Well this is a companion piece to the recent posting about England’s ignominious exit from the European Championships. Following that predictable debacle we’d become honorary supporters of the Italian team (it should be Wales but alone in my family I’m finding it hard to be generous to a nation who just dislike the English so much). We were baby-sitting our beautiful elder two grandsons last night and had everything in place (wine) as the Italians faced up to the mighty Germany. It was a tense match with both sides cancelling each other out in the first half. The second half was more exciting with goals from either side. Would extra time allow Italy to show themselves as Germany’s bogey team yet again?
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?
Well I thought last night’s match between Algeria and Germany was good but tonight’s last last-16 thriller between Belgium and USA was just sensational. Most tense match I’ve seen during this brilliant WC. I would have loved USA to do it but it wasn’t to be. And now we have the best 8 teams in the world left to contest the QFs. Oh my lord who’s going to win this super, super tournament? It’s going to be Germany isn’t it…..
Arggh my eyes….I’ve just switched on the tv to watch the Argentina match on ITV and there’s that fat fuck Adrian Chiles presenting the pundits’ preview in a pair of tight shorts. My lovely sister H forewarned me the other evening that she’d witnessed the grumpy one’s pallid legs and it wasn’t a pretty sight. My God she wasn’t joking. That just shouldn’t be allowed before the watershed. I was chomping on a cherry at the time and I nearly choked on the frigging stone. Just imagine if the last thing I’d seen before I died were the Chiles thighs. Shudder…
Well here’s the official England football shirt showing the single star for our sole World Cup win way back when I was just a young lad. And the FA aren’t going to be adding any more stars following our exit from the excellent 2014 World Cup. Still we did last 8 days at the tournament before getting eliminated. Sigh. Only two things make me happy thinking about this; the thought of Colleen having to re-pack those 15 cases and knowing that the extended holiday for the 70 people – that’s right seventy! – who made up the FA’s official tour party will shortly be over. At least we didn’t lose on penalties I suppose.
Now who’s your favourite for the World Cup? It would be nice to see a new name on the trophy I reckon – Chile perhaps? Then they too can enjoy decades of hurt waiting for the second one to arrive. It’s nice to share.
Well I don’t know about you but I’m loving this World Cup. The football’s sensational and exciting (when England don’t play that is), the Rio scenery is stunning, the girls look, well, beautifully Brazillian and the broadcast coverage is just great fun. My fave moments so far:
10. The opening ceremony which was joyously rubbish. Danny Boyle’s smashed it for every Artistic Director for the next 20 years hasn’t he? Why was J-Lo there? Who was the Brazillian lass? What was wrong with the sound system? – I couldn’t hear a word of what was being sung. And who is this Pitbull character? He might have a street name that sounds all fierce and gangsta but he looked and danced like a gay Russian waiter. I loved it.
9. Colleen arriving in town yesterday evening with kids Kai and Klay and around 15 kases of Louis Vuitton luggage and immediately ran into a twitter storm for dragging her kids half way round the world for yet another holiday. She responded to the ‘thick’ trolls with a statement that it’s not a holiday; she’s out there to support her beleaguered husband Wayne for as long as England remain in the tournament. Well she should be back skirting around the favelas of Alderley Edge within a week or so then.
8. Phil Neville’s ‘expert’ analysis. His commentary is so flat and uninteresting he could make Southport sands seem positively Alpine. Listening to his droney voice is almost as amusing as his hair style – Bury chav chanelling Tintin. I’ve seen more sophisticated grooming on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.
6. The BBC idents featuring the little subbuteo figures and those amazing street caricature graphics of the world’s leading payers. Brilliant.
7. Watching fat Phil Scolari having apoplexy on the touchline. Priceless. Loved it when Mexico drew with Brazil tonight – I’ve never rated their full backs Alves and Marcello and tonight they did me proud. Two glasses of caipirinha could defend better then these two munchkins.
5. Netherlands v Spain. Alright that knobhead Robben scored a cracker but RVP’s header was just a belter. Can we now say good bye to all that spunking over tedious tika taka Spanish football please?
4. Thierry Henry’s a sulky fuck but he looks effortlessly cool. Such chic dress sense, he makes Robbie Savage and Alan Shearer look like Steptoe and son in comparison.
3. Pirlo; any chance you could retire and stop torturing us, and Fellaini; any chance you could stop torturing us and play like that for Man U?
2. The Mexican goalie Ochoa, who gave the best stopper performance tonight since the inimitable Gordon Banks in 1970. Even Wenger might be tempted to splash out on him.
1. Talksport Radio’s official WC song; wrong on so many levels but I can’t get the damn chorus out of my head. Watch this and it’ll be in yours too….
I was interested to see the images this week of the England team heading off to Miami, en route to the World Cup sporting their new official suits. I’m sure the lads were expecting to don something snazzy from Armani or Hugo Boss or Paul Smith at the very least. They’ve actually been issued with matching jacket and strides from the official supplier M&S’s Autograph collection. Ah well lads. Continue reading