I just abandoned watching the Champions League Final at the half between Liverpool and Real Madrid + The Referee. The Referee was bad enough ignoring Real Madrid dives, tripping and gouging. But then a crushing judo-like tackle by Sergio Ramos on Liverpool’s star, 44 goal star Mohammed Salah was the tipping point – this was going to be like watching a WWE – World Wrestling Exhibition, fair play be damned:.
The tackle was done right in front of THE REFEREE who chose to ignore it – no Red card or even a Yellow card. . Salah was injured so badly that he had to leave the game at the 31st minute and his injury may keep him out of the upcoming World Cup. More damning, if you watch the replay you can see the malevolent Spaniard’s mayhem:
You can see that Sergio holds Salah’s arm, pulls him over his hip still clinging to Salah’s arm, then lands on Salah’s arm and shoulder. No attempt to release the arm, no attempt to avoid a damaging impact on Salah. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case – a deliberate vicious, injurious tackle by Sergio Ramos.
And Salah’s injury did have an immediate impact on the game. Up to this 30 minute point in the game, Liverpool had a clear advantage in play because Real Madrid had to guard against Liverpool getting the ball through to Salah thus opening up paths to Mane and Firmino. After this deliberate mayhem the outcome of the game was of no interest.
Will FIFA’s World Cup Become A Thugfest?
If FIFA takes no action against deliberately foul play like Sergio Ramos what message does that send to the 32 World Cup teams? Beware an upcoming foul plagued thugfest that will turn-off fans. For example, in the upcoming World Cup, Portugal faces off against Spain. Will Spain’s Captain, Sergio Ramos decide that since he was not banned from the tournament, perhaps a debilitating tackle against Ronaldo, his Real Madrid teammate but now Portuguese rival is on order. You know, take out the star player like he did to Mo Salah in the Champions League Final. There is a history of rough, foul play in World Cup Matches – see 2014, 2010, 2006, 1998, 1994, 1990. But now that the Champions League Final has apparently allowed deliberate on-field maiming, FIFA has a major problem. Worse the World Cup in Russia has dangerous prospects of turning into Hooligans and Thugs Fest among the “fans” in Russia.