Friday, August 10, 2012

Handball? No Complaints from Nadeshiko

Missed calls are not a rarity, but few have larger potential consequences than the missed handball call that would have given the Nadeshiko a penalty kick in the gold medal final that they eventually lost to the US 2-1. It was a clear foul according to Grant Wahl the American soccer journalist at Sports Illustrated, as well as other US media reports, so it’s not something that happened only in the eyes of the diehard Japanese fan. But none of the annoying histrionics particularly rampant in the men’s game; just play on, as Wahl notes. After the game, it was more of the same. The players, the head coach, no one, not a single quote on the matter from the Nadeshiko side as far as I could gather.

Now, imagine what the aftermath would be like if something remotely similar happens in the Japan-South Korea men’s bronze medal match. And believe me, there will be a lot of fouls to be called or imagined.

Add: Here, Rapinoe comes closest to a concession since Maradonna’s “God’s Hand” statement in the following excerpt: “‘The one on Tobin?’ Rapinoe said, smiling. ‘Thank God I'm not a referee.’" My point, of course, is not that the foul should have been called (though I suppose it should have in the best of worlds) but that no one complained from the Japanese side.

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