Perspectives from a Mediator/Arbitrator

Thursday, July 13, 2006

World Cup - a look back!

Well, I have been trying to decide for some time what to say about all of this Zidane stuff. Let me start by saying it ruined the World Cup for me. I was watching it live and simply could not believe my eyes. I do not care what happened or what was said - You are the Captain, it is Your team's most important game, You are the best penalty shooter and it sure looks like penalty shots are going to decide it - You turn the other cheek, over and over and over again - and then if you get tired You just keep turning it. Heck - even go complain to the ref if you want - if you want to go really crazy - hit him after the game is over and if you want you can headbutt him! That was just one of the frustrations - the next is that the game was decided by penalties - I detest penalties.

One thing that is not being said anywhere is whether what he did is a criminal act. I do not see Zidane's attack as all that different from what Todd Bertuzzi did, yet I have heard no one even mention a peep that the assault was far beyond what the players could have reasonably anticipated might happen and for which they had provided their implied consent. Thoughts?

Now turning this back to mediation and arbitration - the participants are frequently met with situations where they are being taunted or even "trash-talked" by the other side. The smart ones just let it go - you never win with the bully if you go down into the muck and splash about - you win with the bully if you ignore. Zidane just needed a good mediator right there with him on the pitch to tell him to let it go - or get him back later but for goodness sake do not head-butt him - on the other hand - it will be a long time before anyone who saw it forgets it!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....


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