I hate FIFA. It's amazing that football is growing so rapidly despite the stupidity of its governing body. The edict for referees to hand out cautions like candy has almost ruined a magnificent tournament. WC06 has been fun so far, but could you imagine how much better it would have been if players were actually allowed to play? People have been heaping abuse on the match officials, but I think that's near-sighted. Referees know that their top-flight careers depend on their slavish observance of FIFA edicts, even when they beggar common sense. I'm glad no less a figure than Beckenbauer finally spoke his mind on the subject. Not that even Beckenbauer can likely sway the imperial Sepp Blatter, who won't be satisfied until bureaucracy drowns the actual play in our beloved sport. The U.S./Italy game was a showcase for madness. There was one deserved straight red, and maybe three deserved yellows. The rest of the bookings did nothing but ruin a game that had every promise of being a Cup classic. Thank goodness for Graham Poll and Dr. Markus Merck, who seem to be the only two refs willing to use common sense in defiance of FIFA.