June 29, 2010
FIFA Announces Solution to Referee Controversies
FIFA has taken a lot of heat for the number of obvious, dramatic and consequential errors made by referees during the 2010 World Cup, the latest being two embarrassing mistakes during Sunday's Round of 16 matches, one that resulted in a goal that shouldn't have been allowed and another which missed a goal being scored.
The international sporting press, players and coaches, and even politicians are calling for video review, additional on-field officials, or both, to ensure the integrity of match play. FIFA has resisted efforts to improve officiating, arguing that a certain amount of ambiguity adds to the appeal of the game as well as increasing fan interest. Usually FIFA refuses to even address or acknowledge the issue, but the severity of the mistakes in this tournament has forced a response.
FIFA has decided that, for the rest of the tournament, when the ball approaches within 20 meters of the net the video feed will be replaced by soap opera programming from the nation on the attack. Radio announcers will be required to stop calling the play and instead break out into native folk song. Fans at the match who do not turn their heads from the pitch will be escorted out of the stadium.
"This 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil' approach is the only reasonable remedy," according to a FIFA spokesman who refused to be identified for fear of reprisals. "It is a human game, with humans making mistakes, and it would be the gravest mistake of all to try to change this fact."
"The play's the thing. Goals are not important, which is a good thing because they don't happen anyway. The only result people care about at the end of the match is that FIFA is in control. If people cannot accept this authority then they will lose their privilege of watching a FIFA event."
"Soccer is a reflection of life. In medicine, do you think the quality of care has improved as a result of technology or an effort to correct diagnostic errors? No. In law enforcement, do you believe that DNA testing or fingerprint technology has made it more likely the right people will be convicted of crimes? Did it make a difference that Edison kept trying to get it right? Of course not. Do you honestly believe the scientific method has done anything to improve the lot of humanity? It's absurd. Why should soccer be any different?"
The spokesman, who was captured crossing the moat on his way back into FIFA headquarters near Johannesburg, went on to say that FIFA recognizes that shortcomings of on-field personnel also need to be addressed. Referees who receive a failing grade for their performance in a match will be required to watch portions of Italy's and France's first round-matches while translating articles into their native language from the United States press about how stupid soccer is. While playing a vuvuzela.
"Honestly, FIFA has done everything it can be expected to do. For decades we have asked the players, coaches and fans to make the sacrifices required in order for FIFA to be able to continue presenting the most compromised football in the world. Unfortunately, the public has become resentful rather than grateful," the spokesman continued.
"How can it be The Beautiful Game, without beautiful errors. People say they want justice. Well we at FIFA ask who can provide justice? Can the players? The fans? No. Can a camera? Only God can provide justice, God and FIFA, and we are both of the opinion that video replay will not lead to justice."
An offer to return the FIFA spokesman safely in return for some kind of comment, anything at all, from FIFA President Sepp Blatter was ignored by the organization.
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