It always saddens me to see people holding a sport back, and the big organisations, UEFA but especially FIFA, which always seem like huge, corrupt, overly indulgent governing bodies too concerned with money than the actual benefit of the game, be it Sepp Blatter in charge or Michel Platini, are trying to keep it from going forward.
The UEFA president, who according to all sources and rumors, will be the stronger person in the soccer world rather sooner than later, set as Blatter’s replacement, when the day comes, is against Video technology. Why? Well, for Platini, it’ll rob the game of its popularity. Thinking that people like soccer for the referee mistakes and the endless debate of what if scenarios is delusional. It’s being blind, arrogant and condescending.
Video is not for football. Human adjudication is better. Football became popular thanks to its human values. If that becomes a commercial value, it will lose all its popularity. Football has also based its popularity on injustices. You can remember them and talk about them in the bars. You can talk about 1982, France-Germany, it was an injustice like the hand of Maradona or that of Henry. The notoriety also comes from negative things in football.
Ask England and Frank Lampard what they feel about how great it is to them for people talking in bars about how far his shot crossed the line. Why put Maradona on a pedestal for cheating, instead of scorning him for his shameful act? He is a living legend, but that moment in Mexico was a disgrace, as it came along with one of the greatest goals ever. Ask people in Ireland what they feel about Thierry Henry, who never in his life faced such a backlash after aiding his scoring effort with a clear handball.
Fans want justice, and I’m willing to sacrifice a potential five more minutes a match, when needed, to get that justice. Goal line technology, a referee assisting from the TV booth in certain cases. There are all good, welcome changes. Soccer shouldn’t stay behind because the rich cronies sitting in their ivory tower don’t care about the game itself.
I’m actually surprised by Platini. I don’t like his decisions, but I thought his mind is about letting smaller team have their go as well. That’s why he changed the format of the Champions League qualifiers. It did hurt the quality of the group stage, but it does give smaller clubs from smaller leagues a chance to reach a knockout stage once in a while.
I hate his idea of a 24 team Euro, something we will see from 2016. Again, it will hurt the tournament in terms of its quality. But these decision made me think that Platini is against exclusivity and open for changes. His interview, and opinion against modernizing the most popular sport in the world, changed my mind completely.