Is FIFA Censoring the U.S. Non-Goal?

More

[Courtney Knapp]

The soccer world is still buzzing about referee Koman Coulibaly's nullification of a USA goal in last week's match against Slovenia. If you didn't watch Friday's match: Landon Donovan put a well placed free kick into the box, which Maurice Edu knocked into the net in what would have been a tie-breaking third goal. Coulibaly disallowed the goal citing an unspecified American foul on the play. On replays, no American fouls were visible. In fact, American players were being pulled down by Slovene defenders.

Coulibaly's decision has been discussed, dissected and derided. (And like beleaguered umpire Jim Joyce, Coulibal's Wikipedia page was quickly defaced to reflect fans' views of his call.)

I'd point you to relevant footage from the match, but FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) has blocked video of the nullified goal. If you try to watch on YouTube you receive the following message: "This video contains content from FIFA, who has blocked it on copyright grounds."
FIFAcopyright.jpg
Click around. Lots of other World Cup video are available. For example, here are clips from the South Africa-Mexico match, the France-Uruguay match, and the South Korea-Greece match. [UPDATE: All three of the above videos are now unavailable in some places, sorry!] The FIFA highlight reel from the match also skips over the controversial goal.

In addition, the excellent Robin Goldstein is covering FIFA's alleged censoring of discussion of the call. Goldstein reported on the initial silencing of comments and then the picky approval by the moderators of FIFA.com's "Have Your Say" discussion boards immediately following the match.

... on FIFA.com, the silence about USA-Slovenia has been deafening. The latest comment to appear on the discussion board has a timestamp of 20:04. In the 193-minute span between the game's end and the latest comment's time stamp, only 24 squeaky-clean comments have been approved. For instance: "great fightback by the USA"; "this is the right result on the balance of play"; "way to go USA"; "the match was really exciting!"; "slovenia is the best team"; "USA are becoming a real nice team!"; and "Slovenia had a great chance to qualify in the next round!! But in the second half we were too defensive."

By comparison, in that same span of time--193 minutes--after the end of Germany-Serbia (which ended today at 14:20), there were already 175 comments posted. That's more than seven times as many.

Is FIFA's response to the controversy censorship?


Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Wild Vacation in the Pacific Northwest

A not-so-ordinary road trip, featuring extra-tall art bikes, skateboards, and hand-painted vans


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In