The Last Word / It Just Plain Stinks

One of the most basic things in sport is that you don't change the rule midway through the competition. Every kid knows that and even if the neighborhood bully wants to change sides in the middle of a game or to shorten the goal posts, then you simply don't play.

One can argue whether or not goal difference is a worthy method of deciding the title -

in any event it is a method employed in most of the football leagues in the world, including England, Germany, France and Holland - but you can't just get up and change the rules in the middle of the season. If you want to have a tie-breaker if the top teams finish equal on points - as is the case in Italy - fine, but you have to decide so in advance.

You don't decide to move back the three-pint line in the NBA in mid season, you don't make hurdles bigger in the middle of the Olympics and you don't decide to drop a stage half way through the Tour de France. You can't change the rules just to suit a particular party. It happens of course, such as with the "Deri Law" in politics, but it stinks.

Maccabi Haifa, on paper at least, has a good chance of lifting the title, judging by the games remaining. Maccabi Tel Aviv is on top on goal difference and has the advantage in the internal table between the top three clubs. So why are Shahar and Hertzicovic willing to give up a chance for the title? Is it for the fans? Since when do they listen to their fans. Are the tickets going to be cut price if there is a playoff round?

All of a sudden, Hertzicovic, Agiv and Shahar are extremely worried about competitiveness and in the name of sport are proposing something most unsporting. they say that money has no smell, but greed certainly does. Because of the money that the top three will generate from a round of playoff games, then suddenly its O.K. to change the rules.