Besart Berisha is the reason I, and many other Australians, will never love football.
It is not the player himself that we hate, although Glory fans might beg to differ, but his actions on Sunday afternoon that gave Brisbane Roar the A-League Championship and thousands of Australians another solid reason to hate the sport. For many Glory fans, it was a flashback to that sickening day in 2006 at the FIFA World Cup, where a diving Italian incurred a penalty kick to bootAustraliafrom the competition.
Fast-forward six years, and it was a diving Albanian who gave the Glory their marching orders. Up until then, Glory had played well for no reward, an own goal by a Roar defender the only difference between the two teams. With less then 10 minutes to go, it looked as ifPerthwould pull off an unlikely victory before some loose defence allowed a Roar goal to tie the match at one all.
Come injury time, the dive, and the deciding goal, ended what was a miraculous finals run for the Glory. The top FFA umpire has come out and said that the penalty was there and should have been given, but Im a bit hard to convince. There is one angle that CLEARLY shows Berisha lifting his foot to kick the ball, missing, and falling over under the momentum of his own kick. Its little wonder the Glory players and fans feel hard done by and why owner Tony Sage is calling for blood. In a little victory for glory, Jacob Burns won the medal for best on ground, but even that was covered in farce after it was awarded to a Roar player as a mistake.
Its little wonder the FFA and the A-League finds itself in hot water. Sports all over the world are embracing technology to help in decisions of this magnitude that could quite easily decide a match. Cricket has been using hot spot and snicko for years, while the AFL has finally introduced goal line technology that has assisted in the correct calling of a number of goals or spoils that could otherwise decide a match. Its time the purists of the sport got over their “technology will ruin the game” mantra and acknowledge that technology could only help the game and avoid a comical error such as that on Sunday or the other in 2006.
Until then, it will never been a much-loved Australian sport.