Tuesday, July 6, 2010
This is the guy who crushed England's 2010 World Cup - Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda
Every human beings including me who saw on TV the 2010 World Cup 2nd round match between Germany and England, were absolutely sure that this should have been England's 2nd goal of the match.
The Jabulani ball was a yard over the goal line, courtesy of a Frank Lampard stirke.
But to the amazement of many, the match officals ruled that it was a non-goal and the referee in question, Jorge Larroinda from Uruguay, waved play on.
Linesman Mauricio Espinosa whose very job was to watch the ball from the 1st minute right up to the 90th minute failed miserably.
Espinosa should have his eyes rebooted with a genetically enhanced vision, because his blindness will go down in history as one of the greatest misses of the century in World Cup.
That June 27, 2010 incident at Bloemfontein, South Africa carried enough weight to be on the same level with Diego Maradona's infamous hand of God incident in 1986 which coincidently involved England squad and the globally disputed till today Geoff Hurst 3rd goal for coincidently England again in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.
The Daily Mail quoted the partially blind Espinosa as saying :
"It was a very fast shot that I did not see properly, even though I was located in the right place.
"We didn't see a replay in the dressing room at half-time but you could sense what had happened.
"It was only when we saw the TV that we realised what happened.
"I feel quite sad about it because we had prepared for such a long time for the World Cup.
"It could have happened to anyone, unfortunately it was us. You just have to accept it. Life goes on."
One has to feel sorry for a man who has failed to see a football when his sole duty is to look at a football for 90 minutes.
But the "fast shot" excuse seems a little weak: It was a looping long strike that didn't have half of the velocity of Carlos Tevez's rocket of a goal against Mexico.
Still, England fans can continue to seek solace in the fact that they won a World Cup in 1966 based on a controversial incident like this, and that Germany would have spanked them anyway.
This particular incident is also a very good lesson for the foolish FIFA President, Sepp Blatter who till today refused to use technology to solve incident of galaxy-magnitude like that.
After that 1-4 humiliation by Germany, England's embattled coach, Fabio Cappelo said :
"I just don't understand. We have the technology to assist the referee and we stay here to speak about this - goal or no goal. I don't understand why."
He added: "We play, I think, well when we were 2-1, 2-2. After we lost the third goal, we played I think a little bit disappointing. Mistakes were made because they played the counter-attack after the free-kick for us."
Despite the unlucky breaks, the result - England's worst ever World Cup defeat - meant Capello's men won just one game in South Africa, against Slovenia, and there was little argument that the players had failed to live up to expectations.
Asked about the poor performances, Capello said: "No, we played well. They played well because Germany is one of the biggest teams here. We made some mistakes when they played the counter-attack, the referee made the more big mistake, but this is the football. The little things decide the results always."
Frank Lampard said he was 'baffled' by the referee's decision: "I haven't seen the goal again but I didn't need to see it again. I knew straight away that my shot was over the line, clearly a yard or so. It baffles me that it wasn't given and it was a big deciding factor.
"I won't stand here and say it is the reason why we got knocked out, but if it had gone to 2-2, and we had still come out and played the way we did in the second half, it would have been a different game.
"I think it is time to bring in goal-line technology. We had a meeting before the World Cup when we were told about a million different rule changes that hardly affect the game.
"The big one, the one that affects the game today, hasn't been brought in so it is a no-brainer."
He added: "Nobody can stand here and tell me Germany were a lot better than us. They were not 4-1 better than us, but the things have conspired against us and maybe we have conspired against ourselves at times. It just didn't go for us."
Captain Steven Gerrard admitted the disallowed goal had an effect but made no excuses for the heavy defeat.
"There were big key decisions in the game, at 2-1 we had a goal disallowed," he told BBC 5 Live. "At 2-1 we were hurting them and we were still in the game. I think it (the disallowed goal) had an effect but we cannot use that as an excuse with being beaten 4-1.
"That would have been a big goal for us. It's all ifs and buts. Germany are a fantastic team and they deserved their win. You go away and you have a think about what went wrong and why we didn't progress further in the tournament.
"As a team we've made a big mistake today and we've been beaten by a good team. They were more clinical in front of goal and they made less mistakes than us and we got punished for that."