Tag Archives: Football

Consequences of balls

We all face them, you, me, pretty much everyone, we always face consequences. We do not always face them the same way and some see a diminished version of it, but they will be there, no exception. So when I saw the FIFA corruption scandal explode 2-3 years ago, I wondered what would happen next, and yes reports were suppressed and we got to see all kinds of excuses. But it was an event with far reaching consequences. Now, I personally believe that some of the upper class leagues decided to fight the expansionism by certain members and they created the European Super League, the BBC gives us all kinds of news including “Uefa said it will use “all measures” possible to stop the “cynical project”.” To them I say ‘If you had done something to stop the fucking corruption by FIFA, you might not be in this mess’, and that is not all, when we consider ‘Sepp Blatter gets new six-year ban from football after Fifa investigation’ (source: the Guardian, 24th march), so not only was the first conviction not enough, we see him getting more and there is no way that the high end of UEFA was unaware, the BBC investigation over 10 years shows that there is a lot more going on and they stayed silent, so in the setting of anti-expansionism, the largest team set up a new league and it will draw crowds. Is it fair on the ECA (European Clubs’ Association), or UEFA? Not sure if that is in call, it is the consequence of letting Sepp Blatter and his friends getting away with the amount they have. So when we see “Senior figures at European football’s governing body are furious about the proposals”, are they? Where was their indignation stopping FIFA? Where was their indignation on the suppressed reports? Sitting on your hands also comes with consequences and these teams are looking at a way to make it pay for them, so when we see “This proposal risks shutting the door on fans for good, reducing them to mere spectators and consumers” I cannot stop laughing, this is exactly what fns are, they are spectators, they are consumers, this is how sports work and any display or marketing event to show that they are more is pretty much a lie. Consider that “The gross salary awarded by FIFA to its President Gianni Infantino rose to more than $3.2 million (£2.4 million/€2.66 million) in 2019. The world football body’s 2019 annual report details amounts earmarked for both Infantino and Fatma Samoura, secretary general, in salary and allowances last year, at what stage is that level of income seen as normal? I get that they optionally earn a decent penny, but that decent? A source gave us in 2018 ‘UEFA reveals president Ceferin is paid $1.64M salary’, yes these people will see a drop in income, so they are furious, in all this what is the stage we need to see? Can we blame that Andrea Agnelli (Juventus), Ed Woodward (Manchester United) and Ivan Gazidis (AC Milan) want to see a chunk of that money go towards their own club? Oh and before I have stop typing (from excessive laughter) consider “Labour leader Keir Starmer said the clubs involved should “rethink immediately” or “face the consequences of their actions”” I wonder where the hell he was when FIFA got away with event after event, at this point he is better off keeping quiet. So when I see all these people cry havoc, on how fair it is and how greed driven it is, consider their silence when Andrew Jennings initially voiced his show on FIFA in 2006 and for how long serious investigations were avoided and pushed into the dark room in the back. Now we see the consequences on the biggest teams, having to chance injury on Edinson Cavani against a third tier team a week before to head of against AC Milan, this is not against that third tier team, but we all know that the biggest teams want to play the other biggest teams, not fall to injury against a low level team and the fans, the chances to see the big teams fight each other, I am certain they will love it pretty much right of the bat. It is the consequence of badly thought through expansionism, the biggest players are wondering why they need to suffer the consequences of bad management. I believe (still speculatively speaking) it is that simple.

I for one, do not really care, I am a hockey fan, there are 31 NHL teams in total over all of the US and Canada combined, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), has 4 groups adding up to 79 teams. There is a cost to expansionism and I reckon that they are seeing it now. If Ron Francis (Seattle Kraken) offers me a place as goalie on his team, I will happily accept, I get it, we all want to be in the big leagues, but a stage where we have 4 groups combined to 79 teams, the setting is off the wall and the people in charge should have stopped a long time ago, but the media coins were just too appealing and in this we see that FIFA and UEFA are in a bad place, they got themselves there and now we see politicians (if we can call Keir Starmer one), they are all about the change and how these manager have to ‘rethink immediately’, all whilst there are larger flaws to consider and these teams are now setting the stage for THEIR team. Let’s not forget that UEFA is not beyond the paint reach. So when we see “Michel Platini, who was the head of UEFA at the time that Blatter headed up FIFA and the corruption allegations were taking place, had to deny receiving a ‘disloyal payment’ last year. He was paid £1.35 million for, he describes, ‘legitimate consultancy work’. The problem he had, however, was that he received the payment in 2011 – a full nine years after his initial payment for work with FIFA and just three months before Blatter was re-elected at FIFA boss in 2011” (source: Football Stadiums), in all this who even remembers Andrew Jennings? Who is asking the deeper questions? I personally see that expansionism led to Qatar 2022, now, personally I like the idea of Football reaching the Middle East, if sport gets a conversation going, their participation should be welcomed, but in the light of expansionism, there is a drawback and those sponsors are crying like little girls, and now as that is taking place certain funds are suddenly questioned on a larger scale, there is a consequence on nearly every turn and whilst people like Keir Starmer cry foul, the tend to get awfully quiet around the Sepp Blatter case, what cries did he give us when Sky Sports gave us “FIFA’s ethics committee found Blatter was part of a “vicious circle” of officials who sought to award themselves over £50m in undeclared payments”, which is funny, because that much money took years to gather and for the longest time there was nothing and the media was quiet on nearly all of it (which makes sense), but it took a BBC investigative journalist (Andrew Jennings) to create the visibility, even then it took over a decade for all of it to make the limelight and the headlines, why do you think that was? Perhaps a decent look on stakeholders and their influence in media is not too weird a call to make? What do you think?

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The play of the Sponsor

I have had my issues with sport and the enormous setting of corruption on several settings; we merely have to look at FIFA to see just how bad it can get in any setting. In equal measure I have had several issues against Iran; the corruption does not even come up to high as we see the interactions with Hezbollah and the shipping of missiles to Yemen.

Yet, when I see the news in the Washington Post (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/06/09/nike-will-not-outfit-iranian-world-cup-team-due-to-sanctions), it is my personal belief that certain political parties have gone overboard. When I see ‘Nike will not outfit Iranian World Cup team due to sanctions’, it’s gone too far. We have always accepted that sports needs to remain outside of all political scopes. If the spirit of the Olympics was: ‘During the celebration of the games, an Olympic Truce was enacted so that athletes could travel from their cities to the games in safety‘, so that one moment was a time when there was no war, no discord and those players had the freedom to travel uninterrupted. To suddenly get them in a setting without an outfit has all other kinds of interactive issues and touching on that is the beginning of the end. I personally consider it a really bad call on nearly every level to set the stage that the providers of such an event would be prohibited from supplying one of the teams. Politicians have the options to shout out to exclude sports and official events of inhibiting any international support. I personally never gave a hoot about football, but the option to open any level of dialogue at a sporting event could be the beginning of options that are usually not a given. I have always believed in keeping channels of communications open, even if it would be a mere ‘Oops! I apologise for sinking your fleet!‘, or perhaps something less drastic, yet the option to have it is still important and the Washington Post  gives us that Nike, by its own actions or not has closed that door. It becomes a little less nice when we see: “Some teams allow players to select their own cleats, including which brand, for competition. Some players, for example, may have sponsorship with Nike. Those deals, according to CNBC, will not be affected. Other teams are sponsored by a particular brand — the main players in the international soccer scene are Nike, Adidas and Puma — and require players to wear a certain shoe“, so when I see ‘sponsorship with Nike. Those deals, according to CNBC, will not be affected‘, so if people are paid for, they can still be supplied? It feels like an uneven game and makes football and other games merely settings for exploitation, how does that help in keeping any level of corruption out of sport? OK, that is a different topic, but the setting that we see with “We call on the U.S. Government to take immediate steps to address this shameful situation and that Nike actively seeks a resolution. FIFA should also take necessary steps to address this issue and ensure that none of the teams in the World Cup are subject to double standards“. In this I actually side with Jamal Abdi, the vice president for policy of the National Iranian American Council. It is important for politicians to take the politics and these economic settings away from the sporting events like the Olympics, world cups and official international games. If equality is the only way to finding common ground, and should Nike to shy away, I hope that the Germans with Puma and Adidas to pick up the baton, so that sport events like the world cup will keep on having a level playing field, so that it remains about the game and not about the sponsored players and the politics.

 

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