In the FA Cup fifth-round match between Arsenal and Liverpool, referee Howard Webb once again demonstrated his desire to ruin football by not making the correct decisions every time. The result was a 2-1 win for Arsenal, complaints that Liverpool should have been awarded a second penalty and that Steven Gerrard should have been sent off for a second bookable offense. The other result was that Howard Webb was once again able to spoil a big match with his refusal to do his job perfectly.
Since the inception of the game, match officials have been actively trying to destroy it. They claim to strive for impartiality and fair play, but they refuse to officiate matches from the stands or in front of their televisions at home, with the benefit of slow motion, instant replays and computer enhancements. Instead, they opt to stand right in the middle of the view-obscuring action like the attention seekers they are. And after decades of shocking "mistakes" and injustices, it has become clear that they are an international cabal that will not rest until football is no more.
Howard Webb is their current secret leader. He has worked many of football's biggest competitions — and will again at the 2014 World Cup — giving him opportunities to have his wrong calls scrutinized to the highest degree, causing maximum outrage and frustration. Of course, this isn't just simple human error. As everyone knows, only you make mistakes that are good intentioned accidents or the product of circumstances conspiring against you. When other people make mistakes, it's because they're stupid, negligent or doing it on purpose. And Howard Webb is other people.
Webb's strategy has become clear to every club and fan who has been on the losing end of a match he has refereed. For years, he helped Manchester United win at all costs in the hope that decades of unparalleled success for someone like Sir Alex Ferguson would turn supporters of all other clubs — especially Man United's biggest rival, Liverpool — off of football forever. Now that Ferguson has retired, Webb has turned against Man United as well.
He also achieved his organization's mission of turning the 2010 World Cup into a farce by not showing the Netherlands' Nigel de Jong a red card in the final for his viscous kick to the chest of Xabi Alonso. That kick and Webb's failure to control a match in which 13 players were booked became the lasting image of the tournament, instead of Spain's dramatic and inspirational extra-time victory. Surely Webb has even uglier scenarios in store for this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
As a former sergeant for the South Yorkshire Police, Webb is in a unique position to organize assaults on the game both on and off the pitch. He uses his police connections to orchestrate the arrest and minimal punishment of footballers who break laws. This tarnishes their reputations and brings the game into disrepute, forcing fans to either do mental gymnastics to excuse their heros' misdeeds or condemn the sport entirely.
Governments and corporations around the world have tried to buy Webb's services and use his expertise against their own political enemies, but he will not be distracted until every last fan, player and coach is infuriated and he and every other match official are finally able to dance on the grave of football.
Previously in Conspiracy Theory: How the 2014 World Cup groups were really chosen
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