Crawl Across the Ocean

Saturday, June 17, 2006

World Cup Note

In honour of Italy's performance against the United States which provided a vivid reminder of why, of the 207 countries in FIFA, I would cheer for 206 of them (even England!) against the Italians, here is some behind the scenes footage of an Italian national team training video.

Alas, the footage is cutoff before it gets to the part where you cynically elbow your opponent between the eyes and draw blood (and then argue the call when you are sent off).

Via Crooked Timber

The refereeing has been quite good at the World Cup but the U.S.-Italy game (a 1-1 draw) was an exception. The Americans only got their first red because the referee wanted to even up the sides. I've probably seen at least 20 sliding challenges as bad or worse than the one that saw Mastroeni sent off and there's been nobody else given a straight red card for those. Meanwhile the American defender Pope was sent off for two yellows: the second one was justified but the first happened when the Italian forward grabbed his shirt and pulled him down on top of him. The referee fell for that ploy a few times in the match. Even the Italian goal seemed to me like it was setup by a dive which earned the free kick .

Credit to the Americans for hanging on for a draw under the circumstances.

On a more postive note, how about that perofmrance by Ghana against the Czech Republic? Very impressive. Should be a good final two matches in this group when Italy play the Czech Republic and Ghana play the U.S.


  • They're known for the diving. Nonetheless, they're an impressive team to watch, and you've got to admire Gianluigi Buffon's (the Italian goalie) incredible success rate against penalty kicks.

    By Blogger lecentre, at 10:03 AM  

  • Would it be too Draconian to ask that anyone that makes the yellow card gesture to the ref receives one?

    By Blogger Spearin, at 1:39 PM  

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