It is very rare to see the entire soccer public shocked, but thanks to an unusual call on Canadian goalie Erin Mcleod, that special moment will stand with us for the next 5 minutes or so in today’s day of minute-by-minute sports analysis. In case you missed it, Mcleod was whistled for holding onto the ball to long. Goalies are only allowed to hold the ball in their hands for 6 seconds. If this rule is violated, the opposing team is awarded an indirect free kick where the infraction occurred. Seems simple enough, but that would mean this article wouldn’t exist.
One of the old sportswriters of the world commented how perception is the new reality in this modern age. We no longer care what the facts are, who is right, or what really happened. The only thing that matters is how something is presented to us. the public makes a snap decision that they stick with. This is why the foul against McLeod is so jarring. Our perception of soccer is that the keeper can hold onto the ball for a long time. We substitute this for the reality that a keeper only has 6 seconds. This game stunned our reality, and from that came anger and confusion.
Most fans aren’t truly angry at the ref, but merely angry at the situation. Change upsets almost all people , and on such a big stage it was bound to have ramifications. The call was correct, an the ref got it right. You can criticize the officials for their general horrid display during the game, but you can’t say they got this call wrong.
Some people indicate that Hope Solo help the ball for over 6 seconds and nothing happened. If this is true then it was a mistake on the refs part. It still doesn’t change the fact that McLeod committed an infraction herself. That old chestnut of two wrongs don’t make a right certainly applies, and honestly people should be applauding the ref for getting something right. We often demand better referees, and are now criticizing someone for getting it correct.
This wasn’t a perfect game, for the refs or for the players, but maybe we should focus our frustration on antiquated rules and the craziness that is FIFA. Or you can just look at this awesome if a little old Alex Morgan gallery.