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VIEWPOINT LETTERS

The World's Biggest Event Finally Ends

July 06, 2002

Brazil's coronation as the World Cup champion for the fifth time leaves us with futbol withdrawal for four years.

The World Cup brought us such outstanding performances as Rivaldo's impersonation of Vlade Divac on the pitch. Korea/Japan 2002 also proved that the Italian Mafia no longer can intimidate and influence the outcome of games.

Lastly, it showed that futbol is the cruelest of sports in that the best team doesn't always win. Eliminating subpar referees and linesmen would be a good start and should ensure that the best team, unassisted, will win in Germany 2006. You can call me bitter as long as you realize that I am right.

Danny Canas

Reseda

*

Gee, thanks, ABC for televising the World Cup final, the most-watched sporting event on the planet. But would it be too much to ask to give us five minutes' worth of national anthems and player introductions before the game?

On the positive side, there's nothing like commercial-free action and you've got four whole years to improve.

Ron Green

Agoura Hills

*

Imagine this: The Super Bowl is barely over, the players are celebrating all over the field and, next thing you know your TV station breaks away to show Eyewitness News at 6:30 (a.m.)!! That's exactly what ABC did with the World Cup final. What a bunch of idiots! Thank God for Univision!

Gerald Murray

Pasadena

*

Need proof that we Americans don't give a flip about soccer? Look no further. Reading Monday's sports section, I quickly passed over the World Cup story, (Congratulations, Portugal, I knew you could do it!) and hurried to Page 2, to find out the results of the greasy pole contest from Gloucester, Mass. If you gave every sports fan in America a choice of watching the World Cup final or the contest from Gloucester ... well, guys, all I can say is, does my cable provider carry the Greasy Pole Channel?

Tim Gaul

Laguna Beach

*

In response to the negativity that soccer seems to spawn every four years, this soccer fan offers the following reply:

1. Though a lot of people, even in this country, like the sport, nobody is forcing it down your throat. I know of no Times article or ESPN story that either states or implies that you are inferior because you do not like soccer.

2. Just because I and other fans like the sport does not mean that you have to feel the need to tell us, at every opportunity, that you don't like it.

3. Next time the World Cup rolls around, please just turn the page in the Sports section or change the channel when you see a soccer story and spare us your diatribe. You do it with other sports you don't care about, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Craig L. Dunkin

Los Angeles

*

It was a while coming--not until the World Cup was over--but Mike Penner [July 2] finally came around to the truth that millions have long known: FIFA uses its choice of referees and linesmen for the individual matches in the World Cup to influence the results and further political ends.

FIFA's immediate political goal has been to expand the fanaticism--and thus the organization's power and reach--beyond the traditional European and South American bastions to Asia, Africa and beyond. FIFA's manipulations were wildly successful at Korea/Japan, bringing down soccer powers early and carrying surprise teams to new heights.

Passion and hopes have been stirred in many nations that saw none before, but at what price? The integrity of the World Cup has been dealt a near mortal blow. The only question now is whether FIFA, which must be reformed, can recover its image in time for Germany 2006.

Edward Placidi

Valley Glen

*

Wasn't it Darwin who described the human hand as "Nature's most useful tool"? No disrespect intended toward soccer fans, but inventing a game that prohibits touching the ball with one's hands, but encourages bouncing it off one's face, makes about as much sense as lowball poker.

David Macaray

Rowland Heights

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