Thursday, July 20, 2006

FIFA, you son of a terrorist whore!

You remember that saying about how "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me," right? Because apparently FIFA doesn't.

They've handed Marco Materazzi a two-match suspension for his part in the incident that led to Zinedine Zidane getting sent off in the World Cup final. Zidane, meanwhile, has been given a three-match suspension, which doesn't mean much, seeing as how he's retired from football. They've also both been fined -- 7500 Swiss francs for Zidane and 5000 Swiss francs for Materazzi.

So what FIFA is saying is that calling somebody names is almost as bad -- two-thirds as bad, to be exact -- as headbutting them.

Really.

What kind of precendent are they setting here? I'm just waiting for the next England-Portugal game, so that Wayne Rooney can punch Cristiano Ronaldo in the face and then excuse himself by saying "But ref, he called me a poo-poo head!"

Trash-talking has always been part of the game. Yeah, sure, it would probably be better if it you could get rid of that. But where do you draw the line? And how do you enforce something that's going to always come down to one player's word against another's?

FIFA and the various national FAs have been attempting to stamp out racist remarks -- either on the pitch or in the stands -- and that's great. In fact, they should be coming down even harder on it. But both Zidane and Materazzi have stated that there wasn't anything racist in what Materazzi said. So what did he do that was worth a two-match ban? Because it seems to me that FIFA is punishing him simply because he had the temerity to insult the great Zizou -- and mess up their precious World Cup in the process.

1 comment:

Martha said...

I'm so with you -- Zidane's action and the punishment are both complete bullshit. There's no way ZZ hasn't hear worse over the course of his 700 year career; he lost his temper, pure and simple. FIFA needs to get over it even more than he does.