By Mark Stokes
It is quite difficult, as we head into a World Cup year, to forget the injustice done to Ireland and Costa Rica, and indeed several other nations along the road to South Africa. In recent days, salt was rubbed into the wounds by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who, having intimated that video replay would be introduced to the game of soccer, did an about turn and firmly shut the door on that idea.
This week the Swiss was playing to the crowd again as he announced the world soccer body's commitment to a better future for every child through access to education - what life lessons he believes the youngsters will learn by his intransigence is, of course, anyone's guess.
But the lack of foresight of the world's governing body came fully into focus in the English Premier League on the weekend when Birmingham City's Christian Benitez had the ball in Chelsea's net only to see his quite legitimate goal, and the three points and season-changing implications that it would have brought with it, nullified by an offside flag.
Replays showed that the Ecuadorian was onside - this world shattering revelation took only 18 seconds to accomplish and flies in the face of FIFA's allegations that video replay will slow the game's natural progression.
In the light of the events of the Stade de France in Paris last month, where Ireland was cheated of a victory by an obvious handball by France's Thierry Henry, surely this latest event provides all the evidence FIFA need to change their stance? If Chelsea does lift the Premier League trophy next May by two points or less, then fans of the world's most popular game will have been slighted yet again.
We're told that we must accept this archaic system of adjudication for the world's most popular sporting event, in South Africa next summer?
Mr Blatter, your foolishness knows no bounds!
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