“If I met him in the street I would slap him.”
By Tony Attwood
Untold, from its earliest days, has carried the argument that FIFA is a bent organisation organising bent tournaments. The site has only reported a handful of the incidents that lead to that conclusion, but if you want more you only have to type Jack Warner corruption into Google to find that you get over 47,000 results – and that tells you something by itself. (If you want a good summary, try the BBC’s piece, “The Beautiful Bung” which gives a fair old roundup of just how bent Fifa can be.)
But it’s on, it’s happening, and the English media has defined the world cup as a “Good Thing”.
So we turn to look at England’s first match (they are playing the United States of America – just in case you didn’t notice) and we find that the referee for the match, Carlos Eugênio was suspended last season by his national federation for bribery and incompetence.
This is the one who, despite apparently speaking fluent English, is being given lessons in how to speak Scouse Swearing, so he can communicate with Rooney et al.
Now of course everyone is innocent until proven the opposite (except perhaps Rooney, oh and Gerrard, and that John Terry, and….), and we must admit that Carlos Eugênio Simon was a ref at the last world cup, and the one before that too. So maybe he is ok, although we must also note that the Brazilian football confederation wouldn’t let him blow the whistle for the last six weeks of the Brazil league season after a number of alleged errors led to the president of Palmeiras to denounce him as “a crook, a scoundrel and a shameless bastard”.
(I wonder if Mr Rooney, who was told off for naughty words in an England warm up match, knows that phrase. “A crook, a scoundrel and a shameless bastard”. Or if the ref considers that unacceptable language. Walter – can you send a player off for calling the ref a crook and a scoundrel and a shameless bastard?)
Earlier, Flamengo of Brazil lost to Cruzeiro and so lost a place in the South American Champs League. Flamengo were so cheesed off by the sending off of Diego Tardelli in that game (Tardelli thought he had been fouled in the area and appealed for a penalty, but was sent off for diving) that they sent a DVD to Jérôme Valcke (general secretary of FIFA) , politely requesting that the ref be refused permission to be in the world cup and instead have his head put in a vat of boiling oil.
The aforementioned video of the refs misdemeanours is reported as starting, “The video evidence collected and hereby submitted – attesting the unambiguously inconsistent, unfair and inequitable technical performance of Mr Simon – provides the Fifa referees’ committee with a factual account to illustrate the risks of retaining him in the list of referees for the 2010 World Cup. Flamengo has done this for the sake of good order and for the good of the game.”
But no – Fifa carried on. Carlos Eugênio Simon carried on.
The Palmeiras president, Luiz Gonzaga Belluzzo, expressed the mood of many when he said, “He must be in someone’s pocket. If I met him in the street, I would slap him. What he did was unbelievable and he was helping Fluminense. He should be driven out of football.” It was after this that the Brazilian federation banned him for “a repetition of mistakes committed during the competition”.
And that’s quite a bit of the case really. If you have a ref who has been suspended for “a repetition of mistakes committed during the competition” would you allow him to referee in the topmost competition in the world?
The answer is…
- no – if he is not good enough to carry on in his local league he can’t carry on in the world cup
- absolutely he is just the sort of guy we want
So, we can watch and see – and note the usual ITV / BBC pretence that no referee is ever bent, only incompetent, largely due to the fact that they are foreign and they don’t understand the game that we English invented, and only gave to the world through the kindness of our hearts. Look, we give the other nations a game, and what do they do? They beat us at it, that’s what they do. One can hardly call that fair!
In the meantime there’s the strange issue of the ball and the altitude. You might have thought it was just a goalkeeping whinge, this ball business, and as for altitude, well if you’ve been up the Monument, you know about the high stuff.
But no, there is more. I’ll come on to that shortly.
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