How To Ruin A World Cup

Today the German soccer team plays Italy for a berth in the World Cup final. However, Germany will be playing without Torsten Frings. Frings was suspended after FIFA reviewed video of the disgraceful brawl that took place after Germany defeated Argentina in their quarterfinal match. On the video, Frings is shown punching Argentinian striker Julio Cruz. However, it also appears from the video that Frings threw the punch in response to being slapped by Cruz.

Regardless of Cruz’s actions, Frings should not have responded violently. However, FIFA also needs to take action that protects the interests of the game as well as its integrity. Denying Germany a crucial player in such a pivotal game seems to me to be an overly harsh punishment for Fring’s offense. In the event that Germany loses to Italy in a close game, FIFA’s decision will become the controversy of this World Cup. A more fitting punishment for Frings would have been to allow him to serve out his two game suspension after the World Cup. As it is, if I were FIFA, I would be rooting hard for a Germany win.

[Disclaimer: As you probably know I am rooting for Germany over Italy.]

Click below to view videos of the incident and let me know what you think (via The 3rd World View):

A close-up view of the Cruz slap and the Frings punch.


Another angle on the slap and punch.


Yet another perspective of the confrontation.


Finally, to give some context, here is what television viewers saw of the entire brawl. It was a disgraceful end to a beautiful game. Argentina will regret that they left the 2006 World Cup in such fashion.

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5 Responses to How To Ruin A World Cup

  1. Bengali Fob says:

    I was wondering what that was all about. It was definitely sad to see that. This World Cup has seen some embarrasing moments for FIFA. They’ll definitely try to imporve on this for the future.

  2. That wasn’t that hard of a punch, at least not by NHL standards. A suspension was too harsh of a penalty for Frings. If FIFA thought that was bad, then what about that thug Wayne Rooney?

  3. Bengali Fob says:

    Robbie – Yes, that punch didn’t look hard at all. It barely made contact. The slap was the same thing. They were just angry and frustrated I guess.

    I’ve watched the Rooney incident like five times and I’m seriously not sure if he did it by purpose or not. It did look kind of like an awkward fall, but then again how do you miss the ball. 😕 I don’t know. Anyway, you’re right. But I think both Frings and Rooney deserve suspension. One game for Frings and two games for Rooney.

    BTW, what happened to the Argentine player who slapped Frings?

  4. Mash says:

    Fob, I think FIFA has not yet made up its mind on the Argentine players. They are supposed to give a decision this week. They wanted to get the Germany decision out before the game. I think not having Frings hurt the Germans because it caused Ballack to play as more of a defensive midfielder instead of playing forward. Nonetheless, the Italians played very strong and deserved the result. But, oh so close – almost to penalties =((

  5. Rezwan says:

    I think Torsten Frings absence cost Germany much because the change of positions did not click and Germany did not have the control over the game. Your title happens to be appropriate to describe this.

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