Video Technology in Football: What I Learnt

On Tuesday night, we were treated to another controversial topic in our “sacred sport,” Football. I deliberately use the word sacred because to some people, football is a religion to some people who rever it and guard it jealously.

As the saying goes for the English, “football is not just about life and death, it is more than it.” This is a strong indication that to the billions of people on the face of the planet, football is more than just a sport.

The game between France and Spain last night re-awakened an old controversy: the use of too much technology in the beautiful game of football. In that game, the compatibility of using a video referee to scrutinize critical decisions in a football game was put to the test.

This was a perfect platform to look at the strengths and weaknesses of that technology and its compatibility with the flow of the game. After the game and the many reactions that followed, here’s what I learnt.

The first goal scored by Antoine Griezmann for France was correctly ruled for offside. I must appreciate the fact that at least it was great to finally get justice when we watch football matches, something we have also seen with the use of the goal line technology thus far.

This was a laudable achievement going by the injustices that have been experienced overtime in the sport- there have been so many of them and these decisions have always kept tongues wagging at every incident. These decisions have divided fans amongst different lines.

However, on the other hand, did anyone take notice of how long it took for the referee to listen over his ear piece and pronounce the appropriate decisions? I think this should form the basis of this argument for or against the compatibility of the proposed technology.

As a fan and a proud one at that, I had to take a look at the video at least not from the Director’s box- as I am no bourgeoisie, and definitely not from the technical room, but from my television and device and I took notice of the time it took to get the decision on both occasions.

Griezmann’s disallowed goal was scored with 47:15 showing on the clock. Of course the linesman ruled it as a goal but the referee stood static and paid attention to his ear piece while the Spanish players surrounded him. On the near side of the pitch, the French players were already celebrating.

When the clock showed 47:59 and Griezmann was returning to his own side of the pitch, that was when we – Griezmann and I – discovered that there seemed to be a problem. Then the waiting continued until 48:09 when the referee gave the correct ruling with his hands raised to signify a free kick.

Simply put, it took 54 seconds to make that decision. Do not miss the part that the linesman actually gave the goal.

Then came the goal scored by Deulofeu, which was Spain’s second, assisted by Jordi Alba and scored with 76:23 on the clock. In this particular incident, the assistant referee (linesman) ruled offside while the referee waited – yet again – for signal from the video room.

Gerard Deulofeu had already accepted his fate and was returning to his position for the free kick to be taken having seen the flag for offside. It was until the 77:10 when the referee got the signal and gestured towards the halfway line that it was a goal.

That took 47 seconds.

The first thing that comes to mind is the time taken, in the course of discussions between the main referee and the video referee, to take these decisions even though some persons were trying to say that it took place while the players were celebrating the goal.

Okay then. What if the scorer does not celebrate and picks up the ball to run back to the half way line based on the fact that he is trailing the other team? Does that remove the window for discussions between both referees? We are talking about 54 seconds + 47 seconds= 1 minute, 41 seconds for just two incidents. That is enough time for a team to score two goals which we have seen many times in football.

Another fundamental issue is that the technology is actually a threat to the Assistant Referee’s position and if it is implemented, we might also not see that individual running down the lines with a yellow flag any more. This is because their decisions where actually clashing at both times the video technology came into play.

Furthermore, while video technology thrives with tennis, cricket and others, football is different because it has to do with a lot of psychological factors – like who is on the ascendancy in the game? Who is pressing? Who is likely to get a goal soonest? Who has got the momentum?

Someone might then ask, when does all these big big grammar happen in a game? Have you stopped to think of the reason why managers make substitutions at some critical parts of the game? Why players also feign injury because they want the scoreline to remain the way it is and to also kill the morale of their opponents?

These are critical questions that whoever is reviewing the technology should put into consideration.

Finally, football is about controversies, banter, trolling, etc. To take these parts of the game away is to demystify the game and make it ordinary and less appealing.

In the midst of all the controversies, football following has increased astronomically for the past two decades. A demystifying of the sport could bring about a decline. Wrong decisions or not, the biggest teams on the planet have always succeeded and this part of the game should not be reason enough to restructure the beautiful game.

The idea of this new technology does not remove the human factor because judgement calls will still be made at each incident, only slower and with adequate video evidence.

Therefore, it suffices to say that the video referee, after seeing the video, can still make a wrong call because of our different criteria for awarding a penalty, free kick or a red card. Why not? He’s human too!

 

About Author

Victor Ndulewe is a freelance football writer and a football analyst/pundit on radio (The Beat FM 97.9 Ibadan).You can engage him on Twitter @vicndulewe

#VideoRef: Video of the UN-CANCELLED Goal & Twitter Reactions

The wait is (almost) over? Photo credit: Lebuzz

Since I’m not the biggest fan of international friendlies, I did not bother to watch any of the friendlies that were played (or will be played).

“I’ll just watch the highlights and I’ll be fine,” I thought to myself. Just in case you don’t know, I still have a thing against all these international breaks disrupting the excitement of wonderful club football (yeah, you can shoot me now).

And so for obvious reasons, I missed the friendly between Spain and France. Okay, maybe I’m guilty for not watching a football game between two super powers. But then again, it’s not as if there was some sort of trophy at stake. Sorry Your Lordship, this one’s not guilty.

While scouring the internet for relevant football news, I stumbled upon the news of a video referee finally being useful in a football game, the game between Spain and France.

Since time began, video refereeing has always had two sides when it comes to football. One party feels it’ll kill the excitement of the game. Others think it helps to enforce the right decisions. What do I think? I’M SANDWICHED BETWEEN BOTH PARTIES. H.E.L.P M.E!!!

Before I continue, let me quickly as you: What do you think of a video ref being involved in the proceedings of a football game? Good move or bad call? Yay or Nay?

Moving on, the video ref in the game between Spain and France, made two vital calls, calling off France’s goal and making Spain’s goal to stand after it had been earlier ruled out.

As with all things football, so many folks took to social media to express themselves. This is the part, ladies and gentlemen, where I take the backseat and let the tweets take centre-stage.

Referees were given four main areas to focus on for video replays: deciding on whether or not a goal should count, penalty decisions, direct red cards, and correcting the identity of a penalised player.

With video refeerees being tagged as football’s possible future, it seems we’ll be seeing more of it as time goes on. What’s your take? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment (or two if you would). I’ll love to hear from you!

About Author

Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst on radio (The Beat 97.9 FM) and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @rotdav

What a Weekend! Profligacy, ConSIXtency and a League on Fire

Courtesy Bleacher

From the NPFL, to the Premier League, the weekend served up too much to describe in one line or sentence. So, maybe I’d be justified if this post were without a title.

But that would mean that you the reader will be going in blind if you eventually choose to read a title-less (or vaguely-titled) post. So, I dug deep within and came up with that title.

The international break is upon us. The highly dreaded break that rids a football fan of all the excitement that club football offers. But the different clubs in Europe put on fabulous displays to leave us wondering what April will look like when club football returns.
So, while you’re preparing to miss action from club football, how about a review of what went down over the past weekend?

1. The NPFL is on Fire!

Things are heating up in Nigeria’s Premier football league. While the reigning champs are desperate to repeat the surprise by a certain Leicester, some other clubs have taken the bull by its horns, and they’re trying to create space between themselves and whatever club that may want to join the chasing pack.

Chasing pack or not? MFM climbed up to second after their win over Plateau United.

One such club turning heads in the country with their amazing performances week in week out is MFM FC. I tell you first hand: The league has not seen so much talent inside one football club… in a very long time!

I may sound like I’ve just sugar-coated how exciting the Olukoya boys have been. But, dis one no be seresere o, this ones fear no foe!

A breakdown

And this was evident in their beautiful performance against league leaders, Plateau United. Before the game, it was the table-topping Jos-based side up against the third-placed Lasgidi side. By the time the ref – who is a clergyman – called time on the game, MFM FC had beaten their opponents… and moved up to second on the log.

Names like Onuwa, Sikiru Olatunbosun, Odey were repeatedly on the commentators’ lips. And, why not?

The man of the moment, Stephen Odey.

Onuwa mesmerized, Sikiru dragged his opposing player – sometimes players – mercilessly and continuously. Odey? The league’s top goalscorer took his tally to 10 goals in 10 games.
Now you understand why the NPFL is on fire. Olukoya’s boys are too busy setting new standards for the league. If you can take a quick peek at the table above, you’ll see them topping the away table. There aren’t far from the summit of the Home table too!

If they continue like this, maybe they’ll be travelling to see the Pyramids of Egypt next year no thanks to finishing top or second on the table this season.

2. Super Sunday

Or should I say Super Weekend? Lukaku, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and others all made it another Premier League weekend to not to forget in a long while.

You would have thought that Man. Utd would find life difficult without their star man, Zlatan Ibrahomovic. But players like Rashford and Mata and co stepped up to the plate and helped Manchester United out of their conSIXtent spot.

United also got some help from West Brom and Everton who both connived to cause a mild earthquake at the top of the table which sent Arsenal tumbling down the table.

Chelsea seem to have won the Premier League title. That’s the word on the street. Another win at Stoke put them in full control of their destiny. Spurs kept up the chase with a win over the Saints – who painfully lost Gabbiadini (somebody check that spelling) to groin injury.

What of City and Liverpool? While analysing the game on the Premier League show on The Beat 97.9 FM, I anticipated the clash and spoke of City’s danger trio: Sterling, Aguero and Sane.

While all three were guilty of profligacy, – Lallana, Milner and Firmino too – the game did not fail to live up to expectations. End-to-end stuff, shots on target and expectably, controversies.

3. The Leaders and the Chasing Pack

From Juventus to Bayern Munich to Celtic, some things just don’t change. I heard Celtic are on a 36-game unbeaten run and may be crowned champs in the first week of April. SMH?

The La Liga is still wide open – between just two teams – but things seem as good as done and dusted with in Italy’s Serie A and the German Bundesliga. I’m not sure if this is good for football or maybe it isn’t. You decide.

Time to stop here and see if I can scribble something about the connection between the recent schedule reshuffling in the Premier League and the ‘Early Pull Out‘ of some players.

I’ve never been a fan of international friendlies and the likes. But then again, it is what it is and we have to live with it. So, enjoy watching your favourite players strut their stuff in their national colours. Or better still, go for the Formula 1 which kicks off this weekend in Australia.

About Author

Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst on The Beat FM and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @rotdav

Video: The Goal That Broke Judas’ Heart Side Comments (#CHEMNU)

So many words, I’m speechless. You caption this .

It’s unsure what to have expected at the Stamford Bridge on Monday night with a depleted Manchester United side facing a full fledged Chelsea side.

That was a joke. Everyone expected Jose Mourinho to suffer not only boos from Chelsea fans, but also a loss to Conte’s men because of his lack of strikers.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of Chelsea who ran the Red Devils ragged for the most part of the game. Just in case you missed the solitary goal scored by Kante, see it below:

The sending off of Herrera was a game killer. Please don’t ask me if it was worth a red card as I’m still unsure of why a player’s first two tackles in a game will earn him two yellow cards.

Maybe I’ll have time to do a comprehensive analysis of the quarter finals of the FA Cup and an analysis of the things to come in the semi-finals later in the week.

Just maybe.

That being said, you can add this other name to Jose Mourinho’s long list of names: Jose ‘Judas’ Mourinho. Nice one Blues! Thanks for giving us something to talk about throughout this week.

Judas!

Have I mentioned how Hazard was unplayable, Rojo’s Man-of-the-Match performance, Valencia, Diego Costa’s new ‘acting role‘ and The Touchline Bust up?

 
About Author

Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on twitter @rotdav

Enyimba 1 – MFM FC 1: Fifty Shades of Green, the Whistle Blower and other talking points

On Saturday, the NPFL featured a mouth-watering clash between Enyimba FC and MFM FC. This was a contest between two teams whose recent forms were almost the same, but were miles apart on the league table.

MFM FC, whose season had started on a bright note (any club in the NPFL with an away win this early in the season has started on a bright note), were looking to at least not lose in this one.

Enyimba, looking (and playing) like the evil twin of the club that conquered Africa, were on a mission: to at least garner all three points to help move ‘table-climbing‘ ministry to its permanent site.

The game ended in a 1-1 draw, with MFM FC drawing first blood thanks to a beautiful volley from Stephen Odey (the league’s current top goalscorer) and a late equalizer from the Elephants of Aba. It was literally MFM FC’s 1st half vs Enyimba’s 2nd half.

As with all NPFL games, this one wasn’t void of its own fair share of drama (as per say dis na awa game and we dey play am awa own way!). Let’s quickly discuss all the talking points from the game in Enyimba’s ‘home away from home’ in Calabar.

Work out on a strange pitch: MFM FC players warming up before the game. Photo credit: @mfmfc_lagos

1. The Pitch and 50 Shades of Green…

… or brown, as the case may be. In a way, it’s strange that the first talking point of an exciting game is the state of the pitch. But, that’s how ‘un-missable’ the playing turf inside the Calabar stadium was.

I watched this one on T.V and, the first thing that greeted my eyes was this ‘absurd-looking’ pitch (alongside the over-half-empty stadium which I’ll be discussing later), having like a thousand shades of different colours ranging from green to brown.

I’m of the school of thought that men (well, most of us) are colour blind. So, maybe a woman would have been able to specifically identify the different colours the grass on the pitch was having. For those who saw this game, you know what I’m saying.

For those who didn’t, let me try painting the scene out for you (pun intended of course!). This soccer field (like my Yankee people go call am) had colours ranging from deep green, light green, acid green, brown, Ibadan-roofs-brown (if you’ve been to Ibadan, Nigeria, especially the Beere, Odinjo part of the city, you’ll understand this part better), light brown and more I couldn’t recognise.

The first question that came to mind when I saw the state of the pitch was,

Whoever approved the Calabar pitch?

The other that followed tethered around the reason why Enyimba would chose to not take care of their home away from home.

Yes, not all questions have answers. But, from how the sandy pitch seemed to make the ball bounce awkwardly everytime, to how it made life hard for the respective players, maybe the right people should be looking to answer these questions already.

So, for the sake of Enyimba playing well and having a good season maybe (just maybe) a stadium tweak should help improve the outlook of the pitch (just a suggestion from a football fan) and their poor-so-far season.

2. Empty Fan-Less Stadium

No, it wasn’t a completely empty stadium. The fans just refused to show up! Yeah, there were a few heads here and there with some young whistle blowers in the stands (more on this coming right up), it wasn’t up to standard.

You’re probably wondering what this so-called standard is. Actually, it doesn’t even exist… yet, when it comes to fans thronging to stadia across the nation to watch various clubs strut their stuff.

But, Kano Pillars, Ifeanyi Ubah, MFM FC (being the only Lagos-based football club in the NPFL) amongst others, are gradually raising the bar. They’re setting a standard, the standard. And Enyimba is far behind keeping up with these names.

The reason can be tied to their temporary relocation to Calabar, a state most of their fans may not reside in. Another reason may be that the fans fear to behold football being played on such a terrible-looking pitch. Another reason can be, simply put: The fans aren’t even interested.

If it’s the latter, it’s safe to throw optimism out the window and keep advertising the NPFL like as if we have never done it before. Let’s leave this as food for thought to whoever it concerns.

3. The Whistle Blowers

I have come to realise that football fans can express themselves however they want when they’re in the stadium.

Of course, fighting/hooliganism is not condoned (but those Russians just won’t listen), dancing,  singing, clapping, looking lost and forlon, a quick chat, and a selfie are just some of the many things fans involve themselves with while in ‘The Zone.’

Another is blowing whistles, either in disagreement with the decision of the referee, to send the ref a reminder about how much is left or to boo the players. So, I thought blowing a whistle in a football stadium was legal… until I was proven wrong on Saturday.

Enyimba, on a fast counter against the Olukoya boys, had three of theirs against two MFM FC players I think (can’t exactly remember now). A pass was threaded to one of the Aba Boys who was through on goal.

Then, there was a whistle, blown not once, but twice. The players halted their move, thinking they were offside. But they weren’t. The ref had not blown his own whistle. Amongst those watching the game, two little children were messing around with something that looked like their latest toys: whistles.

This sent some of the older fans into a frenzy as the sudden stop of play made the ref to ACTUALLY stop play and give a decision against Enyimba. Long story short, the little ones were stripped of their whistles, while being surrounded by disgruntled men who expressed frustration,  not only because of the kids, but also because of the thought of what could have been: a goal for Enyimba.

4. Let’s Talk About the Weird Ref

Was too lazy to even look up his name but I remember the match commentator mentioned that he was from Kano.

This centre ref, one way or the other, just managed to dish out all of his bookings on the day to MFM FC players.

Seeing as they’re humans, not machines, it’s impossible for refs to get all calls right. Somewhere in the mix, there is something called improvement and another called not trying to stare down players when they come running to you to share complaints or argue with you.

These refs, especially the centre ref for the Enyimba vs MFM FC game, should take note and make conscious effort towards becoming better.

Odey’s ode: One of the weapons in MFM FC’s arsenal. Photo credit: MFMFC Lagos

5. Fiery Confidence 

If you haven’t noticed, let me quickly show you: there’s this amazing confidence with which the players of MFM FC play. Like their God, they’re no respecter of persons. And they ooze that with their display.

Against Enyimba, while some other clubs would have chosen to let the state of the pitch hamper their play, the MFM boys chose to play football their own way: quick exchange of passes, fluid movements, going for the ball and scoring beautiful goals when the chance presents itself.

They’ve (MFM FC) started well again this season. And the reason is not far-fetched: These ones fear no foe. And that can help them on their way to yet another season in the NPFL (or maybe, who knows, a continental spot).
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think about the NPFL. Have you seen any games this season. If yes, what are your thoughts? Which club are you rooting for this season? If you haven’t seen any game this season, ever considered trying to?

 
About Author

Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @Rotdav

 

What I Learnt from the UEFA Champions League this week

One for the road: Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring for Real Madrid against Napoli. Photo credit: @realmadriden

“We are only halfway through the tie. There are 95 minutes left and lots of things can happen.

“I go into the game with a positive mood. We have to do everything really well, both in defence and in attack. PSG are a really good side.

“Of course, lots of things have happened since the first leg. We have improved and have put in some good performances. We are optimistic by nature and convinced of what we can do. We will try to make the most of the favourable circumstances.

“If a team can score four times against us, we can score six times against them. We have seen that before this season. We have nothing to lose.”

What better way to begin discussing one of the most exciting weeks in UEFA Champions League history than to start with the words of the Barcelona coach cum prophet, Luis Enrique?

The 7th and 8th day of March, 2017 will remain etched in the memories of football fans for as long as I can think of. History was made, records were shattered and the already-immortal ones became even more immortal (if that word exists).

While so many will talk about how Arsenal ’10-d 2′ bottle things up after a fine start to a football season, the major talking point of the week was the showdown in Barcelona.

It’d have been hard to think of any record that Barcelona had not shattered. But a 4-0 first leg deficit was a high hurdle, a new one for the ‘Catalan gods.’ But they proved themselves once again, as one of the best, if not the best, in the world of football.

The greatest comeback you’ve ever seen? I thought so too!

Aubameyang came to life with a hattrick. Benfica couldn’t hold on. Real Madrid stuttered at first (a trend fast becoming a norm for the Los Blancos), then came back to win in Napoli.

What else did I learnt about the UEFA Champions League (UCL) this week?

Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall

1. The UEFA Champions League is in a World of its Own…

When day turns into night midweek, and the stars litter the sky, the best in Europe come out to play. The competition is the UEFA Champions League and the word ‘play’ has been taken to another level.

It may not be the most-watched football competition in the world but, the Champions League has a way of catching (capturing too) attention the world over.

It’s not certain there’s a puppeteer pulling the strings behind the curtains, but if there is, this one puppeteer is a good one, one that is getting better with each passing Matchday.

Each night, drama is expected to happen. And with each night of football, the UCL doesn’t fail to disappoint. It serves up high drama with each passing night and the fans everywhere (well almost, taking timezones and who won or lost into consideration) go to bed satisfied.

It’s fair to say it’s just the Round of 16. But that makes things scary too. What level of action awaits fans in the quarter-finals? Semi-finals? Of course, we know mouth-watering clashes await fans… but no one knows how exciting they’ll be. We can only anticipate.

 

2. … and the Premier League Can’t Seem to Keep Up

For letting Barcelona overturn such a massive first leg deficit, the whipping league for the week should be the French Ligue 1. PSG should be ashamed of themselves, right? Well, it’s a two-sided coin – and I’ll let you choose which side to stick to.

While you’re choosing, I’ve singled out England’s Premier League for some butt-whopping in this piece. This is a league that prides itself on being the toughest, – they’re closely followed by the English Football Championship. Lol, I know I know, I sound incredulous to most right now… but that’s how the bitter truth can look like sometimes. – meanest, unforgiving football league in the world.

On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and even on some Mondays, these big shots strut their stuff, confidently and amazingly. The display takes your breath away. You see amazing goals, and master tactical plans being executed by players who are obviously close to the top of the football world’s food chain.

But when Tuesdays and Wednesdays appear, England’s top guns disappear into thin air. The fearsome English lions all of a sudden transform into harmless cubs. Then they’re knocked around haplessly by Europe’s ‘Senior Men.’

Then with repeated terrible European outings, Europe’s so-called minnows get the required confidence to step up to the plate too and either try a home run or slam dunk or a hole-in-one. And most times, they succeed, overpowering most of these ‘English Local Champions.’

The Gunners tried to prove themselves in the first half of their clash against Bayern Munich, but they couldn’t hold on or increase their lead. They had to let another five in, yet again!

I know you’re tempted to quickly mention the ref’s decision to send Koscielny off and how it affected the display of Wenger’s men on the night. But, as a football team, if you can’t keep playing well regardless of the kind of hand you’re dealt, aren’t you a spine-less, weak-hearted football club?

Sounds harsh, I know but English clubs have to wake up to the current reality. Benitez’s Liverpool, Fergie’s Manchester United and the rest didn’t win the UEFA Champions League by playing like boys. They weathered the storm, played like men and created space for themselves in history.

3. Referees?

You know, it’s almost impossible to talk about football these days without certain refereeing issues rearing their ugly heads.

The most recent episode of this unsatisfactory series before this week started was the Zlatan-Mings incident (just so you know, I still feel Ibrahimovic should have been sent to the showers earlier than scheduled. But heck, what do I know? I’m just a bloody football fan).

I can easily make a case for these referees: They’re humans, not robots or machines. As thus, they have EVERY RIGHT to make some terribly questionable calls every once in a while. But, what happens when those calls have huge, permanent effects on games?

Case 1: Arsenal, Koscielny, Lewadowski and the Red Card

It’s the responsibility of a player, defender for that matter, to know what to do while he’s sharing his own 6-yard box with an opponent. Rules are rules. Break them and get broken.

Koscielny, inside the six-yard box, stops a Lewadowski who is through on goal (stops here means he slightly touches the Polosh international who milks the situation and goes to ground faster than you can say “Alice in Wonderland.”).

Centre ref points to the spot, flashes a yellow and everything is fine. Remember, during this time, the Gunners were in cruise control. They had their hands, in a way, wrapped around the necks of the Germans.

One of the extra refs (those ones that stand beside the goal post) says something to the center ref. Yellow transforms into red and Arsenal go on to ship in 5 at the end of the day). A famous Frenchman called the ref’s move a scandalous one. I concur!

Case 2: Barcelona, PSG, and the Suarez Dive

I’ll save my breath for this one and let the gif do most of the talking.

I know they can’t see it all everytime but, arrrggghhhhh, some mistakes can’t be condoned at this high level of football. It’s just unforgivable.

Two weeks ago, Impossible. Two weeks after, “Nothing is impossible.”

4. Football Is Just Crazy

That’s the best definition I can find.

It was hard to imagine Barcelona overturn that 0-4 deficit in Paris. I thought Arsenal had learnt their lessons. I thought Cavani’s goal had put the final nail in Barcelona’s coffin. I thought Napoli would give Real Madrid a run for their money on Italy.

All these were my thoughts… until football came strolling along with its craze. All norms became abnormal in seconds with a rebirth of that famous Aguero goal by Sergi ranking high on the list of ‘irregulars.’

It’s hard to put football in a box… football is JUST CRAZY!

So far, this year’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 has been ‘goals-full.’ And the drama continues next week before the highly anticipated draws for the quarter-finals.

Quick one before I stop writing…

Are there really draws? Or is it just one of the master plans of the puppeteer hiding behind the curtains? This was the topic in the blog’s discussion room yesterday.

With repeated draws in the past like Real Madrid v Lyon, Bayern Munich v Arsenal, Barca v PSG and more, what do you think? Are draws in football, especially in the UCL, really just draws or… is there more to it than meets the eye?

Let me know what you think by dropping your comments in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

About Author

Rotimi Daramola is a freelance football writer, football analyst on radio (The Beat FM), and football content creator that is in love with the beautiful game. You can keep up with all of his writing and also engage with him on Twitter @Rotdav