For years the game of football has been embroiled in countless criticisms of poor officiating, match fixing, unsavoury scandals relating to tournament hosting rights and other controversial issues bordering on corruption.
Which also brings us to the next question - is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) doing enough to protect the integrity of the game? Judging by recent events, my thoughts sway to the negative affirmations.
Quite recently, there was an issue of goal line technology, which has been successfully integrated into other sports but was unceremoniously rejected by FIFA at the 2012 World Cup due to technical reasons.
FIFA have constantly erred on the side of caution by refusing to admit to their mistakes whenever controversial issues were raised, thereby buttressing the arguments in some quarters that there are few in the glass house who benefit from the controversies in the games.
Now would a very sane fan of Chelsea/Liverpool/Arsenal support a team that has trained very hard for a competition, only to have their hopes of winning the trophy dashed either by poor officiating or by some biased rules of the game? Are the match officials not susceptible to corruption? What are the measures (if any) to ensure that the best team wins?
These are some pertinent questions begging for answers. More so, considering the effects the game has had the world over, it is true to say that football as an instrument of peace, has done fairly well to eradicate war and other social vices.
I strongly believe we should start promoting rigorously the concept of fair-play. There should also be a total overhaul of the rules of the game. Contentious issues must be addressed in fairness to all aggrieved parties involved, not minding the negative backlash that goes with change.
Corrupt match officials must be prosecuted to the fullest of the law. That being said, there must be some checks and balances with regards to how the rules of the game can be well interpreted.
We all want to see a more competitive game of football played at the highest level of transparency and fairness.
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