I know I said in my match recap the other day that I don’t like complaining about referee calls, but I’m now going to do it for my second article in a row. Having no standards is fun sometimes.
“Not the Mother of all Handballs”
Per Ruhr Nachrichten, Referee Tobias Stieler gave his post-game thoughts on his penalty call against Jamie Bynoe-Gittens. Even though JBG’s arm was mostly jutted against his torso, it was apparently “slightly angled,” which was good enough to call it a handball. He did at least admit that it might be a little soft, though, when he said, “It was clear that it wasn’t the mother of all handballs,” and he “could understand if someone had a different view of the scene.”
Wonderful. Thankfully it didn’t hurt BVB too much in the end.
Friday TV Review
Recently, I watched the first two episodes of the Apple TV documentary series Super League: The War for Football. There are two more episodes to go, but I wanted to give my thoughts on the show so far.
Overall the documentary is pretty well put-together, but I feel that it is un-nuanced in its depictions of the two sides. The story portrayed is one of Heroes and Villains: innocent UEFA, dedicated to upholding the traditional footballing vales of fairness, tradition, and sportsmanship; and the owners of Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus, and the other nefarious and money-hungry clubs who are willing to sacrifice everything in favor of their bottom lines.
The series gives the impression that the recent trend of money taking over football is purely driven by individual clubs, and that the sport’s relationship with wealthy American, Middle Eastern, and Asian owners has nothing to do with encouragement from UEFA. PSG is shown not as a wealthy club fighting to preserve its comparative advantage from a bunch of less wealthy clubs angling for their own slice of the pie, but instead as a principled club that puts sport above wealth. The irony is unavoidable when the documentary cuts to the 2021 Executive Conference of UEFA, a nonprofit supposedly set on defending the values of football, at an exclusive Swiss Resort on the shores of Lake Geneva, interspersed with interviews with real fans of small teams sitting in their London corner pubs, all while pretending that the two are fighting for the same thing.
The Daily Buzz
Did you think it was a handball on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens