There are some out there (mainly the english tabs) who are whining about the refs turning football into a "non-contact sport". But those who bitch about the number of cards being brandished at this world cup are have clearly never read the laws of the game - football is a non-contact sport. It's just that the rules are almost never properly enforced.
Virtually all the cards given out at the Tournament - even the 16 given out in yesterday's Dutch-Portuguese gore-fest - are correct to the letter of the law, which, prior to the Tournament, FIFA insisted its refs strictly enforce. If you can imagine hockey's annual ritual of overly tight officiating happening late in the playoffs rather than at the start of each season, you'll have a good sense of what's going on.
And yet Sepp Blatter, with his addiction to popularist quips regardless of how ludicrous they are, had the gall to say after yesterday's match that he thought "the referee was not at the same level as the participants, the players. There could have been a yellow card for the referee."
One of the definitions of a sociopath is someone who does not recognize or acknowledge the harmful consequences of his/her own actions....