Monday, July 10, 2006

WC Final: Too bad, FIFA

My mind can't shake the image. The more I digest the memory the more I'm confused. A momentarily lapse in reason and self control overtook Zidane on Sunday in front of nearly half the population of the planet.

Why one of the most graceful players to touch the game felt he needed to use his head as a battering ram and knock a man off his feet is still a mystery. Of course Zidane was provoked, but that still does not justify his action.

The sad thing is that the biggest loser in this drama is not Zidane or even his French national team that lost their chance at football glory of the highest nature, it's FIFA who less than 24 hours after the incident occured awarded Zidane with the Golden Ball as the MVP of the tournament. I won't deny that the fate of France rested on his single performance in every game of this year's Cup - and even through qualifying. But, what message are you sending to the millions of kids and young players all over the world who see Zidane freak out on the world stage? If FIFA were to trully stick by their "Fair Play" motto they would take the award from Zidane. The message would be powerful: everyone should play fair no matter how well they play with the ball.
I should mention that the award is voted on by the press and the vote was taken prior to The Head Butt. But, FIFA should still revoke the honor because of the visibility and outright uncontrolled nature of the action.


At 9:56 PM, Blogger UtahGamer said...

According to various news reports (Reuters, NPR, The Sun UK, etc.), he was provoked in two ways. First called either a "dirty" or "Arab" terrorist. And, the player called his mother a whore. According to reports, Zidane's mother is in the hospital, possibly on her death bed.

I don't blame him, but I wish he'd had more restraint.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger The Professor said...

I agree that Zidane's action wasn't justified even if provoked (I said as much in my own blog), but what I don't understand (and didn't learn until I read your post) was that Zidane got the MVP before the final game even started. How does that make sense? It's weird enough that the NBA and NFL issue their MVP's during the playoffs, but those awards are considered regular season honors; the NBA has a special MVP just for the finals. I imagine FIFA might change their policy after this year's oops.


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