The Big Issues1. This was El Salvador's second-last group stage game. It needed a win, plus a win against France on Friday night to have a chance at advancing. Probably even more important, it needed to rack up a ton of goals against Somalia so that it had a favourable +/- rating when compared to France and Sudan. So now what happens? There is nothing in the WCP rules about what to do when a team forfeits. No stipulation about what the score will be. And since +/- is one of the main tie-breaking rules (and Goals For a secondary rule), the WCP Organizing Committee (in its sole and absolute discretion) is essentially playing God and deciding the final score. I'm sure they're relishing this absolute power, but that's a side issue. I'll update when I know what they decide.
2. How much different is this from a team playing drunk in a bronze medal game? Before we all go passing judgement, lets think back to the not-so-distant past and remember a few choice teams making a mockery of their final games. Don't hate on Somalia and then give a pass to the teams that did arguably the same thing.
3. What to do with Somalia? Essentially nothing except maybe bar them from entering future tournaments. The WCP Organizing Committee (in its sole and absolute discretion) has it in the rules to sanction or suspend teams for failing to follow the rules. I'm guessing they choose to fine them, just a hunch. Somalia can't play another game until it pays the fine, but hey, that was their last game! So nothing the organizing committee can do unless it wants to take frivolous legal action - which it absolutely might.
4. Who exactly is deciding the final score? The rules say any discipline be handled by a committee that is free from bias. This decision will potentially effect:
3. El Salvador
4. Canada (potential playoff crossover)
5. Nigeria (potential playoff crossover)
6. Poland (potential playoff crosover)
7. Hungary (potential playoff crossover)
So good luck finding a committee with no people affiliated from those teams.
5. Should those teams be allowed to have input? I say yes. If they're not consulted then they all have the right to bitch. Remember, it's a $900 entry fee to play in this thing and you're required to pony up for all of your jerseys and such, plus they make you jump through a bunch of hoops for meetings and ceremonies and all that jazz. If someone gets screwed, they can complain.
6. El Salvador really gets boned. Let's say they don't make the playoffs. They only got to play 3 games because of the cancellation and being in the smallest group. That's $300 per game! In a cruel twist of fate, the rules say that teams are only guaranteed 3 games, so good luck getting any kind of refund.
7. What will the official Somalia excuse be? Who cares really. Ultimate puss move to not show up, just because you're getting your ass handed to you in every match. Don't enter the tournament if you're going to cry because your poorly put together team is getting killed every game.