World Cup diary: Fred can't catch a break as Fifa TV wrongly shows him to be offside
Broadcast director red-faced after they accidentally leave much-maligned striker open to more ridicule
Poor Fred. The Brazil striker with a name that couldn’t be less evocative of caipirinha and copacabana had been roundly mocked for his impotent performances in Brazil’s first two games. Then he finally gets a goal against Cameroon and it’s wrongly shown to be offside by Fifa’s official broadcaster.
‘Ah, the refs just decided to give it to him out of sympathy’ was the tone of much of the latest round of mocking for poor Frederico Chaves Guedes after the millions watching around the world were fooled into thinking his goal should have been chalked off.
Fifa TV had wrongly lined up their offside line with Cameroon’s last defender rather than the ball – since the pass was played backwards to Fred, he couldn’t be offside.
Globo TV, the Brazilian broadcaster, were immediately on the case to clear Fred’s name. Compare their accurate line in this gif with the picture of Fifa’s below.
Niclas Ericson, the director of Fifa TV, admitted the blunder and promised it wouldn’t happen again, Reuters reports.
“We discussed with the production team why the line was placed wrongly,” he told reporters.
“The production team have to make a very fast decision and mistakes can happen.
“The production director has total freedom to put in the line and correct it, but again we are reviewing this particular incident from yesterday to try to see how we can improve it.
“Commentators and other broadcasters will make corrections and make comments about it and here in Brazil it was discussed for many, many minutes on air.
“But it is clear the decision is taken by the referee and the TV support is just for the viewer and if it is not fully correct, then it can be fully corrected by the commentators.”
Tweet of the day:
Evander Holyfield weighs in on the Luis Suarez incident. No word from Mike Tyson as yet.
I guess any part of the body is up for eating.
— Evander Holyfield (@holyfield) June 24, 2014
Fidel sings Diego's praises
Maradona update, and it seems Fidel Castro is as much a fan of El Diego’s antics in Brazil as the Diary is.
Frankly we were a bit surprised to be reminded that Fidel was still alive, but not only that, he is thoroughly enjoying Maradona’s appearances as a pundit on Venezuelan TV. He congratulated Maradona, who underwent treatment for substance abuse in Cuba with Fidel’s aid in 2000, on his game analysis and also praised him for his past support of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
“Every day I have the pleasure of following your programme, on Telesur, about the World Cup of soccer; thanks to that, I can observe the extraordinary level of that universal sport,” Castro wrote in a message carried in state media, reports Reuters.
“Just as I salute you, I also salute Messi, a formidable athlete who gives glory to the noble Argentine people.
“Today I’m a politician, but as a child, an adolescent and a youth, I was an athlete, and I dedicated most of my free time to this noble practice,” added Castro, 87, whose love for baseball led to a widely-held false belief that his hatred for the US was borne out of a failed tryout for the Washington Senators team. (So widely-held that the Diary was about to repeat it until we did a quick search and found that link, full disclosure).
We haven’t seen much of Maradona’s appearances on Telesur, but surely Fidel enjoyed this moment a couple of days ago when Maradona gave Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentina FA, the finger on live TV for calling him a jinx.
And this one's quite amusing too - Gary Lineker visits the studio and asks him how his hand is on the anniversary of the Hand of God goal:
Everyone's a critic
Even the Almighty had to have His say about Spain’s team it seems – after a dismal failure to defend their title, their plane was struck by lightning as it came in to land.
There were no negative consequences for the plane or passengers, an Iberia spokeswoman told Reuters.
US a ratings hit
Like many, the Diary has found itself in the unaccustomed position of supporting sports teams from Australia and America at this World Cup.
The plucky Socceroos have gone home, but the Yanks have a great opportunity to reach the last 16.
And they’ve even noticed at home - Sunday’s exciting 2-2 draw against Portugal set records for a ‘soccer’ game in the States.
Cable sports network ESPN released a statement saying the game, which was on in the late afternoon US time, attracted 18.2 million viewers, “the most-viewed soccer match in the United States ever” - and the biggest event on ESPN that wasn’t professional or college American football.
The record for soccer previously belonged to the 1999 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and China, ESPN said.
AP adds that the Nielsen ratings company said the game drew an average of 24.7 million viewers when Spanish-language network Univision was factored in. Many more will have watched in fan parks, bars, and through illicit streams.
“When we get back to the hotel and we hear about Grant Park in Chicago having 10,000 fans out to watch the game and friends and family are sending pictures and videos of what’s going on, it can’t help but push you on because we want to make every person watching back home proud of us and proud to watch our team,” AP quoted midfielder Michael Bradley as saying.