The neutral would have felt there was a sense of injustice against Croatia in the football last night. I certainly did, though I do have a Balkan bias. In fact it got me more angry than I have about much for a long time. You know that sense of righteous anger when you know you have witnessed some huge injustice but you can’t really do anything about it? That is what I was feeling. I vented on facebook and twitter a bit, and waited for the likes, comments and re-tweets to help me feel justified in my anger.
And then it hit me – why do I feel so angry about a game of football when there are so many other injustices going on in the world that are infinitely more serious than a bad refereeing decision or two.
Here are my top 5 issues (with links) that I would rather not watch or read about:
- That the Syrian Civil War has been going for over three years
- That real people, including children, are trafficked for slavery and sexual exploitation
- That it’s likely that more than one child on my street has been abused recently
- That while you have been reading this blog about 6 children have died because they were hungry
- That this very World Cup that many of us are so excited about is the showcase event for one of the world’s most powerful, corrupt and down right evil bunch of humans – FIFA
Of course the list could go on. They’re just headline grabbers. Behind all of these are individual humans, suffering horrifically.
It’s just a bit overwhelming really. What to do?
And getting angry about football….really?
Where is Montenegro people ask?
The answer of course is that Montenegro is at the top of England’s group! I must say I am extremely proud of Montenegro, I love that country so much!
I think a draw was probably a fair result but it was clearly a more useful point for Montenegro than England. The difference between the actual result and a win for England was the same as the difference in the passion between the two teams.
- Montenegro 14pts
- England 12pts
- Poland 8pts
- Ukraine 8pts
- Moldova 4pts
- San Marino 0pts
There is only one nation in the world who has played England at least three times and never lost…..any ideas!? Not bad for a country whose population is less than the number of registered footballers in England!
I’m not sure how long the video below will stay on YouTube but if you want to relieve some of the passion from last night click below:
OK, so UNESCO is all about promoting peace and justice through countries working together to protect and celebrate culture, science and education. Right?
So why, why, why, why, why is the United States employing bully-boy tactics and removing one fifth of UNESCO’s budget as a reprisal for UNESCO accepting Palestine as a member? Palestine is a member of FIFA but you don’t see the United States boycotting the World Cup!
If the United States really cares about what UNESCO is all about – education, science and culture – then they wouldn’t turn it into a massive political game for spoilt children. I honestly think this decision by America to try and hold the world hostage is deplorable. Their decision will effect the development of education for children, the progress of science for preventing diseases and the loss of protection for some of the world heritage sites.
And worse than the United States is the cowardice of the United Kingdom. We abstained in the vote to accept Palestine! It seems our conscience wouldn’t let us vote ‘no’ but we were to scared of the good old United States and Israel to vote ‘yes’!
Sorry for the rant I just think this is horrific.
Congratulations to the people of Russia & Qatar (and the rest of the Middle East). I am really pleased for you and hope you enjoy the World Cups and that your nations benefit in a positive way.
Of course, being an Englishman, I was gutted that England did not win the vote. And my favourite for 2022 would have been Australia. But never mind there is no point having sour grapes and I am not writing this post out of bitterness. However, I am disappointed with the outcome of the FIFA voting and especially that Qatar won.
Reasons Qatar should not host the World Cup
- They have no football heritage
- They have never qualified for a World Cup and only once got past the first round of the Asian Cup
- There are huge amounts of commercial opportunities for FIFA through choosing Qatar – this is not a viable reason for choosing a nation to host a tournament
- Travelling and staying in Qatar will be a nightmare for the average fan
- Qatar are super-rich and can simply build the best stadiums and complexes and would have been able to put on extraordinary hospitality for FIFA delegates – it goes against everything that was great about the World Cup in South Africa
Reasons why Qatar should host the World Cup
- It will be great for the people of the Middle East to have a home tournament.
- The stadiums look incredible!
Doha Port Stadium, Qatar
Reasons Russia should not host the World Cup
- Few people would dispute that Russia is a nation full of corruption – given the recent accusations towards FIFA one wonders if there are some dodgy dealings going on
- They have not qualified for the last two World Cups – I hate nations getting free places at tournaments when they would have been unlikely to qualify otherwise (eg Ukraine & Poland at the next European Championships)
Reasons Russia should host the World Cup
- They have a great footballing heritage – from 1958-1972 USSR made it to eight major quarter-finals and won the European Championships in 1960 (something England never did!)
- They have never hosted a major tournament before
- Many cities will benefit from hosting matches
I think us English need to get over our superiority complex. We have no divine right to host or win major football tournaments. Only 2 delegates voted for the England bid! And I think we can assume one of those was our own Geoff Thompson! That’s pretty embarrassing and shows that we must have had a very poor bid.
What are your thoughts…..?
Lots of people are VERY angry about the Republic of Ireland being cheated out of the World Cup. If you are then take five minutes out of your day and go to http://www.fifa.com/contact/form.html and express your feelings to FIFA directly. If anybody can get an email address for Sepp Blater then let me know!
Here is what I wrote to them this morning:
Subject: Immoral FIFA
I am writing to express my disgust that you, the governing body for the world’s biggest sport are a blatently corrupt and injust organisation.
If you want France to be in the World Cup Finals so much please be honest and come out and say it. You could have at least given them a free place from the start and not doomed Ireland to having no chance by fixing the play-off draw and then using suspect officials who have ‘missed’ one of the most obvious discrepancies of all time.
The decisions you make have galactical implications right down to the grass roots of society in every country in the world. As a youth worker, how can I instill positive values into young people when you allow the message to be broadcast loud and clear by one of the world’s most recognised players, ‘you need to cheat to get what you want in life’?
As an organisation you are a disgrace and should make the world a better place by standing against decisions like that which happened on Wednesday night and by not fixing who gets into the World Cup for your own financial gain.
It would be great to bombard FIFA with emails about this. Thanks!
Except the Frenchman is clearly not as skillful.
I just don’t know what to think about last night. The injustice of it all makes me livid. There are handballs and then then there are handballs. Just like Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’, Thierry Henry clearly deliberately controls the ball with his hand, TWICE(!), to set-up William Gallas to score the goal the cheats France into the World Cup Finals and robs the more deserving Irish from their place in South Africa. Here is a video of it from Irish TV:
I could understand a split second of madness from Henry by using his hands, but as a human being you have to own up to stuff like that but instead he runs off to the security of the adoring French fans and takes with him the lifetime label of being one of football’s great cheats.
Also, is it beyond the realms of possibility that FIFA put pressure on the match officials to help the former World Champions get carried into the World Cup like an inept but corrupt politician frauding his way into power…?
I am really disappointed that FIFA are doing their best to prevent heroic efforts from weaker footballing nations enabling them to qualify for the World Cup. Instead favouring the under performing giants of Portugal and France. We are currently in between legs in the play-offs for the Finals in South Africa.
Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Ireland gave a fantastic display in the Group Stages:
- Bosnia finished ahead of Turkey and Belgium with only Spain, arguably the best team in the world, beating them.
- Ireland remained undefeated through the whole campain.
However, once FIFA saw that precious France and Portugal were struggling they decided to seed the play-offs to give them a much better chance of qualifying. Both giants are now firm favourites following the first legs despite atrocious group performances. In my opinion neither of these teams deserves to be in the Finals. They achieved similar results to Ireland and Bosnia despite playing much weaker nations. I say chuck them and their prima donnas out!