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Crossing The Fine Line

I was about to put pen to paper or more precisely, fingers to keyboard, to rant about the recent fines being issued at the current Euro 2012 competition taking place in Poland and the Ukraine, when a breaking story caught my eye.

However, I will come back to the breaking story and just have a very quick rant now.

I must confess, I haven’t been watching the Euro 2012 coverage on television as I can’t abide the cheating which goes on amongst these so called professional sportsmen – but that is another rant for another time! My rant today concerns the ridiculously unfair fines being handed out. When I say unfair, I don’t mean I think it unfair that fines are being issued, far from it, I applaud the institution for taken such a stand. No, by unfair I mean that the level of fine is inconsistent.

For example, the German Football Association was fined €10,000 (£8,000) because the German supporters threw objects onto the pitch. The Portuguese FA was fined €5,000 (£4,000) after players returned late for the second half, delaying kick-off. The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) was docked €80,000 (£64,561) for offences which included the racist abuse of an Italian striker by between 300 and 500 of the country’s fans during a game in Poznan, which was also dogged by accusations that a banana had been thrown on to the field.

However, one individual player, Nicklas Bendtner, has been fined an astonishing €100,000 (£80,000) and banned for one competitive international fixture for displaying sponsored underwear during Denmark’s game against Portugal!

So, does this mean the sport’s governing body that issues these fines has a sliding scale for the severity of the misdemeanour? It is a more minor offence for eleven sportsmen to turn up late than it is for fans to throw objects onto the pitch. We probably all agree that racism should be heavily punished, but surely it can’t be worse to wear the wrong pants?

Wrong Pants

It’s the wrong trousers, Grommit!

UEFA are claiming that the individual was fined because the competition is sponsored by a different firm to the one displayed on the waist band of his pants. Most boxer shorts for men have a brand name on the waist band, so I think all the fans should display theirs so that UEFA go into meltdown at the next match!

If football’s governing body is unable to manage a fair and just system of fines, how will it cope with the head of FIFA demanding an introduction of goal line technology? Which leads us to that breaking story. That’s right, Sepp Blatter, reportedly the most powerful man in football, has tweeted his desire for new technology following the recent ‘non’ goal in the Ukraine England match.

His tweet – “After last night’s match #GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity” – has been met with mixed reaction, but it would seem mostly with derision. Many tweeters claiming he is only reacting because England benefitted (for once!) from the decision not to award a goal. And having seen the replays, it is hard to see how the goal was not given, although, the disallowed England goal in the 2010 World Cup against Germany was even clearer than this latest mistake.

Crossed the line?

The goal that never was!

The ball can be clearly seen having crossed the line via the in-goal camera, which would have taken seconds for an off-field assistant to check. Why the football bodies have been so reluctant to introduce technology baffles many, especially when it has so effectively been used in both Cricket and Rugby, but who knows, after last night, football might finally come into the 21st century!

I’m sure England supporters will sympathise with the Ukraine having been on the receiving end of this type of decision (2010 World Cup against Germany and the infamous ‘Hand Of God’ goal for Argentina in the 1986 World Cup). However we must remember the one and only time the team has ever won a major tournament, we were helped somewhat by a “did it/didn’t it” cross the line goal!

So, who knows, maybe this is our turn again.  😉