Alejandro Chacoff writing for The Atlantic:
Replays also don’t always tell you the whole story. Slow-motion video can’t guarantee a clear sense of impact or intentionality. It doesn’t help that many professional players have spent a lifetime training themselves in the art of deceit, making what is often deliberate look like an accident—an elbow “accidentally” touches the opponent’s neck, a defender “accidentally” loses balance and falls on the striker’s rib cage.
These complications pale in comparison to the fact that deceit is woven into the fabric of the game. Soccer, as a sport, has no interest in being morally upright, or even fair. A game in which so many events occur—22 players chasing a ball over a huge field for about 90 minutes—and only one event (the ball in the net) truly counts seems, in fact, sadistically and delightfully bent on being unfair. The setup incentivizes players to do everything they can to manipulate all the minor events that might lead to scoring.