Meditating on World Cup Officiating: Reflection on Repentance
Please excuse the digression from our normally more serious fare on this blog. However, a nice illustration and parable of human behavior is unfolding before the globe's collective eye.
I am enjoying the World Cup as many around the world are. This is one of our few truly global events. It might not belong in a theological blog, except for how FIFA officials are reacting to being exposed in their handling (or non-handling) of officials who have consistently missed important calls. The most consistent thing about this World Cup has been the inability of officials to get key calls right. In theology, when we are wrong, the term that applies is repentance. The sad thing is that FIFA's refusal to face the music or see the reality on the pitch undercuts the credibility and authenticity of the game. It is sad to have calls that are so blatantly wrong not only not discussed by any officials, but also see that no creative effort is being made to correct the situation for the future. Instead FIFA acts like the three monkeys (See, hear and speak no evil). They pull showing replays at the stadium as if a solution is to pretend it never happened (and the events are well recorded for the billions who watch). What we have here before the entire world is an example of how not to lead or how to deal with facing correction.
A satire on officiating I saw suggested that monkeys will be selected to officiate in the future in the hope they can do better than the human element FIFA wants so religiously to protect in the name of the sanctity of the game. The greatest disgrace may be to the players who work hard to get to this moment only to have the possibility that a poor and correctable call undercuts their years of dedication. So let's hope that FIFA can repent and serve well the game they oversee. This great event deserves better than what the governing body of soccer is giving to it in this regard. And let's appreciate the lesson that is in this. To repent is better than to dig in or pretend nothing is that wrong.