Soccer was thrust back into the national spotlight this summer as the World Cup had millions glued to their TV’s in hopes Team USA would make its mark on the world stage. With the whole nation watching, the tournament reminded Americans why they still can’t stand soccer.
Seldom we saw a match not tarnished by bad calls and disallowed goals. Games were plagued by a slew of players diving and faking injury so convincingly they deserved an Oscar.
The shortsightedness of FIFA officials to deal with this problem is astounding. With a huge potential market waiting to be capitalized on in the U.S, you would think FIFA would get its act together and impose new regulations.
Don’t get me wrong – American sports have their problems too. (Ask Jim Joyce.) However, no sport suffers from mismanagement and cheating more than the beautiful game.
FIFA’s refusal to install goal line technology has affected the outcome of a number of important games. Their failure to incorporate instant replay to punish serial divers has allowed players to consistently cheat their way to victory. Couple this with soccer’s notoriously violent past; you can see why the already skeptical American viewer runs straight back to football.
Can soccer be boring? You bet. But Americans can handle boring. (Enter NASCAR and baseball).
With more people playing soccer and immigrant populations increasing exponentially, soccer is on the rise in the States. However, it will never reach the status of the other major sports if the game continues to allow cheating and excessive human error to determine matches. It’s a shame the freest flowing, creative, and passionate sport on the planet is tarnished by the cowardice of players and the stubbornness of its leaders.