Yes, as if you don’t have enough to worry about these days . . . but the decision-process is now starting to get in gear for who will get to host the 2018 Winter Olympics! We’re reminded of this by Evi Simeoni with her article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, brought out on the occasion of the recent deadline for submission of official “bid-books” from candidate cities to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Understandably, Ms. Simeoni is particularly interested in Munich’s bid for the honor, which was delivered to Lausanne in person (because that’s simply what you do) earlier this week along with the documents of competitors Annecy (France) and Pyeongchang (South Korea). What follows from this point is inspections by the IOC’s Evaluation Committee to each site (to happen 1-3 March for the Bavarians), followed by formal presentations at the Lausanne headquarters on 18-19 May and the announcement of the decision at an IOC meeting in Durban, South Africa, on 6 July. (more…)
Remember the Hand of Henry? You do if you’re Irish. That refers to the blatant handballs committed by star Barcelona striker Thierry Henry, playing last month on the French national team in a World Cup playoff game, that enabled the winning goal to be scored and sent the French to South Africa instead of the Republic of Ireland. These fouls were evident enough to the millions watching the match on TV, but not to the crew of officials actually in charge of the game, and this result which robbed the Irish of their World Cup 2010 participation was allowed to stand.
Now down in the Southern Hemisphere, the French team isn’t doing very well and will probably fly home after only the three games of the tournament’s first round, but that is not the point. The point is rather the continued refusal by FIFA officials (i.e. from the international football organization in charge of the World Cup) to install any sort of modern technology (e.g. televised replay review) to ensure that officiating travesties like what happened to the Irish can never happen again. This only ensures, of course, that such a thing will happen again, at least one more time, and this during that organization’s signature event that draws the sustained attention of billions of spectators from all over the world – a substantial portion of whom tune in to cheer on their own nation’s team.
Sure enough, another such travesty has come along on cue, namely the denial yesterday to the United States team of a perfectly-valid third goal which would have capped a tremendous rally from a 2-0 deficit by half-time with a glorious win. Instead, the US team earned a 2-2 draw, which gave them a mere one point towards advancing further in the tournament rather than the full three to which the victory they deserved would have entitled them. (more…)