What a mess!!

This tournament has now equalled the record for the highest number of red cards shown in a World Cup….and we’re not even at the quarter-final stage yet. There are many factors at play here, FIFA’s clampdown on various sides of law and the referee’s implementation of these rules reigning chief among them.

Prior to this year’s World Cup, all 57 officials were informed of the primary sins that FIFA would like to see punished in Germany. These included the now-infamous ‘lunge’ tackle, taking too long to leave the field during a substitution and kicking the ball away. Petty, I’m sure you’ll agree.

FIFA’s insistence that such fouls - along with others - are seized upon have forced referees to act in an almost unnatural, robotic manner, which has ultimately led to matches being unnecessarily marred by pointless stoppages, bookings and dismissals.

The officials are under intense scrutiny during every match, and with FIFA president Sepp Blatter seemingly ever-present during these finals, they realise that one vital mistake could well be their last in this tournament. Which forces them to go against their instincts and bring play back every time one of FIFA’s nonsensical laws are infringed.

Referees, of course, are not entirely blameless. England’s Graham Poll will no longer officiate at this World Cup after his almost comical error during the decisive game between Croatia and Australia. Croatia’s Josip Simunic was given a second yellow card in the closing stages of the match but, much to everyone’s amazement, Poll failed to produce the resulting red card and Simunic stayed on the pitch.

I repeat though, they are only acting within the guidelines they have been given by FIFA.

Which brings us on to the fiery encounter the night before between Portugal and Holland. Within the first ten minutes, referee Valentin Ivanov had booked Mark Van Bommel and Khalid Boulahrouz and - although these were both justifiable bookable offences - had set a precedent for the rest of the match that he had to maintain.

At the end of the end of the 90 minutes, both teams had had two players sent off.

Ivanov - a man of vast experience who officiated at the 1994 World Cup in America - will be widely criticised for his handling of the match. However, he was given an almost impossible job by two sets of players who, quite frankly, disgraced themselves. A total of 16 cards were shown in Nuremberg that night and every one of them was vindicated in my opinion.

How can you possibly excuse Boulahrouz’s high tackle on Ronaldo (which later forced the winger off), Costinha’s barbaric handball in the middle of the park or Deco’s senseless two-footed scythe on Johnny Heitinga?

Deco’s foul in particular was atrocious and typical of a match that was boiling with tension and frustration. The Barcelona playmaker was soon off however after falling foul to another of FIFA’s pet hates; time wasting.

With the aggressive nature of the game threatening to get out of hand, Ivanov’s job wasn’t made any easier by the embarrassing disregard for professionalism that was been shown by the players. Arjen Robben threw himself to the ground at almost every opportunity he could get, while his teammates Kuyt and Van Bommel also did their best to dupe the Russian official.

It wouldn’t be simulation if a Portuguese goalkeeper wasn’t involved, and Ricardo didn’t disappoint, rolling around in ‘agony’ in the dying minutes after Kuyt’s effort struck him in the midriff. Figo’s attempted head butt on the afore-mentioned Van Bommel should warrant a further investigation, however the veteran winger will probably escape any action as he was booked for the offence.

So, where do we go from here? This is the third match of these finals where at least three players have been ordered off. During an entire league season, it’s rare to see just one game with so many dismissals; we’ve now had 3 out of the 52 games played so far (1 every 17 matches).

The figure of 21 dismissals will doubtless be surpassed before the final on July 9 creating the one record that nobody wanted to achieve at the outset of the finals. However, FIFA have only themselves to blame, enforcing changes when it wasn’t necessary to do so.

The ‘lunge’ that they are so intent on outlawing is the sort of typically aggressive challenge that occurs every week in professional leagues around the world. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a red card offence? Football wouldn’t be what it is if there wasn’t a competitive edge and spirited hunger that went into into every challenge.

This compeition has seen some memorable matches, some great goals and beautiful football. However, I fear the 2006 World Cup will forever be remembered as the one where the players, the officials and FIFA lost control.

The A/S/L Syndrome!

Did man created this internet so that he can further his sexual fantasies through the cyber space or did he create it to reach arse and love holes of the opposite sex?? I may sound a bit provocative but isn't this the truth? Today, I was chatting on the Yahoo server. I got atleast 7 to 8 messages but as soon as replied their query of 'A/S/L' with '20,male,india', I was messaged back 'bye' or 'I'm male too' and ignored! Can't we people get a bit more rational and leave the useless radical rules. What I can't understand is that why the hell can't two people of same sex speak or interact with each other? I've seen people who are too shy to speak to their opposite sexes but when they are online, they won't even take half an hour to say 'I Love You' to the one they are spaking too. I agree that people tend to fulfill their fantasies through the net and feel uncomfortable being behind the monitor. But the issue is why the hell people of 21st century so fickle minded? Why can't they adapt themselves, mould themselves to the present situations and conditions. I may sound too sexist but the fact is I just wanted to speak out what annoyed me so much today and that's why I am writing out this blog.

Newayz, hope things will imprve. I'd like you to respond to this article of mine so that I know how right or wrong I am. Maybe I'm the one who should change but I would love to improvise myself.

A few errands to look after

Uhhh....I just realised, I need to get quite a few things done pretty soon. Gotta check out, from the shop, the condition in which my PC is, then need to finish up the holiday homework for Arushi (that's ma gf's sis), need to study for my upcoming papers, get my T-Shirt back from VJ, gotta download FIFA 06....and yes, gotta spend some quality time with mom n grandma before I leave. I don't thnk I'm really running behind schedule but I guess I must start hurrying up now. N then moreover, wanna meet up Shveta didi as well before she leaves for the States!

Result Blues!

Oh boy, the results were out yesterday and I still don't have a clue about it! I wish I was in college now. Although I did call up Samik and asked him to inform me how I fared, he's taking ages to do that! I just hope there is no more mishap this time round. Pray...pray for me, guys!!

An Awesome Week!

Wow, what a week it's been! 7th of June, 2006 to 14th of June, 2006...one of the best weeks I've ever had!! Wondering what exactly has gotten into me? Actually Sakshi, my girlfriend, had been in town for the afore mentioned period. Had been out with her for at least 12 hrs, everyday. We went to Juhu Beach, Shopping, watched a lot of movies (thank the Devil that they switch off the lights during movies, hehe), went for a night-out, walked on the beach hand in hand...basically did all that I'd wished to do with her, in my last post! it was a whirlwind of a time, but one of the best I've ever spent, must say.

Here are a few pics and videos from her trip -
(I've reduced the quality of the videos so that they can be downloaded faster)

That's my girlfriend, Sakshi

Megha, Sakshi, Arushi, Mayank n Me (from right, clockwise)

That's Me n Sakshi. I knw, I'm lookin too tired in this pic!

Me n Aru, after makin a sandcastle
Yup, that's the couple in question

So, how do we look together?

I shot this video right in front of the Pizza Hut in InOrbit Mall, Malad. Sakshi n her cousins were tryin to decide wich Pizza to devour before catchin the movie, Sacred Evil

This video was shot by sakshi herself, in Pizza Hut, while we were waiting for our order. She was basically interviewing us all about our last few days' stay in Mumbai!

Now, this is interesting. This was basically a game show hosted by MTV for one of its programs in InOrbit Mall. The theme was basically love and was concerned abt the people who are in love. I was supposed to jump on a trampelin and get a moon hung high up the air for a cash prize of whopping 2.5 grands and also a lot of gift vouchers

Well, so now you know why I've been away from the blogging scene all this while? Firstly, I had my end semesters from the 21st to 26th of May. So, had to retract to a shell for some time, owing to preparations. And then came to Mumbai on the 5th of June, to get busy all day. Now, I really need to catch up with a lot of friends and studies as well. Anyways, even amidst all that, I'll be tryin my best to keep this page updated!

Au Revoir!!