Death Penalty


It might sound a little old. Germany is about to face Italy in one of the semifinal matches and I’m still here talking about what could’ve happened last Friday.

Well, I wanted to write this a little bit before but I couldn’t so I hope you understand this and don’t take it like I’m still crying (even though, maybe I am!).

Because I want to talk about Lubos MICHEL and the way he influenced the quarter-final encounter between Argentina and Germany.

First of all, I don’t think he was scandalously one-sided. But in my eyes, there have been a number of dubious calls that inclined the game in Germany’s favour. His tendency to call every little episode in favour of the Germans, made our footballers play conditioned.

I might not list them in chronological order. I’ll throw them here as I remember them.

The first one that comes to my mind is probably the most exemplifier of all. It was a foul he (and only he!) saw from Carlos TEVEZ when the Apache simply touched the ball backwards really near Argentina’s box. It was a very dangerous free-kick for Germany and there was no way in the whole galaxy that was near to be a foul.

The most popular of his infamous calls seems to be the penalty claim we all made when Maxi RODRIGUEZ was brought down by LAHM inside the German box. Yes, MAXI exaggerates his fall a little bit, but there was contact. LAHM touches MAXI with his right leg and a foul should have been called. What would have happened if it was the opposite and a German player was brought down inside Argentina’s box? Would Mr. MICHEL signal a foul if that tackle was anywhere but inside the German box? I think so. Oh yes. Just watch the action and pay attention to the complimentary hand in the back by LAHM to MICHEL in a way of saying: “Way to go, ref. This is exactly what you have to do all day!” (Thanks Orlin for the link)

When KLOSE charged with his elevated knee against the anatomy of poor ABBONDANZIERI there was a foul called and there is not much more to add to that. Maybe a yellow card would have been an option. Oh…no…I’m sorry…KLOSE is German. No way he was going to see yellow for that action.

And here’s one that really shocked me. Unfortunately the official transmission didn’t show the replay (I wonder why?). But there was a ball falling inside the German box and Michael BALLACK touched it with his hand. A few Argentina players started asking the ref about it, but all their claims fell in deft ears.

There was also contact between AYALA’s arm and BALLACK’s head inside the Argentina box, but I don’t think it was a foul. AYALA was looking the other way. In any case, BALLACK’s exaggerated fall should have been awarded with a yellow card (if the ref thinks it was not a foul). Or didn’t he cautioned MAXI because he thought he dived?

People, before some of you start to send me e-mails questioning my opinions, I would like to point out that ARGENTINA DID NOT LOSE BECAUSE OF LUBOS MICHEL. Make sure you get that straight. We lost because we were incapable of defending a lead and there is no question about it.

This article was just an exercise to let it all out and to give an echo of all the complaints I’ve been receiving about the refereeing of this match.

Hope next time around, we leave no ground to a bad referee and we can win with all justice. Since it looks like the refs in this World Cup are only making justice to keep the usual suspects happy.

Until the next Group of Death, or until the next time you keep Germany from playing Brazil before the dreamt final, dear FIFA!