(Some comments have been edited for publication)

REFEREES (AGAIN!)

Once again we've received plenty of comments about the refereeing at this World Cup, and Brucer15 kicks things off with his thoughts on the men in the middle:

All the discussion about referees must also include the players themselves. Too many times in reference to "diving" I have heard, "it's part of the game."

As a fan, and former player I strongly disagree. I believe in respect for the game which includes the other players and referees.
 
Fans and coaches need to encourage players to compete against their opponents and not make the referee part of the game. Sure they will make mistakes, but when players resort to acting over playing, how can they not?
 

Stephen in Sri Lanka continued in a similar fashion:

There is no point in blaming referees alone - the players are becoming more and more boisterous. Take the case of Argentina kicking the Germans after they lost. This sort of thuggery needs to be wiped out if soccer is to be made a clean game. I would impose a five year ban on Argentina for international matches.

Also citing incidents from the Germany v Argentina match, Roger from Toronto, Canada wrote:

How is it that no one is complaining about referee Lubos Michel's officiating in the Argentina v Germany match. He was clearly making questionable calls against Argentina throughout the whole match. In my opinion the Argentinean players were really worn down by all these bad calls.

What did you say?: World Cup
final referee Horacio Elizondo

While Matthew Burgess was not happy with the inconsistent refereeing:

The refereeing at the World Cup has been awful considering they were supposed to be promoting fair play. In some matches a player was booked for something while a player on the opposite team gets away with exactly the same offense. The constant diving by Germany and Portugal in their last matches was disgraceful.

Finally, Keith in Malaysia had a few suggestions that could be implemented for the next World Cup:
 
For a generation of us who grew up in Australia, through all the disappointment of failed qualification, the Socceroos did the nation proud.

The refereeing was terrible in the game against Italy. FIFA should get its act together: stamp out the simulation, anyone who gets on a stretcher should take 5 minutes to get back on the field.  Look at the replays and relay opinion to the referee and if need be change the decision. The Italy penalty was clearly a simulation. 

THE WORLD GAME

The feedback we've received at aljazeera.net over the past month tells us that readers from all over the world have been following the World Cup Finals on our website.

Billy in Manchester has no problem with Cristiano Ronaldo's antics during the tournament:

As a Scotsman living in Manchester, England I have had to endure a torrid time of egotistical England fans thinking it is their god given right to win this tournament.
 
What a great final four teams!

And am I the only man in Manchester who will be cheering for Ronaldo next season?

Regarding France's improvement throughout the tournament and appearance in the final, Hichem in Canada writes:

France celebrate after a Zidane
goal

I urge the French society to look at the composition of their team and reflect on the contribution of immigrants. You have the duty to redress the ills created by your colonial adventures and accept the fact that being French is not restricted to descendants of "nos ancetres les Gaulois".

Abdullah in Ecuador commented on our article: "Islamists kill two in Cup ban"

It is shameful that some brothers that claim to be enforcing Islamic law kill a fellow Muslim over a football match. I have no doubt in my mind that these people have forgotten they will face Allah.

Brazilian fan Essop thinks that a good attitude on the pitch leads to more fans off the pitch:

A lot has been said about Brazil's lack of exciting play, however did you see the way the Brazilian players keep smiling?

Other teams and players that are capable of playing a very good game are resorting to dirty tactics on the field.  The one that stood out the most was Shevchenko, he tripped on his own feet, and was awarded a penalty! Subsequently a team that deserved to go to the next stage didn't!

The referees need another ref that sees the different angles of the game, and should be assisting the on-field ref.
 
Brazil play a decent game, no tripping players, no tripping on themselves. Play a good game like Brazil does and everyone will love you.

SOUTH AFRICA 2010

Finally, Cecil in Australia has some doubts over the next World Cup Finals in 2010:

As a former South African and a lifelong football enthusiast, I cannot see the next World Cup happening in South Africa.

The South African Football authorities are riddled with argument, tribalism and corruption.  The facilities are abysmal and while colored Africans love their football, the majority of them won't be able to afford tickets. 

If by some miracle the tournament goes ahead, every team will require armed guards to protect them because of the incurable and rampart crime throughout that beautiful land.

Any further thoughts, comments or opinions on World Cup 2006 can be sent to:

worldcup@aljazeera.net