By now, the whole world knows about Zinedine Zidane's ignominious exit from the world stage. I was going to write a long diatribe about how I felt he was being treated too harshly until I ran into this piece by Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated. Read it and you'll know how I feel about that incident.
And while on this topic, watching the Italians moan and roll around in agony every time a French defender even breathed near them was nauseating. It was sickening to watch them roll around as if their very life was at risk and then, miraculously, get up a few minutes later.
I propose a simple solution to this acting. Keep 6 stretchers within 10 yards of the field - at the 4 corners and on either side of the halfline. As soon as a player starts rolling around, send in the stretcher. The player has until the stretcher reaches him to recover. If he does not, then he HAS to be carried off the field no matter how fit he suddenly feels and cannot come back in until 5 minutes have elapsed. His team will play on with 10 members for that duration. If this is strictly enforced it will be interesting to see how many cry-babies will still roll around in feigned agony.
I have lost interest in football (with apologies to SM the Elder) and will continue to avidly follow the American version (gridiron football) where sometimes even broken bones do not stop a player from continuing to play (just ask Gary Stills and Bryan Cox, who continued to play with multiple fractures without crying about it). At least, there, when a player is hurt there is some justification for halting the game.