Belfast Telegraph

FIFA can help World Cup referees make tournament a classic

Telegraph Sport: where the debate gets started

BY Stuart McKinley

I was having a rare flick through the TV channels recently when I got a pleasant surprise.

BBC Two was showing the story of the 1954 World Cup and for a football nut like myself it was compulsive viewing.

One thing that struck me was that, black and white pictures apart, the game within the rectangle of grass has changed very little, even if almost everything that surrounds it has.

I had to chuckle though when the commentator explained which team was in darker shirts or shorts so viewers could differentiate between them.

There will be none of that in this summer's World Cup.

You see, some Fifa employee in an office in Switzerland, with obviously too much time on their hands, has requested that countries wear only plain colours, with one light coloured kit and one dark.

Gone are England's blue shorts and Germany's black – both will play in all white.

Spain will break with tradition by donning red shorts and socks to match their shirts.

Apparently it's all to do with television. Supposedly plain colours show up better on modern-day high definition TVs and enhance the viewing experience!

I'd like to tell Fifa what would enhance my viewing experience: allowing referees to let a bit go rather than whipping out yellow cards every time anything that looks remotely like a tackle is made.

That would make the chances of big players being suspended for big matches less likely and give us a World Cup that will still be considered a classic in 60 years time.

Belfast Telegraph


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