The article, posted at Soccernet, details Webb’s appearance on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. Read it here. Here’s a highlight:
There, see that? Was that really all that difficult? Webb can’t change history. He can’t go back in time and undo the call. And he can’t help Tottenham grow a pair and not fold faster than paper at an origami class.
But Webb can admit his mistake and move on. And I applaud him for it, and you keep an eye out to make sure he doesn’t make a similar mistake again. The fact that he will put in work to see where he went wrong is very encouraging and professional.
Now, would it have been that difficult to hear the same thing from Jair Maruffo after his colossal foul ups in the DC-LA game during Major League Soccer’s opening week – one on a handball and one for not stopping play with two players suffering head injuries? There never was an explanation that I saw, there never was a statement, nothing. When I covered MLS for the newspaper I worked for several years ago, and such a controversial situation occurred, a pool reporter was selected from the press box and was allowed to ask the referee three questions, and all the writers could then use the information. I don’t know if this policy is still in place, and if it’s not, it’s an abomination in this situation.
Course, now we read here, there, and everywhere that Maruffo may have received a gift in the form of a jersey from the Fire’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco following Chicago’s 2-2 draw with Columbus over the weekend. The Crew led, 2-0, before Crew defender Gino Padula was sent off for a foul on Blanco. The Fire scored twice, everyone gets a point, and Blanco was allegedly seen tossing his jersey into the official’s room.
It is natural – but not correct – to now be convinced that something sinister was at work not only Saturday, but in the aforementioned DC-LA game, too. If we had ever gotten an explanation from Marrufo for his actions that day, the perception battle wouldn’t be so hard to win. If, say three days after the game, Marrufo released a statement through US Soccer and/or MLS, noting his errors, apologizing for them, and explaining what he thought he saw in the heat of the moment – some fans would still have been all over him, I’m sure, but the openness of communication and the ability for the public to understand his thought process would have made things a lot better.
Having never done that, and now having his name associated with another issue – one that potentially (and that’s a big word there) has far greater consequences than a bad penalty call and a worse game management decision, there will probably be fans that will go back and wonder if what they saw was above board both back in March and this past weekend.
I’m 99.995% sure that it was.
It’s the 0.005% reamining that creates the problem right now.
The sooner the right folks get to the bottom of everything, the better. And the more openness with which they do it … well, that wouldn’t hurt either.
Personally, I hope the 99.995% part of me is right.