Friday, May 11, 2007
The Fake Break - brief update #4
Of course, the pathetically weak refereeing that has often accompanied such theatrics during the first year of our Asian adventure does not bode well for the Asian Cup in July. But there was no need, I feel, for Lucas Neill to state that Australia too will resort to this sort of unsportsmanlike behaviour at the Asian Cup.
As well as being against the spirit of the game, it would surely be futile, since an Asian referee's reaction to a prone Australian - one of those big, beefy lads of the stereotype - is unlikely to be the same as his reaction to a writhing midfield artiste from the Gulf.
On the broader issue of time-wasting and feigning injury, the only practical solution would be to have a mandated period of time for a player going off for "treatment" - or even a player who has gone down and caused a break in play - to stay off the field (or be substituted). This, of course, would cause some small injustices in the case of genuine injuries (and an exception would have to be made in cases of bleeding), but would it be worth it, in terms of combating the infuriating time-wasting so common in modern professional football? I think so.