Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Tottenham played Manchester United. The result was 0-0. Towards the end of the game there was a shot at goal from over halfway that the United goalkeeper dropped, Roy Carroll, over the line and knew it, but because the referee and linesmen were unsighted, no goal was awarded. You can see the photo below:

The referee and linesmen have been rightly bollocked for this. However, there is someone else who should be bollocked for this, Roy Carroll, and not just for being a useless goalkeeper. The man is a cheat. He knew the ball had crossed the goal line, but said nothing. Now there is a school of thought that he was being a good servant to his employer, his club, as he saved them a point. To which I say, bullshit. He was being dishonest. If I don't disclose information to a client, I am cheating them and I am breaking the law. Where is the difference? If, by chance, Tottenham miss out on qualifying for the Champions League by two points, this act will have cost them potentially tens of millions of pounds. In the same vein, diving, deliberate handballs in the penalty area etc are all cheating. When was the last time you saw an 'honest footballer'. They can be immensely talented, but I think also many are morally bankrupt.

Maybe I'm being a bit naive, and that I want people to be honest etc, but I see that as a faded thing of the past. I do accept that there is room for honesr mistakes, I do them all the time, but cheating is cheating.

When I play cricket, I am a big believer in walking when you know you are out, rather than waiting for the umpires decision. And for the most part, this happens, and nor is it restricted to club cricket. The Australian opening batsman and keeper, Adam Gilchrist, walked in the World Cup Final when only on about a half dozen. About twenty years ago, another aussie keeper claimed a catch he knew he hadn't caught. It cost him his place in the team, and he was forever afterwards labelled a cheat.

From my mind, Roy Carroll missed a great opportunity to stand up and be counted. I know I am not the only one who thinks this. Lashias Ncube at ITV obviously thinks the same.

Honest politicians and footballers? A bunch of oxymorons.


Matt said...

well said Rich - i couldn't agree more. how refreshing would it have been to see Roy Carroll owning up. unfortunately i fear that had he done so he would have been berated by his team mates and the Man Utd fans. i also think that that decision i.e. the decision by the ref to not give the goal, could only have been made at Old Trafford. officials officiating at games at Old Trafford seem to shit themselves about giving a major decision against Utd. there hasn't been a penalty awarded against Utd at Old Trafford for 5 years.that also needs addressing.

richard said...

The fear of being berated by the fans is hardly an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - shame on him. Mind you it's stuff like this that's a part of the reason why I don't watch soccer. Two hours of televised 'sport' and only one scoring oppourtunity. Why do the fans/customers put up with that sort of rubbish? And why do they shell out so much money for the silly shirts, and the TV rights? And why do people who think they are so tough watch such an obviously soft game?

Perhaps the real problem lies with the fans for continuing to buy such a consistently sub-standard product.

It stopped being a sport a long time ago.