A Word on Ionel Ganea

Sunday's highlight must have been Ganea's strangling of linesman Mudura, as a picture taken by a Gazeta Sporturilor photographer appeared in both The Sun and Bild (of course, such an image could only provide shock value). It's not up to me to post it around here as well, so if in an act of dire curiosity you feel that it is an essential viewing, then be my guests and look for it around this little old place called the world wide web. The same thing goes for the act itself.

Needless to say, Ganea's outburst is inexcusable and Mr. Marian Iancu's defense of the player is only one more piece of evidence for the shabby moral standards people in charge impose on our footballing world. There's just too much utter rubbish being debated about referees and their lack of experience, lack of integrity, lack of grey matter, lack of, lack of...that you just can't give a rat's ass any more about these things. You simply reach a point where all you want to see is football and all you want to hear are the fans' chants ringing in your ears.

It seems that Ganea will have to face a ban ranging somewhere between 16 and 24 matches, which to my mind is simply just for his atrocious act. Ultimately, the problem isn't that he had a moment of pure rage; it's that this isn't the first time it happens. When during 70 minutes you barely get to touch the ball, you're bound to feel frustrated and if you add to this the fact that a nudge within the usual footballing limits (which Ganea claims it was) leads to a second yellow card, ugly things can happen. It's all within reason and people judge it as something sinister because it happens on TV and it's not Reality TV, it's the real thing, as unscripted as it gets. Only a fool could believe that a long ban on Ganea would make players think twice before attacking refs, because it's obvious that thinking had little to do with the act in question. You'll have people saying "Kick them out of the game!" and they have their right to do so. Ganea won't mature, he won't become a less physical player, he won't change his attitude towards football.

Unfortunately for him, Ganea is at an age where a ban of more than 16 matches isn't just something he'll shake off. It is, to some degree, a career ending sentence (not to mention what a 24 match ban would mean). Whether he deserves it or not (being judged like the devil, not the ban – it’s obvious he deserves the latter), I can’t truly judge, as part of it comes down to whether Sapunaru just faked a hit or not (anything subsequent to an affirmative of this possible version is human, as far as I’m concerned).

In the end though, I am left with just one thought as to how people have judged and will continue to judge such actions: the replay has been on TV a gazillion times since the event, despite everyone saying how terrible it is and how people shouldn't want to see it. And yet it's there, being shoved in your face, over and over again. Come on, let's be frank here, it's a great day for the 21st century that we got images as nice and as exciting as these on film from good angles - and it's all very authentic! We are all cavemen, are we not? Who's going to punish the hypocrisy of repeatedly showing the images? Well, nobody, because we're at the other end of the screen, where no one can see what's happening.

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