Posts Tagged ‘football’

Playing soccer (football) with head scarves can cause choking, so FIFA disqualifies Iran’s women

June 14, 2011

Soccer, aka futbol, aka futebol, aka football, is also known as the beautiful game. It’s the closest thing there is to a universal sport, played in over 200 countries. It’s championship game, the World Cup final, player every four years, draws a television audience of over one billion, according to FIFA, the international governing body.

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) rules soccer internationally. And corruptly: its board is rife with bribery, which is apparently why it awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, where summer temperatures reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

And it rules arbitrarily, inconsistently, and ugly, as when last week it disqualified the Iran women’s team for wearing head scarves to their match with Jordan. Why? Because head scarves were dangerous. Don’t you know, they’re a choking hazard. As a result Iran won’t have a chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.

The issue has come up before, and FIFA reversed an earlier ruling against head scarves (more…)

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PAC-10 Football Ethics: Cal’s Jeff Tedford teaches cheating: his Cal Bears almost beat the Oregon Ducks

November 17, 2010

 

Cal’s football coaching staff has found a way to slow down the lightning speed of the Oregon Ducks: cheat. The Ducks are undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation, but they almost stumbled Saturday against the Cal Bears, holding on to win, 15-13. Cal’s secret weapon? Faking injuries to stop the game and give Cal players time to catch their breath and get ready for the Ducks’ next play.


Several times during the game Oregon’s offense was stopped as a Cal player went down with an apparent non-contact injury, then quickly returned to the game. The most egregious example was captured on YouTube. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford denied cheating, telling ESPN,


“People get hurt during games and in fast-tempo stuff, there’s cramps. That’s not the deal. I know that anytime anybody goes down against Oregon, they always think that’s the case. But it’s not the case.


However, The Oregonian reports that “a source within the Bears football program confirmed to The Oregonian that this [faking injuries] indeed was “a big part” of the defensive game plan (more…)

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

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USC’s Lane Kiffin is an ethical hero for releasing Seantrel Henderson

July 8, 2010

USC and its new football coach, Lane Kiffin, deserve big-time credit for ethical behavior. The athletic department, headed by ex-Trojan great Mike Garrett, has for months been reeling from scandal involving former Trojan stars Reggie Bush and O. J. Mayo, and from the sudden departure of coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll’s replacement, Lane Kiffin, soon looked like a miracle worker, assembling a group of high school seniors that ranked among the top recruiting classes in the nation, headed by 6’8, 337 pound Seantrel Henderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, everybody’s choice as high school player of the year. Sports Illustrated described Henderson as “probably the most polished lineman of the past decade.” He plays left tackle, the position glorified by The Blind Side.

Henderson has now decided he doesn’t want to go to USC. If he transfers to another school, having signed a formal commitment to USC, NCAA rules require him to sit out for a year before becoming eligible to play. Unless the Trojans release him from his commitment. Which is what Kiffin just did.

Here’s a coach putting the good of the player first. Good news for a fan of both ethics and the Trojans.

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World Cup: Uruguay defeats Ghana on Suarez hand ball: cheating or smart soccer?

July 5, 2010

The World Cup has offered a lot of exciting soccer plus some serious controversy. The most controversial incident came in the quarter-final match between Uruguay and Ghana, in the 120th minute (that is, the last minute of overtime).

Ghana had been awarded a free kick, and the Ghana player unleashed a strike toward the net. The Uruguayan goal keeper leaped and missed the ball. It was the game-winning goal, until…Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez stretched his hands up and slapped the ball away.

Suarez’s action violated Law 12 of soccer’s official rules:

A player is sent off if he …denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

So Suarez was sent off (i.e., kicked out of the game) and Ghana was awarded a penalty kick—an unchallenged kick from twelve yards from the goal. Penalty kicks are converted to goals about three quarters of the time, but Ghana’s star striker, Asamoah Gyan, hit the crossbar with his kick. The game then proceeded to a shootout (alternating penalty kicks by either side), which Uruguay went on to win, 4-2. Ghana was eliminated from the World Cup, while Uruguay goes on to play the Netherlands in Tuesday’s semi-final match, but without Suarez, who was suspended for one game.

Did Suarez cheat? Not according to his coach (more…)

FIFA response to referee errors: cover up the evidence

June 29, 2010

When you make a mistake the ethical thing to do is to correct it as best you can and take action to prevent a recurrence. Right? Not if you’re the head of FIFA, the world’s soccer federation (football everywhere but in the USA) running the world’s biggest—by far—sporting event.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa has been beset by ugly and blatant refereeing errors that cost the USA team a win against Slovenia, and disadvantaged England and Mexico in their losses to Germany and Argentina.

The most egregious error was the referee disallowing a clear England goal when Frank Lampard’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced a good yard beyond the goal. Instead of tying Germany, 2-2, a disappointed England team went on to lose, 3-1. Just three hours later, another referee gave Argentina a go-ahead goal on a ball hit by a clearly offside Carlos Tevez (see photo).

When the Tevez play was replayed on the stadium’s giant TV screen, the fans erupted and the Mexican players protested to the referee. But the referee held his indefensible ground.

FIFA’s response? “FIFA will not make any comments on decisions of referees on the field of play.” But they did admit one mistake: close plays are not to be shown on stadium TV screens anymore, because it incites fans and leads to on-field arguments. Yes, the truth often does that.

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