The Warm-Up: FIFA’s message to defenders – 'amputate your arms'
The Warm-Up is fed up of this handball nonsense.
WEDNESDAY’S BIG STORIES
If you think that’s a proper handball, go away
Want to avoid giving away penalties? Simple. Saw off your arms.
That’s the message FIFA are spreading at the Women’s World Cup after their farcical interpretation of the handball rule was exposed again, with the Netherlands scoring a last-gasp penalty to send Japan crashing out.
Saki Kumagai was the poor soul who fell victim to the decision, getting clobbered on the upper arm by a shot from two yards away. Check out the injustice below:
Incredibly, there are people who think it’s a genuine penalty. Maybe YOU even think it’s a legit penalty. The referee didn’t even bother consulting VAR, such was her conviction.
But come on… how can it possibly be so? The FIFA guidelines may say it’s an infringement, but that doesn’t make it right. Kumagai had no time to react and was trying to make her body smaller, instinctively clawing her arm into her body as she blocked the ball.
We hate to bring bad news, but many Homo sapiens have arms – and there’s a good chance they will for a few years yet. They’re pretty useful for balance, move around merrily with their owner and are particularly useful for everyday life.
VAR is terrible. The rules are terrible. FIFA, can we have our football back please?
Vivianne Miedema of the Netherlands shot his the arm of Saki Kumagai of Japan and results in a penalty during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Round Of 16 match between Netherlands and Japan at Roazhon ParkGetty Images
Frank Lampard is doing the RIGHT thing
"It's hard though because I only want the Chelsea job."
Frank Lampard’s words from 2016 are enough insight into why he’s ready to gamble his entire reputation. He never had any interest in slogging the lower-league life, getting clapped off after earning a hard-fought draw at Scunthorpe. Nope, he wanted the big time straight away and – somehow – he’s almost there.
The general consensus is that it’s a terrible move for him, with many folks tipping him to face the axe in Super Frank Returns: Season I. But why the gloomy outlook?
Chelsea have lost their best player, are facing a transfer ban and therefore have zero expectations for the upcoming season. Surely that’s the perfect time to swoop in and manage your dream club? Providing he finishes in the top six, the fans will stick with him (assuming they’ve forgiven him for playing for Manchester City…).
Experienced or not, it will inevitably collapse – no Chelsea manager has lasted more than 22 months in the last decade – and at 41, he’s got plenty of time for another career anyway.
Frank LampardPA Sport
Buffon is back!
What would you do if: a) you’ve just left your dream club in a bid to win the world’s biggest club competition, then b) the world’s greatest goal scorer (NOT player, back in your box Penassi and Penaldo comment warriors) sign for your old team?
Gianluigi Buffon’s answer is simple: see out your new contract and return home. The Italian great is on the verge of an emotional (we guess) return to Juventus from PSG, according to multiple reports, teaming up with Cristiano Ronaldo (watching him from the bench) as they target a long-awaited Champions League title.
HEROES AND ZEROES
Hero: Daniel Levy
…if he doesn’t realise he’s about to spend £65 million and not £6.50.
Hero II: Yaya Banana
The unavoidably excellently-named Cameroon defender scored a goal. (OK, he’s a hero on name alone, the goal is mediocre).
Zero: This referee
…for giving Ghana’s John Boye a second yellow card for letting his goalkeeper take a free-kick.
(If you're not in the UK, just use your imagination for the above clip)
OK, not that retro. Three years ago, the most famous clap since the Friends opening titles was born after England 1-2 Iceland.
With the Women’s World Cup taking a day off, it’s all about the AFCON. Nigeria v Guinea (15:30), Uganda v Zimbabwe (18:00) and Egypt v DR Congo (21:00) are on the menu.
Jack Lang is on the specials menu for tomorrow along with tomorrow’s Warm-Up...