Snooding Over The Issue – 15th March 2011

So, last week it was revealed that FIFA has banned the wearing of snoods with effect from 1st July 2011 on the grounds of health and safety. When this news broke I couldn’t help but wonder why the snood has been banned so quickly while the debate on goal line technology rumbles on.

The snood has become a popular fashion accessory in football and increasingly common in the Premier League this season with a number of high profile players, including Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure, wearing them, to the apparent disgust of many.

The snood in action

Numerous footballers, managers and pundits have made no bones about their dislike for them, and lambasted the ubiquitous snood. Alex Ferguson, Paul Ince, and Rio Ferdinand have publicity expressed their dislike of snoods all citing the “not in my day” kind of rant, except for Ferdinand of course who is still playing. In all fairness, they do have a point; wearing such a thing does seem a little pathetic in what is supposed a “macho” sport.

Yet, how can football be considered “macho” when most modern footballers dramatically roll around the floor after brushing their finger with the shirt of the opposition. A prime example, being Manchester United’s Nani, who was brought to tears after Jamie Carragher challenged him in the recent United Liverpool match. Carragher’s challenge was a bit more robust than a brushing of a shirt but still, dry your eyes mate, it’s not that bad. Therefore, to cite snoods as representing “softness” doesn’t really weigh up.

Also, England is a cold, sometimes freezing country. Lest we forgot the media insistence that the few weeks of snow in December was coined as “the big freeze” as opposed the more traditional term: winter. Taking this into account who can blame footballers, who hail from the tropics and the Mediterranean, for trying to keep their precious, over paid necks warm by wearing a snood?

Ultimately, why does anyone actually care whether footballers wear snoods? There seems little resistance to the idea of goal line technology from many involved in football, except for the very organisation that can introduce it, FIFA.

From an English perspective the issue reared its rather ugly head during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. England were playing Germany in the Second Round knockout stage, England were two-one down, when Frank Lampard, took a shot which clearly crossed the line after hitting the crossbar. The goal would have brought England to level terms. Yet the officials did not give the goal. England went onto lose the game emphatically as Germany were far superior, but there is an outside chance that they could have pulled out a result had they drew level. Had goal line technology been in place England would have as the video replays would have shown that England did in fact score.

Lampard's goal that never was

Now, I do not consider my self overtly passionate about international football as cited in my earlier blog, but I was heartbroken that England’s World Cup was ended partly due to such an avoidable referring error. Surely this moment should have been enough to make FIFA realise that goal line technology is the way forward. After all, it was a demonstration on the biggest stage of all, the World Cup. But no, instead it would appear that outlawing snoods take more of a priority. FIFA are snooding over the issue, if you like.

Throughout history, England – Germany matches have been remembered purely for unforgettable footballing moments. For example, England’s World Cup win of 1966, the 1990 World Cup Semi-Final penalty shootout, the last goal scored at the Old Wembley in 2000, Michael Owen’s hat-trick in the 5-1 thrashing in Munich in 2001. Yet the 2010 World Cup encounter will be remembered for only one thing, at least for England: the goal that never was. The moment in which FIFA should have woken up and finally put goal line technology into action but didn’t! FIFA beware, no longer can the cries of injustice be muffled or hidden by a snood so please come to your senses. How much longer can you hold out?

On a more serious note, Manchester City no longer sell City branded snoods as a result of the ban. Damn FIFA!

Words by Rob Toole

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