SV MATTERSBURG goalkeeper THOMAS BORENITSCH prepares to gather in the controversial ball that rebounded off his right post in the 11th minute of the match against FK AUSTRIA WIEN at the Franz Horr Stadion in the Austrian capital city on the opening day of the 2010-11 Bundesliga season. (GEPA photo)
Alright, so “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” is actually a French novel — “Le Fantome de l’Opera” was written by GASTON LEROUX and first published as a series in the French daily newspaper, LE GAULOIS, from September of 1909 to January of 1910.
However, the city of Vienna does has long and proud tradition as a mecca for the arts and culture. Opera, of course, would be no exception for the Austrian capital once the home to classical superstar composers such as Wolfgang Amaadeus Mozart, Johan Strauss and the German giant, Ludwig von Beethoven, just to name a few. To this day, Vienna plays host to world famous opera houses such as Theater an der Wien, Volksoper Wien as well as the Wiener Staatsoper.
And, opening day of the new Austrian Bundesliga season at the Franz Horr Stadion on the city’s south side produced quite the drama right out of the gate — a Phantom Goal for the home side, FK Austria Wien.
Watching the Sky Sports Austria telecast via a streaming satellite feed from far away on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in America, it was easy to see with the naked eye that the deflected shot of FK Austria Wien midfielder MICHAEL LIENDL never did anything but hit the goalpost and riccochet right to the soon-to-be unlucky SV Mattersburg goalkeeper, THOMAS BORENITSCH.
Without even a portion of the ball, to speak nothing of the applicable regulations involved, ever having broken the plane of the goal line.
The match referee, DIETMAR DRABEK, consulted his linesman and, to the great delight of The Violets faithful, incorrectly awarded the first goal of the game in the eleventh minute.
The fact of the matter is, the call probably had little to do with the outcome of the contest itself. In the world of Austrian football, FK Austria Wien are a strong side who missed out on the league championship last season by a single point. SV Mattersburg, meanwhile, are a modest outfit who have still never won a match at the Franz Horr Stadion, now after fifteen attempts, all-time.
In the end, the official shots-at-goal total favored FK Austria Wien 16-5 while the shots-on-target tally was even more lopsided at 9-1 in favor of the capital club. And The Violets, who clearly controlled the match from start to finish, put a second goal on the board through Austrian international striker ROLAND LINZ ten minutes into the second half, anyway.
Coming on the heels of this past 2010 World Cup final tournament in South Africa, where glaring referee mistakes with respect to goals in not one, but two, knockout Round of Sixteen matches gave the sport a rather unnecessary black eye in full view of a global audience, one cannot help but wonder when FIFA, the world football’s ruling body, will act.
After all, this refusal to look at replay is starting to get ridiculous and threatens to turn soccer into some sort of comedy.
Herr Blatter — Koennen Sie mich hoeren?