The Frisk Effect Once Again!!!

2 05 2007

I’m writing this as I’m waiting for penalties in the Liverpool-Chelsea semi-final of the Champion’s League. Why am I writing it now instead of after the match??? Cause irrespective of what the outcome of this game is, this game was blown by the referees. It should never have come to penalties. Liverpool should have won 2-0 on the night in extra-time, no ifs, ands or buts. Dirk Kuyt scored a perfectly legitimate goal and the only reason we’re not booking the tickets to Athens at the moment is because the linesman was out of place and made a call based on the rebound, not when the initial shot was scored.

I consider myself a true Red. I have been since I was 4. But this is not just some partisan rant that we otherwise indulge in. In this case, it was a clear goal. The replays prove that he was in line with the last defender and onside. Hang on, penalties are starting. I’ll finish the post after this. My tone might change based on what happens, but not my message. Finger’s crossed.

Hahahahah Benitez is sitting cross-legged on the grass. I don’t think he can stand the tension. 2-0 Reds! Come on!!!

YYYYYEEEEESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! In your face Moanrinho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4-1 on Penalties!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!! WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!!

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[long pause. make that a very long pause.]

Sorry folks! You have no idea how much this means to me! Ok back to my story… [phew!!!]

If you look at the replays, when Alonso strikes the ball Kuyt’s in line with the Chelsea backline, the only difference being that he’s facing goal and the Chelsea defenders are looking the other way. By the time Cech has dived to his left to save Alonso’s initial shot, Kuyt is already inside the penalty box near the 6 yard box when the rebound gets to him. He coolly slots it away and wheels away to the crowd away from the linesman in celebration, only then turning around to see that its been disallowed for offside.

There is no way its offside. No matter how you look at it. The only way you could disallow that was if you didn’t see it, in which case you’re ill-equiped to dispute it. The rule says that if two players are inline with each other its legal. If a player scores on a rebound from a seemingly offside position, but was onside when the initial shot was hit, then its a valid goal.

This is another example of the weakness of referees to make big calls. I’ve raised this point in an earlier article, The Frisk Effect. Sure, he can claim that he was intimidated by the Anfield atmosphere, but if you’re officiating in such a big match, there is no way you should allow yourself to be played like this. Even Pierluigi Colina [possibly the best referee in modern football history] said it was a goal. And he was in the VIP boxes about 20 rows up!!! If he gave the offside because he saw Kuyt one-on-one with Cech, then he’s inept. If he gave it because he thought Kuyt was offside when Alonso struck the ball first-time, then he’s blind. I for one find it inexcusable. Yes, its football. And it’s my perogative as a fan to rant about bad refereeing.

But what made me mad was that there seemed be quite a bit of questionable refereeing throughout both legs. For instance, Drogba deserved a yellow card in the previous leg for diving. If it had been given, he would have missed this leg, and the tie would have taken on a different complexion. But because “the Special One” made an issue of it saying that ‘Pool would target Drogba to make him commit a foul, the refs decided for some reason to be lenient. Similar things happened today.

Tying this into the previous Frisk Effect article, my whole contention there was the referee made a decision that was the easier of 2 choices to make. In that case, Lusi Garcia scored a goal that initially looked to be questionable. From the viewpoint of the linesman, 3 Chelsea players were in the way. Yet he still gave that goal. I suspect it was because if hadn’t, he had to give a penalty to Liverpool for fouling Milan Baros and sending off Cech for a professional foul. Liverpool most probably would have scored and Chelsea would have been down to 10 men for over 85 minutes of the match. In the context of the game, he might have reasoned that Chelsea can maybe claw back in the remaining 86 minutes if they have all their men.

Yes, today video evidence has proved it to be a goal, but in the split second that it happened I’m not so sure how you can make that call. Without the video evidence, you had to be lucky to make that call. I still feel that it was the easier decision to give the goal rather than award a penalty and send off Cech. Yes, it went Liverpool’s way but it still leaves a sour taste when someone says “it wasn’t a goal you know!”… The only difference today is that the split second was clear enough to show that he Kuyt was onside. I think the ref made a decision to not antagonize a team like Chelsea.

Still, justice has prevailed in the end, and again we’ve beaten Chelsea in semi-finals [this is 3rd time in 3 years] and we’re to meet either Man U or AC Milan in Athens on the 23rd of May. I’m not sure which I’d prefer. I don’t think I could survive a repeat of the final with AC Milan from 2 years back [even though we won], and at the same time Man U are another English team who know us well. At least Milan can be contained as they play at a slower pace [this time we should be able to do this]. But as a good friend of mine is a Red Devil, it would be extra sweet to rub number 6 in his face. Ahhh decisions, decisions! We’ll know tomorrow who’s the unlucky victim.

WE’RE GOING TO ATHENS!!!!!

[Crud! It costs Rs.62,000 for a 5 day round-trip ticket to Athens! Its not fair!!!]

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