World Cup thoughts

 

Well we’re well into the tournament now and it’s been curious hasn’t it? I mean for 35 minutes Engand almost looked like the best team there. Spain v Portugal was a cracker but cancelled each other out. But who else has impressed – Mexico? Certainly not Germany, France,  Brazil, Argentina nor Uruguay. Russia have got off to a flyer which is good news for the tournament though I read that Putin has invited Madhatter Blatter to the tournament as his crooked fixer sorry special guest. Ah that should raise the tone.

I’m quite enjoying it though the application of VAR is still infuriatingly inconsistent (especially in Engand matches). Also I do not like the number of teams in the event. It makes for too many stodgy first round watches like the Champions League. I see they’ve recently rejected the idea of going for a 48 team tournament. Quite right too. I”m sure they’re lovely places but we dont really want to see fixtures like Vanuatu v Burkina Faso.

I still believe the 16 team staging of earlier World Cups and the European Nations Cup (or whatever they call it) was the ultimate format but of course both footballing authorities FIFA and EUFA couldn’t resist expanding it to attract more revenue into their bloated coffers and a few back pockets. Will they never learn to keep it simple?

Anyway I’ve got a funny feeling about England and I fancy Harry Kane to come home with the golden boot. If Iran can frustrate Spain why should we be fearful? There’s a gold star and 3 lions on that shirt for a reason.

pp

 

Prisoner cell block CH

Well the handcuffs are out of the box and it can’t be long before they are slipped around the fat chubby wrists of Sepp Blatter. The FBI are already out for him and his corrupt trough-snuffling cronies but it was his native Swiss authorities who turned up at his office on Friday to seize evidence from his plush Zurich office and announced later that he was being investigated for ‘criminal mismanagement’ and ‘misappropriation’ of funds. At bloody last.

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Come on Blatter, do the decent thing for once

I’ve a solution to the problem Sepp Blatter has been facing for some years – how to end his tenure as President of FIFA on a high note, respected around the world for his courageous convictions. It’s to look at what happened yesterday with the shocking shooting down of the Malaysian airline over Ukraine and to make some important decisions:

–  to accept all the evidence that the civilian airline was taken out of the skies by an SA11 Buk missile supplied by the Russian regime to a trigger-happy bunch of pro-Russian separatists, thinking they were targetting a Ukrainian airforce transport aircraft (similar to the one they shot down last week), and who were in open telephone contact with their Russian military advisors at the time.

–  further accept that Russia is fighting a proxy war against another sovereign state and annexing territory just as Hitler did in the Sudetenland in the prelude to WW2.

–  recognise that the families and loved ones of the 298 innocent people who were killed in the atrocity included some 80 children and a number of mad keen football fans, following their teams’ pre-season progress, deserve to know that their deaths weren’t simply tragic but also resulted in some significant change.

–  question for the first time whether awarding major footballing tournaments to developing countries and the financial burden it imposes on countries like Ukraine (co-holder of the 2102 Euro Championships), South Africa (2010 WC) and Brazil (2014 WC) actually benefits the country or weakens and de-stabilises it, as seems to be the case for sure in the Ukraine.

–  make the obvious conclusion, on behalf of the world-wide football family, that as Russia is acting aggressively and against international law, FIFA should withdraw its grant to host the 2018 WC. Instead FIFA should invite the other bidding countries; England, Belgium-Neths and Portugal-Spain 3 months to submit a new tender document to host the tournament at minimal additional expenditure and based on plans utilising, optimally, existing stadia and current and already planned infrastructure. Winner to be determined within a further 3 month period by a new panel of 6 FIFA delegates and 6 respected external candidates.

–  ignore any threats from Russia on boycotts of future tournaments and hope that FIFA’s actions help, in some small way, to bring an end to Putin’s vile regime.

–  make a just decision that the bidding process for the 2022 WC was almost certainly flawed and compromised by corrupt practices, and that the final bidders should be re-invited to make a fresh submission for the tournament within a 6 month period with a pledge to make a final decision on the best bid within a further 3 months by the same panel.

–  plan future events around a rotating series of well-established centres eg EU states, N America, and the Far East with S America, Africa, Middle East being the prefered venues for under 21/Masters tournaments.

Then Mr Blatter you will go down as a fine, just and decent administrator. Are you up for it Sepp?

pp

last word on the 2018 fiasco

As strap lines go, it’s a doozie. But can you name me one person in the whole world who believes it? Nah. If you crossed out the last word and substituted the words “the guys’ bank accounts” it might be a little closer to the actual truth.

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FIFA: FIXA more like

So now we know. Rather than host the world’s greatest sporting tournament in a country with excellent stadia in place, first class training facilities, a complete transport/travel infrastructure, passionate fans,  plenty of hotels, masses of entertainment on hand to suit every taste and a free press, FIFA would prefer to ignore the advice of their own technical and commercial advisors and gift the event to a mafia state and a baking desert territory where absolutely no football infrastructure exists. Oh but they are both awash with money and FIFA and its executive are headquartered in Switzerland which hosts the most discreet personal banking system in the world. Surely a coincidence?

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world cup – the good and the not very good bits

Well it’s turning into a good World Cup tournament. England have scraped through the dreaded group stage which has seen some big beasts wounded and one or two of the aging ones fall. Africa’s put on quite a show but there have been some highs and lows.

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only croatia again

Don’t know if you’ve heard the World Cup qualifying draw as yet but England have only gone and drawn Croatia again as the no 1 seed in our group, alongside Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the mighty Andorra. As it’s a 6 team group we even get a chance to qualify as one of the best runners-up. That’s alright. With a proper manager in control, we should reverse the results against Croatia and qualify relatively easily this time. He says…

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