Category Archives: Rules and Referees

“The Referee” by Mattias Low

Swedish director Mattias Löw, of the production company Freedom From Choice, shared with me a short documentary called “The Referee,” about the unfortunate Martin Hannson, who officiated the France-Ireland qualifier last fall and failed to call Thierry Henry’s decisive handball. I wrote about the case here at the time, and later did penance for the… Read More »

FIFA, Long Descended into Tyranny, Erects Façade of Democratic Legitimacy

World Cup 2010: Fans, robbers and a marketing stunt face justice, Fifa style Fascinating piece from the Guardian echoing my recent sentiments on FIFA becoming more like the WWF than a legitimate sporting regulatory body. With the organization spiraling for decades now into its demagoguery, recent World Cups have showcased farcical refereeing and an intangible… Read More »

Referee Bashing 101

Paul Kennedy recently noted at Soccer America that we owe a big thank you to Koman Coulibaly, the suddenly world-famous referee who made a controversial call against the U.S. a few days ago. “He accomplished what no one else could in more than 100 years. He made Americans care passionately about soccer.” Indeed, I may… Read More »

Time-Lapse Foul

I’m not sure of the provenance of this particular video (sent to me by Julia Gaffield), but it does wonderfully capture one side of football: the glory of dramatic acting, for the benefit of referees, though in this case the guy obviously needs a bit more practice from our more accomplished and more highly-paid footballing… Read More »

Anarchist Football

John Turnbull, editor of The Global Game, shared with me some fascinating information about “three-sided football.” In early November, as part of the Bienniale d’art contemporain de Lyon, a tournament showcasing this unique sport was held in Venissieux, a banlieue of Lyon. The game was invented in the 1960s by a Danish Situationist artist, Asger… Read More »

Against Video Replay

When Saturday Comes published this short opinion piece about the idea of introducing video replay to football. It, along with the commentary it generated, struck me as a usefully balanced exploration of the always-hot topic.

Play Like a Soccer Star

Thierry Henry may have handled the ball to pick up an assist in France’s 1-1 tie against Ireland, but that doesn’t mean he can’t also score goals all by himself, or all by his hand. That’s at least the point of this game. Click the link and then click on “Joeur” to see how many… Read More »

Henry, God’s Hand and the Philosophy of Football

With the furor surrounding the France-Ireland game, and Thierry Henry’s decisive handball, dying down a little, it may be time to think through what just happened, and what it illuminates for us about the sport of football. After receiving a barrage of criticism, a not inconsiderable amount of it openly racist, Henry redeemed himself in… Read More »