Wednesday, July 12, 2006

French lawyer to challenge World Cup in Court

Well, this is nice.

A French lawyer, Mehana Mouhou, is asking a French court to question the World Cup Final's fourth official, Luis Medina Cantalejo, about whether he saw Zinadine Zidane's now-infamous head-butt with his own eyes, or if he used replay to dismiss him (which is not allowed by FIFA).

I've heard this video replay theory elsewhere, as well. A friend said "Of course he used video replay. Why else would he have taken so long? He had a headset!"


1. The fourth official has no access to video replay. He could not have seen it on the sideline monitors. Period.
2. While the replay was shown on the scoreboard (very bad idea, by the way), no self-respecting official would watch it, especially when hell has a chance of breaking loose on the pitch imminently. Cantalejo had referee Horacio Elizondo's back. It wouldn't even occur to any official at any level to look up to the scoreboard.
3. It's the job of the fourth official to look at action that the main official doesn't see. That's exactly why he's there.
4. The delay was entirely necessary for Elizondo to restore order. He was busy every second of it, not waiting for someone to see the video.

As to why Elizondo ran to Cantalejo rather than getting the information over the headset, consider a few more things:

5. The stadium is damn loud--loud enough to overpower a headset microphone. Have you ever tried talking on a cellphone at a stadium? I have. I gave up--too loud. This stadium was way louder than the ballpark I tried to talk at. Add onto that possible accent issues when Elizondo, an Argentinian, listens to Cantalejo, a Spaniard. Hard to hear AND hard to understand. Better to run over to have a face-to-face.
6. Nevertheless, let's suppose, just for fun, that Elizondo heard Cantalejo. "Red card to Zidane!" Whoa! That's pretty huge. If it were me, I'd run over for an explanation and to be certain I heard correctly.

And, of course, to repeat:

7. Cantalejo told us he saw the head-butt with his own eyes, and FIFA is confirming it.

Even though it will undoubtedly die, this lawsuit is offensive. And given that these sorts of overturn-the-refs-decision lawsuits are getting more common in my country, I take offense at it. In one swoop, Mehana Mouhou is calling Cantalejo an incompetent and a liar.

What kind of bottom-feeding pond scum could make such an accusation based on absolutely no evidence?

Oh. I forgot. The guy's a lawyer.


At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

absolutely correct, even if the 4th official did use a replay, admitting to it would pretty much end his career as a professional referee. this is just a bitter frenchman grasping at straws. france, on the day, clearly didnt have it in them to beat italy. get over it.

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok the french were the better team. they played 75 good minutes of football and italy the other 45. even if the final isn't overturned (highly unlikely) this case's verdict will give a real answer as to what happened.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I found the French lawyer in question's website:

At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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