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Friday, July 07, 2006

More from FIFA...

The blog will be back in full swing with all its social bent as soon as this distraction that is the World Cup is over.

But on the topic of the World Cup, I'm sure that all Trinidadians & Tobagonians will remember June 15th, 2006, the day that the country's national football team was robbed again by unfair play. It will join November 1989 and December 1973 as a sad day in our sporting annals.

We were afforded some relief when several publications reported that the referee for the Trinidad & Tobago versus England match, Japan's Toru Kamikawa, may have been sanctioned permamently. (See Newsday article of June 17th, 2006).

As it turns out, not only has the referee not been sanctioned. After all the huff and guff and old talk, he's been given responsibility for the Third Place playoff match between Germany and Portugal to be held on Saturday July 8th.

I guess though that this should come as no surprise. Our own CONCACAF President and TTFF special advisor has been involved in various affairs and come out clean, as it were. He's gone from avoiding public lynching as a result of ticket over-sales in 1989, to his family being major beneficiaries of lucrative contracts in the Under-17 World Cup held here in Trinidad & Tobago in 2001, to scrutiny and possible sanction, and thence exoneration for Simpaul's Travel Agency's "exclusive ticket distribution" for Germany 2006. Not only did he get off, but the TTFF was awarded with more tickets than the original allocation.

But then not everybody seems to meet FIFA's mysterious reprieve criteria. Take Botswanan FIFA executive official who was kicked out of Germany for touting. He sold 12 tickets for the Trinidad & Tobago vs. England game for three times their face value, promising more for Englands' remaining games. More recently, German midfielder Torsten Frings was suspended for a game when video footage showed that he threw a punch at Argentine Julio Cruz after the Germany vs Argentina quarter final match. And that's funny, because many video angles and still photography showed Peter Crouch using Brent Sancho's hair as a crutch to score England's first goal against Trinidad & Tobago, and other than Brent's reported disappointment, the most that was heard out of FIFA was that nothing could be done about it.

Imagine trying to explain all that in the context of fairplay to a five-year old.

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