Archive for category FIFA

Ban of Iranian Girl’s Soccer Team Creates a Peculiar Problem

Posted by Noel on Monday, 5 April, 2010

According to the Associate Press, Iran’s girls’ soccer team was thrown out of the Youth Olympics because FIFA rules prevent players from wearing an Islamic headscarf.

Soccer in Hijab

Iranian soccer player wears a hijab scarf

The hijab scarf — worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code — was not allowed under FIFA rules relating to on-field equipment, the Asian Football Confederation said. Despite the urging of Iran’s national Olympic committee for the ban to be reviewed by the International Olympic Committee, the Iranian under 18 girls soccer squad will not be participating in the coming youth Olympics this August.

In response to criticism regarding the decision, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, referenced soccer’s international rulebook which contains a section on player equipment, stating that “basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.”

Canadian Player Dons a Hijab Scarf

This is a peculiar problem for FIFA and soccer worldwide. The intent of the law was clearly to avoid religious persecution and problem by removing one potential source. Insisting that all teams wear uniforms that do not express religious or political opinions or agendas of any kind would normally help in that regard, but in this case the tolerance policy proves to be remarkably intolerant.

The best team from the Asian Football conference will not be playing in the tournament and it will be so because of a law that forces one side or the other to bend. FIFA has shown that they will not, and the Iranian Football Federation (F.F.I.R.I) certainly will not either. All in all, the whole thing is unfortunate as a team of hopeful young athletes who earned a spot in the Olympics will sit at home.

Iran was to have taken part in a six-nation tournament for girls at the inaugural competition in Singapore on Aug. 12-25. About 3,600 athletes, ages 14 to 18, will compete in 26 sports.

Thailand will now represent Asia in Iran’s stead against Turkey, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile and Papua New Guinea.

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Will Soccer Ever See Instant Replay?

Posted by Noel on Saturday, 12 December, 2009
by stella_gonzales2003
by stella_gonzales2003

Instant replay has become a hot topic of conversation lately thanks to a controversial soccer goal scored by France’s William Gallas after Thierry Henry had an obvious handball that set it up. Because of that goal, France is going to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Ireland has been eliminated. Apart from an unofficial, nationwide ban on French wine (not too difficult for the locals provided that the whiskey tap keeps pouring), this controversy does beg the question, should FIFA take a look at Instant replay?

Thierry Henry Handball Video

The replay naysayers in soccer are the same as the naysayers in Baseball, they talk of the game’s history and not wanting to slow the sport down for five minutes at a time with reviews (as seen in American Football). But the proponents of the idea point out that this is not medieval football, it’s the twenty-first century and we have the technology to correct these mistakes.

Diego Maradona Hand of God Video

It is an interesting question though and worthy of review, not just for the regular soccer powerhouses like England who were defeated by the Maradona “hand of god” goal, but for the fans of US Soccer as well who were robbed of an opportunity to see a Semi-Final berth in World Cup 2002 when a German defender used his hand to save a goal.

US – Germany World Cup 2002 Quarterfinal Handball Video (Handball Footage at 2:11)

For now, FIFA is resisting the idea but don;t forget that the big three sports leagues in the United States, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, also initially resisted the idea. Will it happen? Who knows, should it happen? Well, there are some people in Ireland who certainly think so.

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World Cup Expulsion Threat Proves Effective

Posted by Noel on Tuesday, 1 December, 2009
Brazil-Chile by andreasnilsson1976

by andreasnilsson1976

The Chilean National team avoided a possible expulsion from the World Cup yesterday, when one of the country’s club teams, the Rangers, dropped a court case contesting its disputed demotion to the second division of the national soccer league.

The dispute was over the teams relegation from the nation’s first division to its second division. Apparently the Rangers fielded six foreign players even though the league has a rule which limits teams to playing five. As the Rangers were winners of that game, the league removed three points from their season total, resulting in relegation.

Now, while it seems clear that the national league did the correct thing here as, innocent mistake or not, the Rangers violated a league rule, why did FIFA threaten to ruin the football hopes of an entire country over an internal matter? Did the national league asked for FIFA’s help? Don’t get me wrong, the court case is truly ridiculous, but it seems to me that kicking the National team out of the World Cup because a local club team is bickering over a case they can’t win, is overkill and frankly, also a bit ridiculous.

But hey, I guess it worked… of course it worked.