After 38 Games Of Lawless Corners, Argentina Made An Example Of

For the entirety of 38 games at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, you could do whatever the hell you pleased at corner kicks. Use Pepe as a battering ram to create some space for Ronaldo? Sure. Tackle Harry Kane to the ground with two players? Why not. Shove Miranda in the back to snatch a Swiss equalizer? That sounds wild, but we’ll definitely allow it.

Unfortunately, the lawlessness of the wild, wild west corner has been brought to a close at the 2018 World Cup because Javier Mascherano has been made an example of — he’s basically like one of those horror stories you used to hear concerning a 12-year-old getting sued for illegally downloading music from Napster. You were just glad it wasn't you. 

“It was just a bit of fun,” you can almost hear Mascherano saying to the ref. “Literally everyone’s doing it!”

“Not anymore, child,” says Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir. Except we know nothing will change — this is gonna happen a hundred more times at the 2018 World Cup and a penalty will never be called.

"But it's a point of emphasis now!"

I love when that phrase is trotted out to defend a token decision. 

Having said all that, it’s still a foul on Mascherano. You just don’t want to be the 12-year-old that gets sued by the music industry. That’s all I’m saying.

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