a bit about all those people who still love football even when organised by crooked organisations.
So I do wonder how they feel each time they sit in front of their TV full of hope of seeing the best match ever between the best teams ever and then … to fall asleep (if they have been lucky) or have to sit through the entire 90 minutes of utter boredom. Hell I think that seeing the charcoal quench away in my BBQ was far more interesting than most of the matches of the century from the last 8 big finals.
The problem is that football is killed by those who have something to say about it: the managers.
The winning at all costs approach that they have been preaching has spread around and has caused football to become a boring sport. Or should I say: the “not losing at all costs” approach? Which is rather stupid in a final as you know before you start one will win and one will finish in second place at the ultimate final whistle even with penalties.
So one will lose anyhow, so why don’t they make it a spectacle? Why don’t both teams go for it from the start? Only one team will win it in the end.
But how can we get around finishing up with boring finals? How can we make sure that the teams (both of them) will try to score goals. As that is still (I know I am a bit naïve in such things) what football is all about: to score more goals than the other team. Call me naïve but in my world you would enjoy finals. In the world of the Mourinho’s, Conte’s, Simeone’s finals are boring because they just reduce the possible spectacle to a boring contest.
So the only solution I see to beat the boring coaches/managers is to get rid of the 0-0 score. There should be a rule that if a final of a tournament ends up with a 0-0 score after 90 minutes…. There will be no winner and both teams will be send home with nothing. And the big shining cup will go back to the organising committee and can be given in the next tournament. Now that would save them some money also….
If we would bring in that rule the managers who set up their team to get a boring 0-0 and then sneak to a win on penalties would be out of a job. Just imagine no WC winner in 2010 and 2014. Surely that would result in FIFA putting an enormous amount of pressure on managers to give the public something that is worth watching?
Imagine both teams stepping on the field in the knowledge that neither of them would get anything from this final if they don’t produce goals. Because like it or not goals are the icing on the cake of football. And the more boring finals we get, the less attractive football will become.
If you want an example: take me. For many years I almost watched every football match in every tournament. Now I can’t even be bothered to watch them. (I only saw the last 7 minutes of the final and extra time as my guests had all gone and I had finished up cleaning a bit). Why should I lose my time watching two teams showing they can defend?
Football should be based on goals. Not on defending. I know I am a dream and naïve. But wouldn’t it have been much more fun if the matches I had mentioned finished at 2-2 in the 90 minutes, hell even a 3-3 after extra time and then as the real icing on the cake a penalty shoot out…. Or do you really prefer the 120 minutes of 0-0 boredom before a first penalty is kicked?
I know what I would choose. But alas… I don’t think they will ever install such a rule that in case of a goalless draw both teams are sent home with nothing. Why? Well simply because the administrators of football don’t give a damn about football. Only the naïve people and dreamers like me still care about football and about the entertainment it should bring to the masses of football fans.
Football should be fun, but nowadays football is being murdered in front of our own eyes. And as long as our team wins… we don’t care. But we have the duty to think about the best of interest of football as a spectacle for the fans, all the fans worldwide.
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