Found via The Far Post Report, Paul Gardner at the New York Sun has a column up talking about how FIFA is allowing violence on the field to the detriment of skilled play. While I think his fixation on Zidane is a bit much (since he actually DID get ejected), I think there is something to be said about overly physical play on the pitch slipping by. Should FIFA be clamping down more and perhaps allowing the 4th official to flag violent play? A sucker punch to the ribs has no place in soccer. Paul thinks they should clamp down, but like anything with FIFA, isn’t expecting much:
What the sport awaits – critically needs – is firm action from FIFA to make sure referees enforce the rules against rough play. Will 2007 mark a swing of the soccer pendulum back toward a more skill-oriented game? A game in which players like Sheffield’s Morgan are simply not allowed to get away with mayhem at the expense of both the rules and the sport’s star players.
We’ve been waiting a long time for such a move from FIFA, so holding one’s breath is not recommended.