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why did this have to happen?

As if three yellow cards to one player in a match (Simunic) and dubious penalties were not enough, we now have a match which had an unprecedented 16 yellow cards. Portugal vs Holland was touted to be an exhibition of aggressive football played with no fear. Scolaris' nous and Van Bastens' give-it-all aggro were supposed to be the foundations for a contest of gladiatorial proportions.

But it was not to be. What did transpire though was certainly quite unappealing. The referee for the match did what can safely be termed great disservice to the game and should be punished. And so should the players of both the teams for forgetting that the theme of the tournament was " A time to make friends " and also forgetting that they are being watched by millions around the world. The heads of all football fans the world over hang in shame.

A request to all the other teams left in the competition. Please don't do this again.

Also on the list of things not to be done are displays like Ukraine and Switzerland's in their knockout match. It was more than two hours of the most pedestrian performances in a long time. It was only fitting that even the shoot out resulted in Switzerland missing all their three chances from the spot. How many times has that happened, I wonder.

In other bits, it was an absolute shame that Australia are going home from this world cup while Italy go through the next round. Australia held the upper-hand, however slight, throughout the match and Italy had no business winning deep inside injury time. The only way this can be explained is the many times Italy have had to go home empty handed after missing out on penalties. After all, who can forget the most important and well known kick of Roberto Baggio's life ?

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