Yesterday’s FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifier between Russia and Germany drew over 100 million of people to their TV screens. If you haven’t watched it, you’ve missed one interesting game. It was a game between two of the best teams in the world: the silver and bronze medal winners of UEFA’s Euro 2008.
Germany won: 0-1. In my opinion, not without some help from a scandalously known Swiss football referee, Massimo Busacca.
There was at least one episode in the match where he overlooked a penalty against Germany. Was it the red card previously shown to Boateng for an identical foul on Bystrov that made Busacca spare the German team from the second sending off, or was it something else? Let’s compare the following two images from Championat.ru:
Jerome Boateng fouls on Bystrov (and gets his second yellow)
Arne Friedrich fouls on Bystrov (in the box this time!)
Let’s presuppose the Russian was diving (or simulating). Then according to FIFA’s rules Massimo Busacca should have booked him (showed him a yellow card). No, there was neither a yellow card, nor a penalty awarded. The game just went on as if nothing happened. And this was not the only such episode in the game. There was another “100% penalty” (on Andrei Arshavin) earlier in the game too [see the “Penalty appeal” part of this article].
While it could have been the fact that the Germans already got one player sent off, I believe it was not the main factor in Busacca’s decision. Let us not forget that between 2008 and today Guus Hiddink (the current coach of the Russian team) got Russia from place 22 in the FIFA World Ranking to place #6. Germany, on the other hand, has been one of the top teams in the world for years. More than likely Busacca simply capitulated before the power and the stand of the German team. Of course, there is a more harsh way to put it, but it’s certainly not for press.
The sad reality is that we see the same thing happen day in and day out, and not only on football/soccer fields, but all around the place (affiliate marketing included). Favoritism and neglect of higher principles — either in exchange for quick profit, or fame — has been an age-old problem, and it still remains to be one. OPMs and affiliate networks keeping parasitic affiliates on board (because their well-being is directly tied to it) is just one of many examples. I am making this post, because I do not want to remain silent. A fellow affiliate marketer, Tom Rice, has tweeted Ronald Reagan’s words a couple of days ago. The latter said that “for truth to prevail, we must have the courage to proclaim it.” Do you have the courage?