Many readers have sent notes asking for some comments on the officiating in the WWC, particularly about some strange decisions, some even stranger indecisions, and even retaken penalty-kicks. But I have to admit that I have not seen one single game in the tournament, because I am in the middle of travelling to some important family events and situations. I probably won't be able to watch the final game. So it only makes sense not to comment except for individual questions I have been asked about.
All I have seen are a few replays here and there, some of the goals, and some of the celebrations as the U.S. marched towards the final. And also--I must add, as an ex-custodian--some of the poor goalkeeping that seems to be a feature of the women's game everywhere. (Why the goalkeeping is so weak, I do not know, but I am going to try to find out.)
The success of the U.S. means a disappointment for Kari Seitz, our referee in the competition and one of the most experienced female officials on the planet. The team's gain means her loss, for she will have to sit and watch yet another championship, as she has done several times, and for the same reason.
I will have a lot to write about retaken penalty-kicks. Law 14 is consistently ignored by more than 99% of officials, and I've never figured out the real reason. I've got some history to tell about them, involving my years in the NASL; the origin of the 35-yard shootout instead of penalty-kicks; what is and what is not "trifling" at a penalty-kick; and the seductive appeal of the siren's song: "No one else orders a retake. Why should I?" Yes, I will answer that question. I'll be home in a few days, on top of the ridge over the Pacific. Enjoy the final!