Opinion

Editorial: Refs, Red, Yellow Cards Decide Final Outcomes

Swamy said: “We knew we could win this game unfortunately we had those two red cards in the beginning. Then again we had another red card and playing with eight men. I think with nine men we were still applying pressure, so if we had 11 men we would have won this game. The team was confident they can win by two goals but it was because of the red cards.”
18 Feb 2019 12:45
Editorial: Refs, Red, Yellow Cards Decide Final Outcomes
Lautoka FC

One cannot imagine modern football without the yellow and red cards.

It’s now part and parcel of the game since it was introduced at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

Its introduction was meant for noble intentions and that is to eliminate unsportsmanlike behaviour.

But, apart from the referees, cards come into play more often than ever and at times decide the final outcomes of the game.

FIFA continues to change the rules of the game prioritising the safety of the players as paramount.

However, it seems our players find it hard to play within the confines of the rules of the game.

Our local competitions continue to be hindered by players being constantly warned and sent off for misdemeanours.

This despite being trained and reminded on what’s right and what’s wrong.

Earlier this month, six red cards were issued in a day during three Vodafone Premier League matches and the Women’s IDC final.

It’s a premier competition where all the top players from other districts played and participants should have been well-versed with the rules.

It seems they were not.

And the problem never ends as we take part in more major regional competitions.

It seems we buckle when the intensity and pressure starts to mount.

A case in point is when three Lautoka players were sent off in the OFC Champions League match against AS Central Sport at Churchill Park on Saturday.

The Tahitian champions held Lautoka to a 2-2 draw to cement their grip as top seed in Group B.

The Blues were down to 10 men in the 35th minute as Vanuatu international Bong Kalo received his marching orders.

Dave Radrigai received his second yellow card in the 37th minute after conceding a penalty.

The second half saw referee Nick Waldron hand out 10 yellow cards to players from both teams and a red card to Lautoka’s Afraz Ali.

Lautoka coach Kamal Swamy said going down to nine men in the first half made it even tougher for them to achieve their aim to get maximum points from the game.

Swamy said: “We knew we could win this game unfortunately we had those two red cards in the beginning. Then again we had another red card and playing with eight men. I think with nine men we were still applying pressure, so if we had 11 men we would have won this game. The team was confident they can win by two goals but it was because of the red cards.”

Now Swamy and the Blues have to wait for another year  because they got it wrong, failing to play by the rules and tarnishing the image of Fiji football in the process.

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