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June 28, 2006

Such a disappointment for a young man

Can I just be the nth zillionth blogger to point out that the second round of the World Cup has been a bit, well, erm, pants - and dominated by refereeing decisions rather than football.

  • The pathetic sight last night of one of the world's most graceful footballers Henry rolling around clutching his face to win the free-kick that France scored their second goal from, when Puyol clearly never touched anywhere near his face.
  • Not a single official on the pitch spotting that Adriano was offside in both the build-up to, and when he scored, Brazil's second goal.
  • Switzerland and Ukraine seeming to decide that risking losing a penalty shoot-out was the optimum strategy instead of going for a place in the quarter-finals.
  • That astonishing penalty decision in the Italy - Australia game.
  • That even more astonishing refereeing performance in the Netherlands - Portugal game, although, to be fair, the players antics were not helping him.
  • Lucic's soft sending off against Germany.

In fact only two games didn't seem to have their fate decided primarily by bad refereeing decisions. In one game that was only a bit of luck for FIFA - Argentina went on to win despite having a perfectly good goal ruled out during normal time. The England - Ecuador game seemed untroubled by controversy (if you don't count the debate about the formation, the skipper, and why John Terry has suddenly gone limp), but then, by all accounts, it was one of the dullest games in the 2006 tournament so far which maybe explains it.

Still, at least one of them produced for me the funniest headline of the tournament so far - Gout caused Kewell to miss match

I thought gout went out of fashion with consumption sometime around the reign of Henry VIII. It turns out it "is a painful form of arthritis which is caused when crystals of uric acid build up in joints, most commonly the big toe."

Well, you learn something new every day. Still makes me laugh though.

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Yes. But the penalty decision in Italy v Australia was against Lucas Neill. Does he really deserve any kind of good fortune?

And as for Puyol. Maybe it was just a delayed reaction from Paris, when Puyol committed foul after foul on Henry and was penalised not at all.

Karma, innit?

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