3 Things to Dislike About the World Cup

england usa goal World Cup 2010No, the vuvuzelas and “it’s boring” are not among them.

I like football/soccer a lot, and I’ve enjoyed watching many of the World Cup games so far. But there are some things about it that bother me.

I’m not talking about little, pet peeve like the vuvuzelas. Rather there are some aspects of the game that create disincentives to our most important values as human beings.

1) The injustice of fluke wins

Lots of people complain about the low scoring nature of World Cup football/soccer. I think it’s bad for the sport but maybe not for the reason you think. The problem with a low scoring game is not that it’s boring, but that it makes it much more likely a fluke goal will win the game.

One of our fundamental human values is justice. You should get what you deserve. The best applicant should get the job. The team that plays the best should win.

In other, more high-scoring sports, there are more opportunities to overcome fluke scores. But in World Cup football/soccer often one fluke goal will decide it, which truly is an injustice.

There is a lot to like about the World Cup.  (Maybe I’ll do another post/series about that.)  But the fact that “luck” rather than skill often determines the winner is one thing I don’t like.

Do you think it’s an injustice for a team to outplay its opponent and then lose or tie on a fluke goal? Why or why not?

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this series for the other things to dislike about the World Cup.

16 Responses to “3 Things to Dislike About the World Cup”