two weeks have passed since the floorball world championship in stockholm and now that i return to the games they feel distant. maybe better that way.
tero tiitu was at his best in the semifinal and final.
in the final finland got a kick start: 3-0 against the swedes after only ten minutes.
J-P Lehtonen playing the ball his way as usual.
1996 was the first time the world championship was played in a big arena, in globen – like this year. 15 000-something came to the final and globen reached a new record. ten years later, the sport has grown even more – yet this year, the final at globen attracted only 12 535 spectators. how come? well, for a start, the tickets to the final were between 250-350 kronor (ca 30-40€). who the hell pays that amount of money!? i did, because i wanted to see peik playing and i’m quite a floorball freak anyway. plus, i got to take pictures by the rinkside.
something is fucked up with floorball right now. floorball started out with the device that anyone can play, and it costs next to nothing (a pair of indoor shoes and a stick for 20-30€). these days the (best) sticks cost around 70€ and they break or are worn out usually in a year or two. the license fees for playing in the official floorball leagues have risen considerably. last year we (KIK) paid around 700€/year + personal licenses of about 80€/player + referee fees each game. not much have changed since we started eight years ago, in terms of what we get for the money.
J-P was quite fun to watch though.
oh the final. well, this is where peik gave a pass from the corner to vänttinen who pushed the game to sudden death by reducing to 6-6. this is the best game i’ve ever watched.
10 minutes sudden death. next goal determines the world championship winner. peik were close to scoring.
– but the goalie caught the ball. the players rushed to the goalie in case the ball could still be played.
then something happens. henrik quist #14 twists peik’s arm and pushes him to the floor. peik makes no resistance. then, peik grabs quist’s hair and pulls his head down. quist puts an innocent face and the swedish goalie grabs peik’s neck, but lets him go. the referee further away decides to give peik a penalty of 2 min, and nothing to quist. the right thing to do would have been to give 2 min to quist before peik retalieted. or, when peik’s grabbing of quist’s hair was a fact, either not give penalties at all, or then 2 min to both, possibly also a personal 10 min for peik. but 2 min for peik only was outright wrong.
during the penalty the swedes score and win the world championship. most swedes choose to ignore the incident and blame peik by depicting the incident as “50/50 until peik grabs quist’s hair”. niklas jihde (on the right side from peik) went even further and told some of us at the press room that “if [peik’s] so unprofessional as to grab his hair, he might as well rush in with the sword“.
so, the swedes won, but in my opinion neither team won the final. the referees destroyed the game. which brings me to the final point: at this level, referees should be able to use the video before making their judgement. it felt absurd that 12 535 spectators at globen including all the tv viewers in the nordic countries could see the whole thing in slow motion before the referees made up their mind, without consulting the video material. everyone could see the blatant fault of henrik quist, but i suspect the referees didn’t see it.
a) finland was better than ever, maybe the best team, and peik was one of the best players of the tournament. also the most talked-about player.
b) greed has infected the sport.
c) the referees should be able to use video material before making important judgements in the game, since it is easily available.