Friday, May 11, 2007


The Fake Break - brief update #4

The general reaction to the disgraceful theatrics of the away side in Wednesday night's Sydney FC v. Shanghai Shenhua game has been understandably indignant. Even the Chinese side's Uruguayan coach Osvaldo Gimenez, somewhat disingenuously in my view, has implicitly apologised for their "tactics", claiming that such gamesmanship is customary in Chinese football. Those familiar with the typical style of Uruguayan sides over the years might point to another possible source of inspiration.

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.

I agree Mike. The contrast to the Adelaide game could not have been greater, showing that that there are quality Chinese sides that play entertaining games.
Just thought I'd tell you I had a few fake breaks in our 7-7 debacle today.

Hehehe ;)
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