Bafana bafana and The Vuvuzelas

I have refrained from writing about the FIFA world Cup but it is too attractive to be ignored. It is a real pity that Soouth Africa as the host was booted out in the first round and only Ghana from the great African continent made it to the last 16. The African countries play attractive football but their defence and fiinishing are atrocious. Apart from the noise of the vuvuzelas, which sounds like “langau” over my much maligned old CRT TV – I cannot imagine how deafening the sound would be in real life – this edition of the world cup did not produce many surprises. I am somewhat pleased that both Japan and South Korea made it to the next round, especially Japan. I cannot help but reminisced on the days when Kamamoto was their greatest striker and Malaysia would regularly beat them along with South Korea. But when I saw them playing in this year’s edition of the world cup, it is evident that they have improved by leaps and bounds over the years and we have either stagnated or backpedalled into obscurity. Much have been said about the state of our football and not being an expert would not add any more useful contributions to the debate, so I’ll refrain myself from further comments.
One article in the Sun caught my intention regarding the refereeing standards of this years edition. Judging by the number of odd red cards being dished out, I tend to agree to the author of the article who said that the referees were not made accountable to the mistakes in the decision that they made. Some of the decisions really make or break a team’s fortunes. Kaka’s sending off was surely unjustified, just like Harry Kewell’s handball was purely unintentional. I strongly agree that football should adopt rugby’s ways of using technology to help referees made a more truthful decision. In rugby, a team can request video review of an important decision like awarding a try. In rugby, a panel of experts would immidiately review a video replay of a disputed try taken from various angles, upon request, and quickly make a decision which swiftly conveyed to the ref via his earpiece. There is so much at stake in football these days, it is simply unrealistic to let it rest on the whistle of one man, even with his two touch judges sometimes are not much of a help to provide a correct decision.
So far we have seen how the South American and Asian countries showed their football mettle. The perennial bridesmaid like Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay proved to be formidable this time. even Mexico and USA are doing well. The hype over european teams are not justified thus far especially the jaded teams of Italy and France. Despite early warnings signs during qualification and pre world cup warm up matches, we secrectly still harboured hopes that France and Italy would show their true prowess when the crunch came. After all they have the experience and more than ample talent. So, it is unimaginable with a team laden with talent like Anelka, Riberry, Evra, Gallas, Sagna, Glichy, or even Henry and Cisse struggled to string decent passes and struggled to face a team like Mexico. France should have replaced Domenech two years ago. Maybe they could learn a thing or two from unfashionable team like New Zealand, Slovakia and Chile on how to build team spirits. Even Spain has not been able to reproduce the form that won them the European Championship.
Despite the overwhelming power and current scintillating form of Argentina, I am still having this fervent hope that Germany would somewhat produce her typical Aryanic spirits to take them to the final. Podolski and Schwansteiger must produce the kind of form that they normally displayed when they play for German.

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