Pedro Molina

La fea mancha del juego bonito

ANN ARBOR – La calidad del arbitraje en la Copa del Mundo había sido motivo de alivio hasta el 18 de junio, cuando el referí Koman Coulibaly de Mali anuló un gol perfectamente legítimo de los Estados Unidos que le habría dado una muy importante victoria sobre Eslovenia. Peor aún, Coulibaly nunca tuvo que rendir cuentas por su pésima decisión, ni explicársela a nadie: ni a los jugadores y entrenadores en el campo de juego, ni al público en general.

Las decisiones de los árbitros en el fútbol, no importa lo notablemente erradas que puedan ser, son inapelables e inmutables. Los fanáticos de todo el mundo siempre recordarán el escandaloso error que concedió a Francia el gol decisivo contra Irlanda para calificar para el Mundial, a pesar de la obvia falta de la superestrella francesa Thierry Henry, que tocó el balón con la mano.

Creemos que se necesita con urgencia un esfuerzo concertado por reformar el arbitraje en el fútbol. Los errores de los árbitros limitan cada vez más el juego en todos sus niveles: nacional y de clubes, ligas mayores y menores, campeonatos y partidos que se transmiten a todo el mundo y juegos locales. Puesto que tienen importantes consecuencias para el resultado de torneos clave que definen a éste, el más globalizado de los deportes, su frecuencia y ubicuidad ponen en peligro la integridad misma del juego y, con ello, su legitimidad esencial. Después de todo, esos episodios cada vez más son parte del dominio público, gracias a los nuevos medios que han hecho que el fútbol se haya vuelto incluso más global de lo que era.

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