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Monday, September 5, 2016

Beer Commercial Presses Hot-Button Soccer Topic

















Is Tecate Light predicting a trend for soccer's future?

The ad is only :15-seconds long and has very few words. After a soccer player makes an obvious dive to try and draw a foul, the referee begins to take out a yellow card when he is influenced by the Tecate Light beer mascot who is looking on from the bleachers. The mascot gives an ominous stare and affirmative head tilt to show that yellow might not be enough punishment. The referee decides against the yellow and pulls out the red. The commercial is making a statement that the bold decision is to give the red card.

Before the dive, the narrator says, "This is the Black Eagle." Then, the dive happens. The narrator continues, "This is bad acting." After the red card is shown, "This is Justice" ends the soccer narration, and the controversy begins.

Since soccer's inception, dives and bad acting as exaggerations to draw fouls have not been properly addressed. Players intentionally try to deceive referees in order to draw a card on an opposing player, get a free kick or pk. In recent times, though, referees have been more aggressive in issuing yellow cards for misconduct that violate the spirit of the game. However, red cards have not been in vogue when it comes to diving. Tecate Light has its opinion; red is more deserving than yellow.

The NBA just enacted technical fouls a few years ago for in-game flopping and fines to go along with the technicals if video review shows it to be a way over the top flop. Another possibility for soccer is to have individual leagues resolve the diving situations on their own after the game with the benefit of video review, like the NBA. Review panels could determine whether a suspension is warranted for a player when they participate in unsportsmanlike behaviors.

Faking incidents in sports have never really been completely perceived as unsportsmanlike, but with so much modern technology to help get the calls correct, an argument can be made that feigning under any circumstance to gain an advantage is ethically wrong and should be a punishable offense.

One of the most infamous acting jobs done by a respected, famous athlete was when Derek Jeter of the New York Yankeess pretended to be hit by a pitch in a late-season game and then admitted it later on. According to Jeter, the instinctual bluff he made is "part of the game." Baseball might look at this act a little differently now with video review. A player might even get a suspension or fine for the same act.


FIFA is experimenting with video review to get calls right. It has started the process in minor leagues with the idea of bringing it forward to the major leagues in the near future. This now known way for soccer to use video review is called VAR (Video Assistant Review). According to IFAB, FIFA's rules committee arm, figuring out whether VAR applies for faking/diving/acting is ambiguous. It depends on how the referee may apply VAR during the game. See a description of what VAR will evaluate here.

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