Monday, July 10, 2006

Conspiracy theories

1) The last time Italy won the World cup (in 1982) the Italian soccer league had a similar scandal about match fixing. 13 players in the squad of 23 were in the 4 clubs involved in matchfixing.

2) Ribery was probably the most exciting and consistent French player in the World cup. Henry was easily the best French player yesterday. I'm sure Henry is a good penalty taker. Why were the two of them taken off in extra time when penalties were obvious?

3) Zidane has a history of madness and 14 red cards. But the cool way he took his penalty and his almost emotionless reaction after scoring a goal and getting sent off seemed too weird. He's their captain and their best penalty taker. With his sending off France had no attack left and seemed in shock.

4) What the hell did Materazzi say to Zidane to provoke him? Racial slurs and abuse are an unfortunate part of international sport. Surely Zidane has dealt with worse through his career. You can't play at this level without being mentally and emotionally tough - which I'm sure Zidane is.

5) The shady way in which Italy got a penaly against Australia seems even worse now. Grosso faked a dive in the last 5 seconds and the referee knew that was the last kick of the game. Down to 10 men against a very fit Australian side I doubt if they could have survived in extra time.

6) How could FIFA give Zidane the golden ball? He was awful in the opening rounds, invisible against Portugal in the semis and pretty bad in the final. He pulled France through against Spain and Brazil but that was about it - apart from the 2 penalties. Cannavaro was the heart and soul of an Italian defense which conceded only two goals in the entire tournament (one penalty and one own-goal). He was rock solid throughout the tournament and easily the player of the tournament.

7) The main referee and the sideline referee didn't see the headbutt. Someone made them see the TV replay. Has that ever happened before in the middle of a football match?

My theory is that the world cup was fixed. After the scandal of matchfixing the Italian fans had only the world cup to look forward to. A loss would have resulted in the fans getting cynical and turned off the game. That would have resulted in huge losses in revenue which the Italian league couldn't afford. I think that's what Materazi must have told Zidane (the match is fixed and that's why Henry and Ribery were taken off) and Zidane had an idea about the whole thing. He probably didn't want to be part of it and decided to go off in dramatic fashion rather than take the loser's medal. The Golden Ball award must be a way to appease him.

PS This is obviously a very outlandish theory so don't read it too seriously. A lot like any theorem I might come up with.

21 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

mian, goldenbaal banoge?

meghant said...

8: treguezet didn't cry. and at that level of the game, it's pretty easy to hit the crossbar at an angle that only adds to the gasps - after all, a gazza would have been too obvious...

Switz said...

My theory is, you are a loser!

MiddleRoad said...

Actually, the referee did not watch the replay. It was pointed out by the linesman. Just picking holes in your theory Pondy. I am not sure that the French team was completely destroyed by the exit of their captain. (see your post of football being a team sport for validation of that conclusion!) but it definitely made an impact. Also, the guy that they subbed had been brought specifically for PKs and he is the one who missed. So he would have been asked to take the shot anyway and missed it. I do not like the fact that the better team did not win, but life is not fair, why should football be?? Golden Ball - yeah, that is a little too much.

fedex1one said...

you must be kiddin' the better team wins the game. that's why god created the rules. this ain't figure skating. there are no judges giving france 9.9 for beautiful play.

buffon, grosso, gattuso, cannavaro, zambrotta, totti, toni, and the whole gang played their hearts out. especially the defense. buffon was great! gattuso was everywhere, zambrotta was covering the whole pitch.

sorella francia perduto face it!

_____ said...

And what about Zidane's header that went off the crossbar in extra time? Did he intentionally hit the crossbar? I can't believe you got referenced on Deadspin.

MiddleRoad said...

Italians played their hearts out - of course they did, it is the World Cup. I am not suggesting that Italians were bad but I am definitely suggesting that they were completely dominated by the French offense in the second half and the OTs. They were not attacking at all, had no possession, and were praying to Jesus and Madonna that the game somehow goes to PK.

bandafbab said...

Hmmmm. This theory is not meant to be taken seriously or debated. I'm sure there are holes and flaws but there was something about the Italian victory and the abysmal refereeing in the tournament which didn't convince me.

Wanna Be Dictator said...

hey pondy,

you need to get out more often, get some fresh air, some women...

Dan said...

saying zidane disappeared in the portugal game is sorta unfair. his play for the whole game is sorta irrelevant when it was his goal that won it.

meghant said...

e-z now pundy, dont be defensive, i have full faith in your damn theories if not your dribbling skills. but - the theory you need to come up with next should explain tabula rasa's remark - i suspect some foul business there. hurry lads, the game's afoot. errr. a-head.

Kanu said...

Henry was subbed because of cramps. I didn't catch this until I watched the entire match a 2nd time. After the 1sr extra period they show him lying on the ground and the physio is spraying the freezy stuff on his legs and rubbing them like crazy. Then when he gets subbes he walks off very gingerly and slowly, and then they show him walking along the bench and he is clearly limping. Additionally , as demonstrative and moody as he is, he definitely would have expressed his disapproval if he was subbed when fit. If you have the tape then check it out.

Ribery was flat out tired - that is why he was subbed - he was out of gas. I noticed this upon a 2nd viewing as well. AS far back as like the 85th minute, they show a close up of him and he is breathing really heavy and it is pretty obvious that he is exhausted and that his tank is on E.

Full disclosure I am a France fan and don't like Italy too much, but that is why these 2 were subbed for what it's worth.

J said...

_____, I believe that Zidane's header during extra time didn't go off the crossbar, but was denied by Buffon (104').

pommesvapeur said...

Without the Zidane incident this match would have won the most boring world cup final ever award (except for French & Italian fans)

Tom Bache said...

I surprised that no one has mentioned that the two French "goats" Zidane and Treguezet both played, or play, for Juventus. I'm not saying, I'm just saying......

bandafbab said...

tom bache - finally someone who hasn't disagreed with me. i still don't get why zidane was given the golden ball over cannavaro or buffon.

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