Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Fake Break - update
Much of this can be put down to the Bahraini tactics in the second half, which seemed to be to force as many stoppages as possible, so as to put the Australian team off their rhythm.
Thanks to a sympathetic (some might say hopelessly weak) referee, they succeeded.
The feigned agony from many of the Bahrain players was nothing short of disgraceful, and the booing from the spectators – who had, no doubt, conveniently forgotten the Jade North “incident” against Kuwait – was thoroughly justified.
We come back, unfortunately, to Australia’s reputation. Our supposed physicality undoubtedly worries many of the Asian sides, but the corollary is that Asian referees may be more inclined to believe in a foul by an Australian than a foul against an Australian. Markus Merk has set a bad precedent in this regard.
But back to the matter of the fake breaks.
Time-wasting is, of course, a cautionable offence. With a more robust official in charge, those Bahrainis who stayed on the ground just long enough for the stretcher to arrive before undergoing a miraculous recovery might have gotten a yellow card for their troubles.
And as for the players who have left the field, it might be worth considering a rule whereby the player in question is obliged to stay off the field for at least as long as the stoppage lasted. Blood injuries would obviously be the exception here.
In the course of their Asian adventure, the Socceroos will have to deal with unfamiliar environments, partisan crowds and the privations of travel. But they should not have to deal with blatant time-wasting, and the cynical abuse of their reputation, into the bargain.
Plus there seemed to be a lot of free kicks in the Bahrain box and all went to Bahrain (oh except to the guy who thought he'd take the ball out of Swart's hands).
If Marco hadn't scored I'd have been looking for a Red Card and a Penalty for the guy who took out Timmy 'shoot' Cahill by the neck.
4 Nov against Ghana at Wembly will be a challenge. As Marco said after the game, a poor team brought out the worst in the socceroos.
We could always play the racism card, its the fashion you know.