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Cheating needs to be exposed

I witnessed last night the most obvious and blatant act of cheating that is possible in the Uefa Champions League final, which was played in Cardiff.

An incident occurred near the touch line involving Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid and Juan Cuadrado of Juventus in which the Juve player received his marching orders.

The red card was issued, which was in fact a second yellow, for a “push” on Ramos who went sprawling to the ground like he’d been hit with a torpedo.

Such was the convincing way that he (Ramos) went down, the referee felt he had no option but to issue a second yellow card and therefore the ultimate sanction.

I’ll discuss the referee performance further down.

This kind of cheating needs to be exposed for what it is – blatant, unadulterated, in-your-face unprofessionalism.

We are regularly shown players adopting the now “fair play” action of shaking hands before the game commences which leads us all to believe that the game will be played in the spirit of true sportsmanship and competition.

Instead we are regularly exposed to cheating and diving of the most obvious and organised manner, which makes the whole so-called “fair play” a total waste of time.

I have long campaigned against this hypocrisy because it is meaningless and false.

Players shake hands and minutes later set out to get each other yellow carded or sent off. How many times have we seen players who haven’t even been touched, let alone fouled, gesticulating towards the referee to issue a card to the alleged fouler?

It makes my blood boil seeing such happenings in our “beautiful game.” It’s even got to the stage where young children are now replicating what they see their heroes do on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning because they think it’s correct.

  • Why are we allowing this to happen?
  • What are the powers-that-be doing to eradicate this practice?
  • When is someone in real authority going to make a stand against this “cancer” in our game?
  • Is this modern football and will we have to endure this from now on?

To be red carded in any game is not nice for any player.

To be red carded in a Champions League final is even worse, particularly when it is the actions of an opponent with whom you have just shaken hands a short time before and in that shake of hands you, and he, promised to be fair and honest.

Don’t make me laugh.

The referee Felix Brych from Germany didn’t cover himself in glory either.

Generally he is a good referee and certainly would have been my choice for this game – a game that promised so much in the way of good, honest, tactical football with more than a slight chance of shenanigans from both teams. We weren’t disappointed.

This incident happened right beside the assistant referee. He surely must have seen it. If he didn’t, he should have. He was no more than a couple of metres from it.

In my opinion this was a travesty of justice and one which I’m sure will be overturned by some review committee in the coming weeks.

The reaction from Cuadrado was understandable when he attempted to confront Ramos upon realising that he had been dismissed.

His expulsion might, or might not, have had a direct bearing on the result – that’s not the point. The real point is that a terrible injustice was done to the Juve player by a fellow professional and on a night that should have been a “shop window” for European football.

Instead what we witnessed is a part of football that is rotten and most distasteful and needs to be addressed with the utmost urgency.

We have the technology to deal with these incidents but Fifa, for some reason, are delaying the implementation of the video assistant referee system.

It’s been used in trials and has proved successful, so why won’t they bring it in?

Only they know.

Happy Whistling

Dr Errol Sweeney

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