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In Defense of Dzeko’s...Umm, Undressing

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Edin Dzeko sees red after “pantsing” opponent in 1-1 draw against Greece

Original Prankster
Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

In case you haven’t heard, Serie A’s highest (joint) scorer, our very own Edin Dzeko, was sent off in this past weekend’s world cup qualifier for debagging (“pantsing” to us Yanks) an opponent. Said opponent, Sokratis papadopadingdangolous, was also sent off, whether it was for his provocation or the public humiliation suffered we will never be sure. For the record, debagging sounds too similar to teabagging, so let’s just stick with “pantsing” from here on out.

Rather than break down the incident with words like “come-from-behind,” or “mounting,” or “whitey-tighties,” how about we just watch the replay?

Hmmm… That escalated fast. Dzeko seemed to go for Royce Gracie leg-takedown, but then in an instant changed his mind and went for a full-blown pantsing. The maneuver, as odd and unexpected as it was, did allow the Bosnian to remove himself from a precarious position; however, instead of walking away, he then chose to knock the Greek down, a no-no in the Official FIFA Laws of the Game. Speaking of FIFA, let’s take a closer look at the rules as they pertain to red cards:

FIFA’s Laws of the Game

Admittedly, this image was taken from the Laws of the Game in 2004; however, nowhere in the current 140 page manifesto does it say anything about the disrobing an opponent…obviously. Perhaps it could be seen as an insulting gesture? Whatever the case may be, the incident provokes the question: should “pantsing” or any sort of disrobing of an opponent be a red card? Just imagine, number eight: a player purposefully pulls down an opponent’s breeches. Has it really come to this? Probably not.

In the post-match conference Dzeko was confounded on why he received a red:

Oh, Dzeko.

The incident has sparked marginal controversy, but many have been quick to judge Edin as perverse. Our friends, our colleagues, The staff over at ESPN have labeled Edin’s reaction as “preposterous.” In truth, his actions were nothing more than child’s play. Although “pantsing” is a form of shaming, in this incident it was nothing more than a ploy to waste time, or an easy way to get his aggressor on the ground. One up in the 80th minute, the Bosnians looked sure to win, so Dzeko must have thought this “tussle” would chew some clock. However, the deed would prove fruitless as Greece would equalize in the 95th minute.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how long a ban Dzeko receives. Anything more than one game is unlikely, but as Roma fans we wouldn’t mind seeing our in-form striker receiving some rest on the next international break. Sorry Bosnians, but our players’ knees are like Lego blocks at the moment. Ultimately, unless FIFA deems the incident as derogatory or obscene, the incident will fade away into nothing more than a clip on a blooper reel.