England, Now We’re Even…FIFA, Now Use Technology

(Robert Stiggins/Express/Getty Images) — In full view of the reported 98,000 spectators at famed Wembley Stadium in London as well as an estimated 400 million viewers watching on television across the globe, the match referee, GOTTLIEB DIENST of Switzerland, runs over to consult with his linesman holding the flag at the touchline, the mustached TOFIK BAKHRAMOV of the Soviet Union, immediately after host nation striker GEOFF HURST had apparently scored a goal eleven minutes in extra time at the Final of the 1966 World Cup contested between ENGLAND and WEST GERMANY.

The England player closest to the Soviet linesman, Bakhramov, is 21-year-old FC Blackpool midfielder ALAN BALL (7), who provided the final pass to Hurst on the controversial play and later turned out in the old North American Soccer League for the Philadelphia Fury and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Running over with his hands up to plead the West German case is centerback WILLI SCHULZ (5) of SV Hamburg.

Already having scored one goal very early in the contest with West Germany at Wembley Stadium, England forward GEOFF HURST of West Ham United sets to unleash his controversial shot in extra time of the 1966 World Cup final.

The English forward Hurst (far right, on the ground) sees his shot beat the diving West Germany goalkeeper HANS TILKOWKSI (1) of Borussia Dortmund and bounce downward off the underside of the crossbar. The Hammers forward added yet another goal in the 120th minute for the hat trick as England triumphed 4-2 in the 1966 World Cup final. Hurst also later played in the old NASL, for the Seattle Sounders in 1976, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

In July of 1995, the English newspaper, the SUNDAY TIMES reported that image analysis by researchers at Oxford University had concluded that the whole ball did not cross the goal line and, therefore, Geoff Hurst and England should have never been awarded the team’s third goal in the eleventh minute of extra time at the 1966 World Cup final.

This was the position that had always been maintained by the West Germans, who had long been publishing their own research to prove that they had, indeed, been robbed by the Swiss referee and Soviet linesman at Wembley Stadium.


Given the events unfolding today at the 2010 World Cup from South Africa, it is rather unfortunate then that the local guru of tradition, history and culture here in the Lehigh Valley, the esteemed local blogger MICHAEL MOLOVINSKY, is not, in fact, the head of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the governing body of world soccer.

Some might find it odd that a gentile German should call for a gentleman proud of his Hungarian-Russian Jewish heritage to be installed as the chief of FIFA, particularly considering the whole world saw that England midfielder FRANK LAMPARD of FC Chelsea was clearly cheated out of a legitimate goal in the first half of the knockout match against Germany at the World Cup today.

Actually, would not have anybody else as, it is felt, Mr. Molovinsky (molovinskyonallentown.blogspot.com) can be trusted to view matters in a scholarly, non-partisan manner and, thus, render the proper administrative decisions in accordance with the Laws of, as well as the best interests of, the (Beautiful) Game.

Mr. Molovinsky would know that the Laws of the Game, currently, do not allow for the use of television replay technology for an international football match, albeit the ultimate occasion known as the World Cup.

As in the case of the controversial play from the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany, the final conclusion reached by the match referee on the field today in South Africa must stand.

Even if that decision, itself, was a disaster.

Mr. Molovinsky, if in charge at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich, without question would have been smart enough to implement the use of modern technology to avoid such controversy at the World Cup quite some time ago in the interest of Fair Play for all.

The other knockout match today between Argentina and Mexico also featured a controversial play : the game’s first goal was scored by CARLOS TEVEZ of English side Manchester City, who clearly profited from an offside position to head the ball into the Mexican net.

All major professional sports in America — football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey — all employ the assistance of television replay and communication technology to help the referees get decisions right and have been doing so for quite some time.

As the former player and coach of the German national team, JUERGEN KLINSMANN, pointed out on national TV today on ESPN, the technology for soccer has been in existance ever since the 1970s, when many in then-West Germany were busy running around trying to prove they had been screwed by the linesman from the Soviet Union.

If only Molovinsky was the big man at FIFA…this is, after all, the final tournament of the World Cup.

Because we would like to win the tournament in proper fashion, fair and square.

(As we have done before)



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