Monday, April 16, 2012

Good referee-ing and the bad

Quiet week-end with 2 winning selections and 1 void. The wins of the leaders of La Liga and EPL ensure the predictable statu-quo. Sunderland could only muster a goal-less draw against Wolves.

The result of the Tottenham vs Chelsea FA semi-final match was far of an interest, except that Martin Atkinson decided it to be otherwise with the ghost goal he allowed for Chelsea. I don't usually go bash into referees, because they are human, but this is a clear case where the referee needs to be held accountable and punished for such a mistake. Why allow a goal which he hasn't seen, or he has seen through troubled vision? The likes of Tevez, Balotelli and Busquets theatrics might be bad for the sport, but irrational decisions like Atkinson's make a mockery of the game. Spurs fans are rightly livid; the referee can express their sorries post-match, but they impacted on the result Yes, the game needs technological help, yes Blatter is the ultimate responsible for this kind of failure, and yes, Martin Atkinson should be banned from representing England to the next European Championships. This was not a mistake of human nature, as many of them are often categorized. And his resume is full of such errors this season. If vision is the excuse, then that says it all.

There were 2 penalties that made the headlines over the week-end; first, the Ashley Young theatrical tumbling for Man Utd's penalty. He clearly accentuated the fall, but he was clearly tackled, so it was a penalty. It's just that he has just earned himself the title of diver and will be scrutinized more so than referees from now on. Second, was Barcelona's penalty against Levante. In my books, that's a good decision as well as the Levante defender did himself no favours in doing a pushing act with both hands during the tussle. The contact might have been slight but the referee will not have missed the defender's body language.

The excitement really came from horse racing; Dabirsim, the champions 2-year old from last year, blotted his resume by losing for the first time, albeit by a nose on his seasonal debut. It is unclear what to make of this defeat; he still looks a horse that can contend for major honors, maybe he won't be as dominating as last year. It will be interesting to see if it is lack of true stamina that will impede him in the Classic races.

States-bound, there were some good preps for the Kentucky Derby, and Bodemeister is the primary name to remember. He thrashed a field containing the not-so-bad Secret Circle by over 9 lengths. Clearly, the son of Empire Maker will be a leading fancy for the big race in May.


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