The rivalry between football and rugby has been passed down through generations, and is arguably at its biggest today as both sports have become sustainable jobs with celebrity lifestyles.
However it's rugby that has propelled itself into the modern era of sport with new innovations like the television match official (TMO) and small additions like referee cameras and microphones, leaving Football and FIFA behind.
Obviously it's crazy to compare what constitutes as a bad decision in both sports, as they have completely different rules and play styles, but it’s hard to ignore how many errors are made by football referees and how little room there is for error in the use of TMO.
Throughout last season's Premier League, Liverpool were under scrutiny concerning a number of questionable penalty calls, especially with the infamous Luis Suarez but, almost every time, the right call could have been made with a video replay.
There have even been cases where a wrong call has obviously been made and can't be taken back, for example Carlos Tevez’s blatant offside goal in the 2012 World Cup. In Rugby, however, calls have been reversed or changed for the right reasons - most recently Stuart Hogg’s switch from a yellow to a red card during the Six Nations match vs. Wales.
One of the most depressing parts of being a football fan in England is our national team's consistently disappointing performances in major tournaments. And one of the reasons for this is the Premier League’s low national bias, and poor youth systems.
2013/14 Premier League champions Manchester City’s average starting eleven last season had only one consistent English starter – goalkeeper Joe Hart, whereas Aviva Premiership champions Northampton Saints had a national bias of 67% in their average starting 15, and it really shows in the national team.
Every major Rugby League’s top clubs have a huge national bias with the exception of RCT Toulonnais, but they still have seven French internationals. The yearly Six Nations tournament also helps get exposure and preparation for the home nation sides, along with yearly autumn internationals to pit the northern hemisphere against the south.
If you look at the two sports as forms of entertainment, both have their thrills and benefits. Fans crave the big hits and beautiful team tries of rugby, and the 30 yard screamers and dreaded penalties of Football, but they both have their downsides in sloppy games of rugby and cold wet and boring 0-0 draws in football.
As a fan of both, I can see why they are so popular, and their attraction, but it’s the forward thinking, adaptability and reliability of Rugby that draws me to the full contact sport, and the inconsistent refereeing, corruption, and reluctance to change in football that puts me off the sport.
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