Dodge Ball

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There have been some very dodgy calls at the World Cup in Rio – not least in the games where Fred did a ‘Chris Ashton’ to claim a penalty, an assistant ref disallowed two perfectly good Mexico goals and Bosnia were on the wrong side of a couple of bad decisions in the match against Nigeria.

But it’s okay because Sepp Blatter has the answer – “Why don’t we give team managers the possibility of two challenges for refereeing during the match?” Blatter told delegates at the FIFA Conference in Sao Paolo. “If the manager disagrees with a decision, why should he not ask for an immediate TV review?” I imagine he wouldn’t want to extend this to challenges on where the next WC’s will be held or FIFA expenses (see yesterday’s Sunday Times).

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In any case reviews would require the managers to be watching the game – in virtually every after match interview the manager (usually of the losing side) claims not to have seen any controversial incidents! I can only imagine they are always too busy texting or trying to unwrap the cellophane on their Wrigley packet to bother with what’s happening on the park.

Technology is widely used in rugby – the ref has access to a TMO and replay on the big screen – and there hasn’t been too much controversy about that. That is, of course, as long as you don’t count the hysteria that goes on regarding reviews in just about every match that’s played anywhere on the planet! The biggest problem is the ‘forward’ pass – where some plonker ‘proved’ that it’s okay for the ball to be chucked to a bloke in front of you provided you are simultaneously pointing at your full back or the hot dog stand behind the goal posts.

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This is the least convincing argument since Hitler claimed he was just popping off for a few days break at a holiday chalet in Poland! We can all have a giggle at some of the laughable decisions in Rio – and here are a few crackers from rugby – presumably before the TMO was introduced. You can’t help feeling that for all its faults maybe the review system isn’t so bad after all.

It’s not often that the name ‘Shute’ is mentioned as number one – but as you’ll see –  it just had to be in a big f*****g blunder didn’t it!

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