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World Cup Soccer:
2002 Recap

Sunday, June 30, 2002

By Jim Law
SJSports Staff Writer

Who would have guessed it - Brazil winning the World Cup? OK, so my France prediction was way-way off base. Not far behind that was the other prediction of the USA not making it to the second round. Good thing I do not make predictions for a living.

I have recently returned from an extended visit to Iceland, Scotland and England. What a most fortunate time of year to visit - World Cup time. During the preliminary stages we got three telecast games a day beginning at 7:30 AM. The British Broadcasting Company did a bang up job with its coverage albeit slanted to the English Team. That got old fast but the rest of the coverage was excellent.

The British press was most favorable to our Team USA. Much to their surprise we completed a task most thought was not possible. We can all be proud of the achievements this year's squad accomplished. Soccer in the USA is here to stay.

How does the referee know when the assistant referee raises his flag indicating a foul, off sides or out of bounds? Technology has hit it big in these years World Cup. The assistant referee has a button on the handle of his flag. All he has to do is push the button and a signal is buzzed to the referee.

What is a World Cup without some sort of controversy? How many goals did the Italian team have nullified by being in an off side position when in fact they were not in that position. Sure is easy to see on slow motion replay. Is there a solution?

The Glasgow, Scotland newspapers had an idea on how to work through this problem. They state that Hugh Dallas, Scottish International Referee, always works with the same assistant referee crew in every big game. This brings consistency to the game. Why is it the biggest games of all do not have the same process? Might this be an item for review?

Have you had a good time watching the World Cup? Thank heavens for the Spanish network broadcasting the games in the Philadelphia area. They were much more impressive than the English network productions in the UK.

Also impressive was the camera angles, instant replays from reverse direction and overall game situation replays. Great job camera crews. Hope the US viewers will hold our networks up to these standards for our soccer.

Until next time...........

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Jim Law is a South Jersey soccer referee with over 21 years of USSF, high school, and indoor experience.

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