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World Cup blunders on; Video evidence imperative so that justice can be seen to be done
[1 Edition]
The Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Author: Spiers, Graham||||||in Seoul
Date: Jun 24, 2002
Start Page: 1
Abstract (Document Summary)

In Italy, the most pained nation of all, the national broadcaster, RAI, is reported to be considering sueing FIFA over lost revenues which are the result of the Azzurri's early, and by FIFA's own rules, unfair ejection from the tournament. Italy endured a gruesome toll of five legitimate goals being disallowed by unseeing referees or linesman, a quality of officiating which was repeated on Saturday in Gwangju, where Spain, in losing to Korea on penalties, were unfathomably denied two good goals. From Italy, to Spain, to the USA and on, this World Cup has turned into a circus of injustice on the field.

Ironically, the referee for the Korea-Spain match, Gamal Ghandour of Egypt, in many ways was astute and libertarian in allowing the game to flow. Yet the Spaniards were still robbed. Of the three disallowed occasions when they had the ball in Korea's net, at least two of them, a header from Fernando Morientes and an own goal by Kim Tae-young from Baraja's free-kick, were confirmed by TV to be perfectly legitimate. The match was further embarrassed, and the Spaniards further angered, by evidence of both linesmen, Uganda's Ali Tomusange and Trinidad's Michael Ragoonath, repeatedly botching judgments which only incriminated poor Ghandour in the middle.

The toll of these refereeing mistakes is now tainting this World Cup. When, around two weeks ago, decisions by the English referee, Graham Poll, distorted the outcome of the group match between Italy and Croatia, and then when Korea's Kim Young-joo awarded his absurd penalty to Brazil which helped filch their victory against Turkey, some us put this down to life's random ill-luck. Today, though, you cannot now dispatch this scourge to the department of chance. While we are only talking sport here, and no bullets or bloodshed are involved, you still have to say that the game is suffering from repeated miscarriages of justice.

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