In response to an error by an official during Mexico’s 3-1 loss to Argentina on Sunday, FIFA announced Monday that it is banning instant replay on giant World Cup stadium video screens.
After Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium screens showed Argentina striker Carlos Tevez to be offsides while scoring a goal against Mexico yesterday, angry Mexico players confronted referee Roberto Rosetti about the non-call. Rosetti let the mistake stand and Argentina went on to win 3-1.
FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said Monday that replaying the incident was “a clear mistake.”
“This will be corrected and we will have a closer look into that. We will work on this and be a bit more, I would say, tight on this for the games to be played.”
South Africa’s World Cup organizing committee spokesman Jermaine Craig said, “The goal was awarded and it happened relatively quickly. In retrospect, maybe it shouldn’t have been shown. It was shown and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that.”
FIFA’s move is surprising only in that it came this late. Poor officiating has been the main storyline of the tournament since its outset, so you would’ve thought FIFA would’ve tried to cover up the controversy sooner.
So did World Cup officials have a role in the censorship?
Considering that officials from Sunday’s Mexico-Argentina game have inexplicably yet to speak to FIFA about their performance, that would be no.
FIFA has not yet received feedback from its officials at the match about a mass confrontation between coaches and players behind the Mexico bench as the teams left the field at halftime.
Italian referee Rosetti was at the center of a melee trying to separate heated conversations that included Argentina coach Diego Maradona.
Next step for FIFA: Banning game telecast replays.
You think I’m joking?