Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Italian Job

We were in a sports bar near work, during lunch hour, catching the Italy-Australia game. It was packed with supporters, mostly Italian, with a few Australian drinkers in between. I had an Inter-milan shirt on too. Even though I was supporting Italy, I also wanted to see goals, and even cheered whenever the 'Roos got a touch on the ball. Must have presented a confused sight to the other fans.

Suddenly, while it was still in the middle of the first half and the Azzuri owned the 'Roos, a man walked into the bar. This is not a joke. He was white, tall, extremely weird looking (like one of those Psycho movies), glasses, thin hair and sweating profusely (it was a cold day). He had a briefcase with him. He panted, walked up to an empty chair, placed the briefcase on the chair, and exited the bar without speaking a single word.

We all looked at one another in amazement. Then at the door where the man had just left. Slowly, everyone's attention drifted away from the screen and turned to the lone briefcase lying on the chair, unattended. Was it our imagination or was there a ticking sound from the briefcase. We all started to move uneasily. From somewhere a voice came out, "Um... call the cops?"

Suddenly, after what seemed like an eternity but was probably five minutes, the man returned. He had just gone out for a smoke! We all sheepishly turned back to the drama on the pitch. Recent arrests of alleged terrorists in your city does that to you.

When the officials called THREE minutes of stoppage time in the second half I just felt it. There was NO WAY the stoppage time could be that high (there were hardly any stops to the flow of the game in the half). Someone up there (in FIFA) decided to play it until one team *cough*Italy*cough* won.

When the ref called the penalty in the 94th minute (remember THREE minutes of stoppage time?) it was all over for the 'Roos. The Italians may claim it was a penalty, but the rest of the world knows. At worst, the Aussie player could be called for obstruction which is AN INDIRECT FREEKICK and contrary to popular misconception CAN Be taken from inside the penalty box. While Italy was the better team it was sad that it took a referee's false call *eyebrows raised* to let them win 1-0 over the plucky Australians. Cheaters never prosper? Try telling that to the Italian team [secret training video].

So in the end my team won, but it was a dirty victory.



Anonymous said...

Well, there was a similar discrepency regarding extra time during the Aus-Croatia game. Karma certainly bites.

Abu Sinan said...

Funny about the briefcase. I spent a lot of time in Ireland. Someone does something like that and the palce empties out in seconds.

That is one of th favoured ways of bombing.

mezba said...

Anon.. refereeing has been a sore spot during this otherwise fantastic world cup. Time to get tv replays for penalties and offside goals.

mezba said...

abu, we nearly emptied the bar too! was scary for the few minutes with noone knowing what to do.