Tag Archives: UEFA

Officials? Bitching!

I have a few ideas on advertisers, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people wanting to advertise, or sponsor, yet they should open their wallets and keep their mouths shut. So as such when I saw ‘Euro 2020: Uefa warns teams could be fined if they move drinks at news conferences’ (at https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/57517337) I had to take a walk to cool down a bit. You see, not only is Aleksander Čeferin a bitch, he is apparently a prime time one. We might agree, or not on his position towards advertisers and that super league issue, but he has a duty to shield the player.

So when I see “Uefa has reminded participating teams that partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women”, I merely wonder if he had lost the plot (which could be the case). So as we see ‘partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament’ we should remind Alex that the delivery of the tournament is not being a photo opportunity for the pleasure of James Quincey (CEO Coca Cola). Sugary drinks are in part a health hazard and if a soccer player does not condone them, he moves them, so suck that up Aleksander Čeferin, and go cry in a corner! If Ronaldo prefers water, that is his business and not the business of UEFA or Coca Cola. And if Pogba, a practising Muslim objects to an alcoholic drink in front of his face, you have to accept that, one better, if you knew that a muslim was there there should not have been any beer there in the first place. So reading “Teams have been reminded of their contractual regulations and Kallen said disciplinary action was “a possibility”” is quite literally a showboat of bullshit. So show EVERYONE just how much you fucked up and show those ‘contractual regulations’ where players have to take photo ops with sugary and alcoholic drinks and I will show you just how much UEFA failed the players! Oh and by the way, please show the UEFA contract that UEFA signed with Coca Cola, I reckon that there will be a few other issues in there that we will openly and loudly object to.

So whilst you might not like that they moved the bottles, you as president of UEFA fucked it up yourself. So as Martin Kallen hid behind “We are never fining players directly from the Uefa side, we will do this always through the participating national association and then they could look if they will go further to the player, but we are not going directly for the moment to the player”, you Alexander are in the end responsible for that mess and hiding behind legal talk will not shield you, so when we advertise that Aleksander Čeferin and Martin Kallen support health hazards to players, which we see when we consider “People consider sugary drinks to be a significant contributor to many health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. Research has shown that drinking a can of Coca-Cola can have damaging effects on the body within an hour” (source: Medial News Today), so do you have anything else to bitch about? No? Good, now go and for the love of god keep your advertisers (sponsors too) in line. 

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Who makes the congregation?

Yes, there you were outside and you suddenly see a church, so you wonder who decides on that congregation, the Bible (the third edition reprint with 5 chapters omitted), the bible of King James, the members of the Holiness Baptist Association or the disgruntled members who created the Baptist Purity Association? Yes, it is out there, all versions all creeds and they all have their version of the truth, also optionally the true version that whoever is up there finds the most appealing. But the new religion is sport and we saw that unfold really fast, did we not? With pope Aleksander Ceferin and pope Gianni Infantino at the head of their churches, and they will not tolerate anyone falling out of line. The addition here is that politicians (David freakin Cameron) as well as the media as a whole are really happy to lend a hand to these two popes.

Yet, the media also gives another side. In this, the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/22/esl-european-super-league-global-capitalism-football-tech-giants) gives a really good version, a good story. The writer is giving us the lowdown and Larry Elliott does a really good job of this. He gives us a lot of the goods, not all but a lot. 

And it was then, that this article that gave me an idea. You see, there is a lot of good in the article and all of it true, but there is a part missing. You see, I have no doubt that they were all in it for the money. In this I have no sympathy for a person like Ivan Gazidis, Andrea Agnelli or Florentino Pérez. I do not hate them, I merely do not care about football, I (for the most) do not see the need to care about people who make more per week then I will ever make a year. OK, there optionally 4 exceptions, but this is not about my 5G IP. But money is the foundation used and we need to see this.

So when we see in the article “Free-market purists say they hate the idea because it is the wrong form of capitalism”, it is correct but incomplete. Then there is “The ESL has demonstrated that global capitalism operates on the basis of rigged markets not free markets, and those running the show are only interested in entrenching existing inequalities” which is almost dead on the nose. You see the media has a role to play, as I have stated many times before, the first three parties the media pleases are the Shareholders, the Stakeholders and the advertisers, the audience is a distant fourth. In all this, if there was really an impartial media we would have seen all kinds of interviews with the owners of those 15 teams, but did we? You tell me, where and when were they interviewed? Then there is the stage we see presented as “Having 15 of the 20 places guaranteed for the founder members represents a colossal barrier to entry and clearly stifles competition. There is not much chance of “creative destruction” if an elite group of clubs can entrench their position by trousering the bulk of the TV receipts that their matches will generate”, there is actually a second truth hidden there and it is ‘trousering the bulk of the TV receipts that their matches will generate’ and this is where the media gets involved, you see there are no arrangements with the media when it comes to the ESL, as such the 15 biggest teams will not fall under some agreement with the media, FIFA or UEFA, that money is theirs, the media will have to make new arrangements, and do you think that advertisers will pay the amount we see for the other teams? That is why the media is the larger problem and those two popes, they would lose out on a lot, so whilst we see “he called on the football world to keep fighting against the “disgraceful” plan for a breakaway European competition, worth an estimated $20 billion to the clubs” (source: Fox Sports) we also see that UEFA and FIFA and the media would lose out on an optional $20 billion, this is the larger issue. And the media has remained silent on it, even at the end, the news was all about the fans, the fans were never part of this. We saw “Forget coronavirus travel lists, when it comes to football the UK was being put on code red”, the money involved is too big. 

In the end I do not know whether the ESL was bad or good, the issue is that 15-20 teams of the upper setting would be playing football, the fans do not miss out, they get their football, these teams are merely in a stage of the same level, the same highest level and they are all playing against one another. So the actual losers would have been Aleksander Ceferin, Gianni Infantino and the media, it got to the point where David Cameron got involved, they were THAT scared and made it a political game from the start. If it was real, if there was really care of football, the UK would also be playing the games from the Russian Premier League. Yet the stage is that those fans can find them on YouTube. Where is the Greek league? Yes it is quite the setup, locality for added local advertising. But on a lot of there there is silence. 

Yes, Larry makes a good case with “the men who made their money out of nuts and bolts and waste paper firms in north London have been replaced by oligarchs and hedge funds. TV, barely mentioned in the Glory Game, has arrived with its billions of pounds in revenue”, it is not merely that these teams were changing the levels of loyalty, they took food from the through of pigs and those pigs can squeal, all whilst the media (who would lose a lot too) were the helping hand these two popes needed. 

What I saw was a massive one sided tsunami of flaming and colouring against anything that was not them three. And the people for the most bought it. So when we see “Asked about the Chelsea fans that gathered outside Stamford Bridge, he shot back: “There were 40 of them and if you like I’ll tell you who brought them there.”” We see in part a larger truth, the throughs are in a stage of added protection and the pigs are swarming to blame whatever they can for the image and view to be pushed to other places, but when we see “Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former secretary general Jerome Valcke had their bans extended by six years this Wednesday after the pair were found guilty of financial wrongdoing” whilst actions that took millions from the coffers of FIFA hd been going on for well over a decade and nothing was done, whilst the BBC (Andrew Jennings) pulled the alarm, all whilst we now see “when it comes to football the UK was being put on code red”, we see the stage of corruption and intentional avoidance, whilst for 15 years these same organisations did next to NOTHING. 

A stage that is not seen and actively avoided. As such we need to see that there is a larger stage and greed is only allowed by some, weird is it not? More important, this is not over, I reckon that all kinds of agreements are signed up, agreements with the media, the advertisers and the teams, as I personally see it, the throughs will be protected, greed is all.

Enjoy the week!

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One sided media

We are falling for another one sided attack on the people, pretending to talk for the people, but what is going on? To be honest, less than a day ago I did not really care, but now things are changing and not for the good. It might have started yesterday, but the setting ‘UK government may legislate to stop European Super League, says minister’ makes it a larger issue. Let’s be clear, I checked several sources and they all attack the European Super League, not one, I say again NOT ONE gives us a clear timeline and the other side. So when I saw ‘FIFA voices disapproval of proposed breakaway European Super League plan’ with the added “warning they must face up to the reality of their decision”, yes just like the consequences of large settings of corruption by FIFA, in this, FIFA needs to keep its mouth shut! We get some information (at https://acmilan.theoffside.com/2021/4/19/22391526/official-ac-milan-is-one-of-the-founding-members-of-the-european-super-league-uefa-fifa-lega-serie-a) yet the news groups give us nothing, merely wave after wave of negativity. It makes me wonder where their interests lie and personally I think it is whomever has the most money. 

So the setting where we are informed is not coming, merely politicians shouting, media flaming and no real information. I voiced yesterday that this might be the consequence of unadulterated expansionism and I personally feel that it might be a larger reason, yes more money for the owners might play a role, but when I see “20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season” gives view to a competitive side, all whilst several sources give voice in the setting like “The joy of the game’s current structure, one that has kept people coming back year after year, generation after generation, is that even the most seemingly endless period of frustration is made bearable by the possibility, however remote, that one day you could see them rise up”, yes you might voice it that way, yet ‘joy of the game’s current structure’ also implies the funds as they are ‘distributed’ now, as these teams fall away, advertisements will take a different tour, a tour that the power people are not happy about, and such they are all crying. If there was a real concern for the people, there would be neutral interviews with the owners of these breakaway teams. Do you think that people will NOT watch AC Milan-Real Madrid? Do you think that the fans of these two teams are shutting their eyes? No! But media money will now take a different path and the media is crying like a little bitch taking the lames as far as they can, because that has worked so often in the past. 

Is this league a good idea? I do not know, I do not really care about football, but I do know that there is a limit to expansionism and greed driven people will never accept the term ‘saturation’. A stage larger and larger in football, with well over 90 teams in Europe? Yup, you are looking at 4000 minutes per weekend, all that time for advertisement, all the media vying for those coins. None of that is mentioned. Yet we get “Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core”. Fairness?  Are you freaking kidding me? Real Madrid has an estimated budget of 616 million Euro. You really think that Dutch PSV, German Werder Bremen, or British Newcastle United has anywhere near that level of budget? As I see it for FIFA and UEFA this will be about loss of revenue and we need to see this clearly, but the media cannot be trusted, they have too much to lose. You see if they were fair, their would be a clear interview with those breakaway teams, but I see nothing of that. And it gets to be worse, when these teams breakaway, the bulk of all football fans, they will switch to that channel, that is the fear and I believe that if FIFA had cleaned house half a decade ago and stopped expansionism things would not be that bad, it is the clear consequence on what I see as unadulterated greed. The denial of saturated sport venues. Let’s be clear, do you have time and the drive to watch 4000 minutes of soccer every weekend? We know, the ‘smaller’ teams will get a fragmented highlight expose, with the fill match on some other channel (for the local fans), but the breakaway groups are a massive drain on funds. There is no mention of that, is there? We get headlines like ‘European Super League planners condemned as ‘snakes’ by UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin’, with quotes like “he hoped UEFA could ban Super League clubs and players “as soon as possible” from all of its competitions”, “Betrayal was a theme Ceferin was to return to frequently as he denounced the 12 clubs as “the dirty dozen”” and “I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer. I have never seen people like that,” he said, “It is hard to believe the level of immorality of some people”, well as we saw the unquestioned actions by a certain FIFA member, his words are hollow and meaningless, fear mongering in the hope to turn things around, but the crux remains expansionism and the media have too large a slice of that cake and the media is not making any serious effort in giving us a real interview of the breakaway teams, and with real I do mean an interview where they give us THEIR side. And in all this, it is the interview of Ceferin in 2019, where we see “The two finalists, Arsenal and Chelsea, were only able to allocate 6,000 tickets each to their supporters. Plus, fans wanting to attend the final have to make a long and expensive journey”, so that is one side, but according to what I saw, we see that Stamford Bridge stadium has 40,834 places, so what happened to the other 25,000 seats? I get it, others want to see it too, but shouldn’t the fans of these two teams have a much larger share of the tickets? As such, who got the lion share of the ‘allocated’ tickets? Perhaps it is all on the up and up, but the stadium would prefer to give ITS fans a much larger share, and Ceferin gives us 6,000 seats. There is a lot more going on and all these funds from the breakaway teams are up for grabs, as are the media contracts, which are now not covered, making the media cry like little bitches. And as we see Boris Johnson give us “has promised football groups that the government will consider using what he called “a legislative bomb” to stop English clubs joining a breakaway European Super League, as official efforts to thwart the plan were stepped up” (source: the Guardian) With all due respect, how the fuck is that any of your business? This is not political, the media, UEFA, FIFA and the advertisers are making this political, which is not the same. 

Sports is one place where the nanny state mentality (social equality) will never ever work and in that stage expansionism is not the solution, it never ever was and now that there is a group of upper league teams, the stage is set. As I see it, it is the consequence of greed, is it not interesting that the media is not picking up on that either, they pick up on greed as a stone to throw towards the European Super League. I am not stating that this is not the case, cash might be involved, but I reckon it is more about FIFA and UEFA losing out, then the ESL is gaining. It is my view, and I might be wrong, I will admit to that, but the lack of neutral media makes me doubt that I am wrong, I still might be, I get that.

But consider the news, the accusation and the flames, all whilst we see no decent response offered by the other side. This might just be another example of filtered information, filtered to the needs of the big three. Shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers. It is merely my point of view on the matter.

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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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Let’s call a spade a spade

It is an old expression, lets call a spade a spade, the pot calling the kettle black and so forth. It is (when I grew up) the expressions that refer to let’s call it what it is, let’s label it directly, let’s not beat around the bush. So when the BBC gives us ‘Loot boxes: I blew my university savings gaming on Fifa’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53337020), we see the story of an idiot, an idiot named Jonathan Peniket, who basically is voicing whatever excuse he has for the simple reason that he is (as I personally see it) indeed an idiot. So when we see “Better players give you an advantage, and there is a virtual currency and market where these cards are traded. You can buy packs containing a random selection of cards. The idea that it was gambling seemed ridiculous to me at the time. I understood that the chances of ‘packing’ my favourite players were low. I spent the money, opened my packs, got lucky a couple of times, and tried to be positive, despite being left feeling slightly underwhelmed. ‘If I could just spend another £15…’, I thought. Four years followed of spending more and more money on player packs – each time seeking that buzz that would only occasionally come.” We see here the driven and almost educated response of a crack whore trying to get someone else to pay for her addiction, a little bitch looking for the 3600 cards and a person who wants the 1200 cards in month one. I know it sounds ominous and even offensive, but that is life. So when he was a teenager, like two years before his first card (at 17), he got inflicted with the Pokemon vibe (gotta have them all), that empty feeling was transferred to FIFA and when we see “How one teenager spent nearly £3,000” we see a person who is too stupid for his own good. The game is a mere £55, so how stupid do you need to be to spend 60 times that amount? The BBC writers Felicity Hannah and Jane Andrews are quick to dismiss in a short term the truth of the matter behind “They say Fifa Ultimate Team can be played without spending any money and that purchases are entirely optional”, it is a truth, I play NHL, I get 3 packs a day, free of charge, the packs add up that in a month you can save up pack points to get to specula bronze packs, two silver packs and two gold packs. In addition, every pack comes with virtual money to buy other cards online (bid for them), in the second months, I had all 30 arena’s, close to all home and away jerseys for all the NHL teams and most of the goalie masks. After 6 months, I had close to 800 hockey players, a few legendary, and several really rare cards, the game also unlocks upgraded players as you play more and reach milestones (game achievements) you unlock even more players and upgraded legendary players. I cannot answer for FIFA, but it seems that this approach has been mimicked over all the EA sport games, as such I have all that and NEVER paid a cent, showing you just how stupid this boy Jonathan Peniket really is, but the BBC writers are happy to convey “I accept responsibility for what happened. The decisions I made to spend that money were made by me”, yet the little tough guy was eager to state that he “was addicted to the buzz of chance when I bought packs” and “I was spending £30 at a time, then £40, then £50. By the time my card began to block my transactions, I was throwing £80 into the game four or five times a night”, so that the statement “video game packs and loot boxes [a general term for in-game purchases involving chance] are a form of gambling”, yes you can go that way, but when a junk is taking drugs, he isn’t really medicating is he, so what he states it is is merely a form to avoid as much guilt for his stupidity as possible. Loot boxes are not now, not ever gambling, so until we see one of these packs give us the 15 cards all stating ‘Thank You’ it can never be gambling. You get cards, there is always one rare in EVERY PACK, and you can always try to trade it. Consider that there are 3600 cards, 1200 are rare, meaning that you have a 1/1200 chance of getting Neymar, Mbappe, van Dijk, De Bruyne, Lewandowski, Ronaldo or Messi. That is the simplest top-line stage and people with the intelligence of porridge (Jonathan Peniket) decided to spend £3,000 and optionally still hasn’t learned that lesson.

In all honesty, I am no fan of Electronic Arts, they made a few errors on several levels and the loot box stage is optionally too exploited, yet it is not gambling. I remain firm on that part. The fact that some are too stupid to be allowed near a Credit Card does not mean that it becomes the fault of Electronic Arts, and if someone state that Electronic Arts needs to do more to temper per person spending that I would not disagree, but it doesn’t make loot boxes gambling. Only when there is a chance that you lose all, that there is no reward at all, then it becomes gambling. 

Gambling to most is “the wagering of money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods.” Yet the operative part in gambling is ‘uncertain outcome’, here the outcome is always the same: 1 Rare, 3 Uncommon and the rest are common cards. And when you realise just how big FIFA is, you need to realise from the start that you can never have them all. In most CCG games the games are at best 400-500 cards (without expansions). FIFA has over 6000 players, as such, your ultimate team will always be limited, you need to make the best of this and lets not forget “Better players give you an advantage”, that is true, but only in the field where both gamers are equal and with a person like Jonathan Peniket that is not a given, it is extremely doubtful. You see if he was a true gamer, then he would get the UEFA cup with West Ham United F.C. (if that was his local team) wouldn’t he? In all this posturing we forgot about the gamer involved, didn’t we? Now, I’ll be honest regarding FIFA, I (pretty much) suck at it, I do not like Soccer too much and that is fine, others love it and that is fine too. I loved the 98 edition on the N64, I played FIFA to some extent on an earlier version on the Playstation (the first one) and it was OK, yet I am not into Soccer, NHL is my game and there I see great things, I love the games, I play my dekes (and fail at times too) and I get beat a lot by kids in the US, Canada and Sweden as they live for hockey. I can live with that, they play it 6 hours a day as such, I expect to get beaten and no matter who is in my ultimate team, I am not going to win. It is simple math and the math shows the truth. I still love the game as I am a hockey man, the NHL game grew and over 18 years I have had my share of it. I loved the original version that came with my PS2, I loved NHL03 on Gamecube and so on, I still love my PS4 version of NHL19. I never had to spend $1 on any pack, so I am not complaining (not much for the Ultimate league anyway).

I have a nice collection of cards and I am happy to report that I got all the NHL jerseys and all the arena’s. Yes there is more to the game and I never stopped enjoying the game, I reckon that the same applies to those loving FIFA and apart from the few who cannot fathom limits, everyone is seemingly happy, oh and the fact that Felicity Hannah and Jane Andrews never gave you a list of all the packs you can get for free on a daily basis is also something you need to take notice of, they are all about headlining ‘EA’s response’ and the ramblings of a shopaholic junkie are equally issues that need to be seen. So as we see the article end with “Fifa was approached for comment, but has not yet responded.” We see the little nags that they reflect to be. What was that, a remark towards laying blame on FIFA for allowing for this? The fact that there is concern on what constitutes gambling should be seen as a first, all whilst there is absolutely no guarantee that under Covid-19, there is no way of telling who at FIFA are aware of this. It is seemingly an issue yet The worlds of Electronic Arts “the well-being of players is paramount – and all their games, including Fifa, have the ability to use parental controls provided by gaming platforms to cap or prohibit spend” are underplayed, so we see here that there was a option to ‘cap or prohibit spend’ and when we realise that this was a mere approach to give a vocal stage to someone who should be given lessened consideration as a junkie is setting the stage? Gimme a break!

In the end, yes EA could have optionally done a little more, but how long until we forget the initial setting that the consumer needs to accept responsibility for their actions and stop nagging like a little brat? He was there spending money on pack after pack and that was on him, not on EA. The part of the act was mentioned, yet focussed on the amounts, not the stupidity of the person spending. 

This is merely my view and you are (of course) welcome to disagree. 

 

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When we shift the sands

Sit down and consider a simple question: ‘When was the last time you got played?‘ Not by some sexual partner you wanted, or some deal where the profit remained absent, not the kind that truly takes life’s pleasure away (for a lot of people), the kind where we see that whatever sport you love to watch, being it the NBA, NFL, NHL, IFL, Premiere League or Cricket. When was the time you sat down and knowingly were watching a game that was rigged? How much fun will you have when you start watching the game, knowing it was rigged by others who have profit in mind? How much fun will that game be to you than? Not after the fact, but you in this example you get to know the game has been rigged before the start. How much fun will the game be at that point? To give a slightly better illustration, There was an earlier article by me on March 19th 2014 when I wrote ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘, which dealt with some of the parts of the Qatar 2022 allegations. In there I refer to several links that give us the initial important quotes: “The 2026 World Cup television rights in North America were awarded without a bid to Fox and Telemundo, who had complained about the Qatar schedule change, for which they hold the broadcast rights“, “Six European federations demanded Fifa clean up its act. Three top commercial backers, Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s, did so too” and “Of the 11 men who voted on 2018 and 2022 World Cups who are no longer on Fifa’s executive committee, only five provided answers to Garcia’s inquiry. Two could not be located at all“. This is how the sport becomes a joke and a mere vassal for corruption and commercial exploitation. Now consider the fact that a person gets the ‘honour’ to become an official, elected to give a vote on who would be the best nation to represent soccer, there are not small people, they tend to be directly linked to captains of industry, the kind that are on the Forbes 500 list. So when we see ‘Two could not be located at all‘, my pondering becomes ‘Who got them assassinated?’ You see assassinating a person is simple, getting rid of the body evenly so, the trick is to know the rules of evidence and not leave any for the prosecution. The Qatar allegations implied a new shot to a billion dollar industry. If these people ask questions, YOU WILL BE FOUND!

The entire mess left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The BBC comment (at http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-31605149/2022-world-cup-scudamore-very-disappointed-with-decision), shows bigotry and greed all in one setting, with “Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore has said that he is “very disappointed” with the recommendation of a Fifa taskforce to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November and December. Mr Scudamore told the BBC that the European leagues felt let down, both by Fifa and Uefa“, it is bigotry because it shows plain intolerance for those in different time zones and seasons. And these people are back in the game now!

In addition, there are still issues with the Sunday Times on that. At the time, also quoted by CNN (as stated at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/07/28/the-old-reasons/), in ‘The Old Reasons‘ we see “We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup“, were these people ever subpoenaed, was the evidence, if not, were the editors prosecuted in any way shape or form? No, they were not and nothing was given or achieved. Some of the players understood that the price might be too high. As the FIFA got rid of their corrupt bladder, or is that Sepp Blatter? We now see a second push. Suddenly FIFA found a former president to fall on his sword. Consider that NOW; we see that there are allegations that Nicholas Sarkozy took bribes regarding Qatar 2022. The timing is almost flawless, you see, this will not be a long event, some of the players like the Lard dealer McDonald’s and his clown, The fuzzy dilution to sugar, namely Coca Cola and credit hog system Visa are all about maximising their potential, that is not possible in Qatar, and as such they need it changed and it can only be done if the switch is in weeks, not months. I reckon that these players will ‘suddenly’ give loads of support to whomever takes over, which might be likely the US. I am speculating that if Qatar is suddenly deprived for other reasons, we will see that Atlanta will become the winner (Morocco was never a realistic player on their bid), and guess what, Atlanta will within a few months claim that they can push the event ahead and would be able to get 2 years ahead of schedule. The one nation that has been unable to keep time lines and budgets for DECADES is now suddenly achieve the ability to be ahead of schedule. Now, this is pure speculation, yet in light of ‘sudden allegations‘ which implies an actual need for evidence, evidence that was never available in 2014 and 2015 is suddenly there in 2017? That is beside the joke that the Sunday Times (mainly their editor Martin Ivens) has proven to be with ‘We’ve seen millions of documents‘, I doubt that, I very much if he even looked at 1% of that amount of documents in his studies to get to his A levels, so there is that!

My anger is not about him, I don’t know him. It is the blatant level of facilitation that is shown towards big business and media needs, the sports fan be damned. The media REFUSED to do anything about Sepp Blatter for the longest of times. They did whatever they could to minimise the people of being exposed to Andrew Jennings, the investigative reporter in all this. When you Google ‘Andrew Jennings‘ and FIFA in Google, see how much news comes up, see how the media skates around the central person who exposed the levels of corruption that FIFA had embraced, you’ll find very little. These are part of the shifting sands. I reckon that the entire Saudi-Qatar pressures have not helped any. It merely opened the door for big business to see if they can push towards their advantage.

It is the Australian Financial Review that gives us “Sarkozy’s lawyer, Thierry Herzog, denied any wrongdoing by his client and pointed out that Garcia’s report stated “no evidence was found” linking Platini’s vote with any investments. A source claimed the investigation was “politically motivated”. A spokeswoman for the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office said that they were “carrying out two separate preliminary inquiries” into the Veolia deal and the Qatar World Cup bid“, in this there are two parts. The question why there is a political motivation regarding a former president (there might be, I just wonder how political it could be). The second part is that there had been several issues with the Garcia report first it was withheld, then there was only a summary and after that he leaves. Several sources gave us “Head of the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, has resigned from his post after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee dismissed his appeal against the summary of the 430-page report that Hans Joachim Eckert, head of the Ethics Committee’s adjudicatory chamber, issued on 13 November 2014.In the appeal, Garcia calls Eckert’s summary of his report on the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process “incomplete and erroneous”.“, which happened around the 17th of December 2014. So now the report is merely used, merely observed or neither? In all this Joachim Eckert has played a role to some extent, the summary can be seen as evidence on that. In all usage there are several more questions and we had seen a lot of mentions at the time. The fact that Joachim Eckert was pretty much thrown out of the building in May 2017 implies that there is a chance he had the option, and opportunity (a speculative statement) to ‘foul’ plenty of other parts, giving more and more questions regarding the actions of Qatar, I am willing to go as far as to state that none of the evidence should be allowed into any court or be used in any decision until a board that includes Andrew Jennings and Michael J. Garcia and that board would have to investigate every piece of evidence offered. In addition, if any evidence is found that gives rise (not necessarily proves) that McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Visa had any hand in any of these events, they must be banned as FIFA advertiser and sponsor for 15 years, see if that refocusses their need for greed!

I admit that my emotions are getting the better of me, and I also agree that this is not a good thing. The shifting sands of greed and corruption have gone too far. It is bad enough to see corporate greed in your almost daily life. It is quite another when the sport has become so commercialised that corporations and the media decide on how the sport is played beyond the levels they were already doing it nowadays. You see it is the Financial Times who gave us some of the goods yesterday (at https://www.ft.com/content/36f8ceca-76d2-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691). In this we might notice ‘Gulf media unleashes war of words with Qatar‘, and in addition we see ‘Saudi-led alliance weaponises satellite channels after exhausting diplomatic arsenal‘, yet someone has been considering the longer play and the impact that depriving Qatar 2022 might be. I think that this was short sighted by those players. I always believed that sports could unite disagreeing parties, pushing sport away limits the options for all parties in this. I also believe that the players in Saudi Arabia made an error, a serious one. When we consider “Riyadh and its allies escalated the crisis so rapidly that they have few left themselves with few realistic options to apply more pressure on Qatar, the top exporter of liquefied natural gas” as well as “Some Saudi journalists say they have come under government pressure to criticise Qatar. One Saudi editor described how officials have been using a mobile phone messaging group to instruct journalists on how to shape coverage and what stories to focus on. “These are orders, not suggestions,” he says“. The issue is seen in other ways, not the ways stated in the article. In this Ahmed Al Omran made the flaw that he did not consider (my personal view). You see, I never much looked into the matter of Saudi Television, mainly because I do not speak the language (or live there) and I reckon that the stations do not come with subtitles, which is fair enough. So when I quote the Wiki statement “State-run television consists of four channels: Saudi One, the main channel in Arabic launched in 1963; Saudi Two, an English language channel; Al Riyadiah, a sports channel; and the news channel Al Ekhbariya. Government-owned terrestrial television has changed little since 1969” that was what I expected to see. Even as Saudi Arabia has over 30 million people, the idea of these stations was not shocking in any way. The UK merely had BBC one and two for a much longer time frame. Yet, then I looked up and found MBC, the Middle East Broadcasting Center, when we look at that we see a lot more. At http://www.mbc.net/en.html (there is an English version) we see something more commercial looking, we see opportunity for Saudi Arabia. Not the mention of “how to shape coverage and what stories to focus on. “These are orders, not suggestions,”“, that is where the flaw is. To change it Saudi Arabia should have been creating its own Al-Jazeera, they forgot the truth and freedom of the press is the double edged sword that works for any nation. As people decide to censor and shape news, not report it, they become the one not being watched. If exposure is power than exposing media corruption is the strongest most powerful exposure we know. It is the kryptonite against governments that play the crooked media game, often the governments are no longer in charge, the media decides and they tend to decide whatever their sponsors and stakeholders tell them to. We have seen that time and time again, I have reported (read: blogged) on this again and again. In all this, the level of exposure is the calibre that turns any BB gun into the deadly weapon it needs to be. So as we see an escalating play using peaceful means, the players forgot that there are many more millions watching and some do not know all the facts, I reckon that there are many in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt are only apprised of the Al-Jazeera view. I am not stating it is a wrong or incorrect view. Yet the reality is that there are always three sides to a story, your side, their side and the truth, because the truth when spoken (or written) is always smitten with elements of compassion, valor or honesty. We see this in ‘A man threw another man into the sand‘, yet when we realise that the truth unspoken was that the man saw the scorpion, or he saw that his bisht caught fire, only then do we see that one man did not throw, the other man was not thrown. We see that there was an act to protect and safe a life. It is a very simplified example, but there tends to be points of view in any truth, the question is which exposure matters? Al-Jazeera grew as there was no alternative. We now know that there could be competition, as the west in equal measure have grown tired and distrustful of Fox News, CNN, TRT World and a few others, we see that there are still places to grow. Yet in this ‘These are orders, not suggestions’ will not carry weight in the visibility of any news channel.

The shifting sands are treacherous and offer dangers, yet in equal measure they offer opportunity to those who see them as such. We see how large corporations are taking whatever steps they can, try to get every opportunity, whilst hoping to manoeuvre their competitors into a place where they step and the sands drown them. That is the game and how it is played, yet at times we see that large corporations have been taking their game too far and as such, when they trespass on the things we hold for granted and holy, than we see the injustice and we demand clarity. In this large corporations try to make the moves that remain always one step away from that. The fact that we see these attempts against Qatar 2022, has nothing to do with Qatar, they have to do with the process they set up, large corporations demand that they win every time, so now, when they will not win, but at best play even, now we see the petulant children they are and the consequences of enabling them to the extent that they have been. Many (not just me) are upset. For the most they are not all soccer fans. Some merely want facilitation of as many games as possible, every day another match and as there is an overlap, some of the participators now get upset, they go into tantrum mode. Yet the realisation that you grew the exploitation game with 209 FIFA members, did they not expect that they would get the losing ticket at least once? So when it is not Qatar, but Samoa or Cuba? What happens then? What happens when Mauritius gets the sponsors it needs to host, how will that upset everything? This is the part that everyone ignored, because those nations could not afford to host, yet Qatar was another matter altogether. This is the first time that the exploitative engine that is FIFA, saw the cogs they designed work against them. Now there is an issue and we see that several players are in a state of panic, there were no options but to lose this one round. The pressures through Saudi Arabia have changed panic into opportunity; they just need the right person to fall on their sword. The question is how willing is Nicholas Sarkozy in all this and who is the party that voiced the allegations? Where is their evidence? These are all questions that are more likely than not to come with false answers, that is, until the games are done, we can expect some sudden revelation, humble apologies and carefully phrased denials and innuendo from politicians and media soon thereafter (likely at the immediate same time). Their question would be closed soon after the need of their assassinations. Oh, my bad! I meant to say: “The involved parties could not be located for comments and response in any way shape or form“, apparently that is how events are shaped with and because of large corporations.

 

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More FIFA shit?

That was the very first thought I had when I found the article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/07/russia-qatar-lose-world-cups-if-bribery-found-fifa). The article ‘Russia and Qatar may lose World Cups if evidence of bribery is found‘. Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee decided to open his mouth. Which sounds rude, but that is what it adds up to. You see, in all this, as I see it, nearly EVERY MEMBER of FIFA seems to ignore, or sidestep the report by Michael J. Garcia. Is it not interesting that the report called for far trivialised by FIFA and now it has been silenced? Is it remotely possible that Michael J Garcia was the only uncorrupted voice?

It seems like a hard verdict and it seems crass to say so, but I have an issue with an interim manage with massive big business ties. Many of them none too pleased with either Russia or Qatar winning the ballot. With the quote “The new evidence, obtained by the BBC, appears to show how the 2008 payments from Fifa – ostensibly for a Diaspora Legacy Programme promised by South African World Cup organisers” we do take notice, especially as BBC had been on the case of Jack Warner for a long time, but how does this connect to Russia or Qatar?

The article then shows more with the quote “‘after talking with everybody … Whose votes went where? We’re all colleagues, you know. And then we found out that actually Morocco won by two votes,’ the Sunday Times reported Bhamjee as saying“, which seems to be another worry, as I see it, one of the next world cups should then be allotted to Morocco by default, which one is hard to say, 2026 perhaps?

But the article seems to go off to the side, you see the one small quote “had also alleged bribery during the 2018-22 race” is not enough. In a river of papers, documents and evidence the issue of Russia and Qatar are now set in 9 words.

So why is the Michael J. Garcia report held back, why is Michael J. Garcia not talking? It seems with Fat Cat Sepp and loads of others gone, Garcia might become untouchable, depending on that report, so why is that kept behind closed doors? That is part of the reason why I am not willing to give Domenico Scala any leeway or trust, especially with his biopharmaceutical links and his past in Nestle and Roche. These are global players with their claws all over the place. As I stated in my earlier blog regarding FIFA, ‘is it more likely than not’ that large corporations want Qatar to go because of the hundreds of millions in advertisement that are lost because of the Qatarian situation? Having the investigator who basically sleeps in the bed of these large corporations is not a mindset put at ease. The fact that Michael Garcia has vanished in a cloud of non-publications for almost 6 months does not help matter either. The fact that the press is not all over this is even more unsettling.

Then the last sentence, which is actually quite the firecracker. You see the sentence “The Sunday Times says that it supplied the evidence to Fifa five years ago but that it had not acted on it“. Of course, the fact that it is directly linked to Rupert Murdoch does not help the case. But the issue that does play is whether this interaction is in Michael Garcia’s report does matter. You see, if Garcia has it, what were his findings? If he did not have it, the question becomes, who has been regulating the mailboxes of the FIFA members. At this point it is likely to be more than just a reference to people like Jack Warden, because whoever did that (if it was done) must have been a person who is very high up the ladder of FIFA.

The one thing that puts the people (especially the Soccer lovers) at ease is the one step that FIFA is not making, now we get a new one in ‘charge’ and we see more headlines with the mention ‘if evidence of bribery is found‘. So, is my lack of trust that hard to grasp? Overall is there any faith in FIFA at present? Not by me, I do not matter, but those who are truly passionate about soccer, those who felt the reality, which they have expected so long, it still hit them like a kick in the nuts!

They are the people Domenico Scala needs to connect to, especially if FIFA is to have any future, because the news now is just news, but son we will see day after day the issues of extradition that is being fought by those allegedly corrupt, who are in fear of future for their sphincter as they enter the US courts. Then the actual courts that will take more months and more news again and again on FIFA and corruption. If Domenico Scala wants the trust of the people, the true soccer fans, than as I see it, he has no choice but to publish the report, preferably with Michael J Garcia standing next to him vocal about every part of his report. It is not the view Hans-Joachim Eckert would like, but there are questions, questions that also include the ethics committee. So as we see the quote that BBC had on December 17th 2014 “Fifa president Sepp Blatter said: “I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision. The work of the ethics committee will nonetheless continue”“, in light of all the arrested and one person who resigned, how did the ethics committee continue, and did it actually continue at all?

Having someone on the ethics committee does not mean that there is an ethics committee, for that reality, one need not look any further than the UK and its view on ‘justice’ via Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. The amount of my peers that have loudly voiced their view on what the Lord Chancellor regards as legal aid, which by the way is what you usually hear when a truck drives starts shouting after a traffic jam of 18 hours, it is not healthy on the ears!

In all this, many articles and several decision only seem to fuel uncertainty, especially regarding trust of FIFA that is now getting louder. Uncertainty will lead to a more grim view on what will happen to FIFA. You see in the end, the power of soccer is Europe, which means that if enough uncertainty is voiced, someone in power will voice to secede FIFA and make UEFA the one power in Europe. FIFA might laugh now, but the large soccer nations include UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. If three of these, agree on that action, they can pull a host of other european nations across. Let’s not forget that 70% of the power of soccer is Europe, it is not America, Asia or Africa. So whatever is left for the world cup will diminish the ‘world cup’ into a trophy of a few nations that will soon thereafter see that all the funds of soccer remains in Europe, at that point large corporations will pull out and the 6 billion Euro dream that was will be a devaluated nightmare. That nightmare will continue with every court iteration the US goes through on corruption.

That view only polarises further when we consider the quote “He has threatened to release an “avalanche” of secrets about FIFA and its embattled president Sepp Blatter, who last week announced his intended resignation“, which was in the New York Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/08/sports/soccer/at-center-of-fifa-scandal-a-divisive-politician-in-jack-warner.html. This ‘threat’ is not entirely impossible as Jack Warner was previously a minister of national security and transportation. So we will soon see the ‘spook’ stories in the Telegraph I reckon.

In all this, the media will become the hyena that needs feeding, if Domenico Scala is to get any handle on this, releasing the full report of Michael Garcia would be a first step. It will not matter what that report states, you see, if it is useless, it will only reflect on Michael Garcia, if it was dynamite, it will hit resigned president Sepp Blatter, but it could also have repercussions for Justice Hans-Joachim Eckert, but that would depend on the report itself. If it does show that there were issues with both Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, well, as I stated before, let the chips fall where they may!

So as we will get more FIFA shot for a long time to come, which has a hidden treasure (if Swiss Law helps me out here).  You see, life in Switzerland is not cheap, even though he has millions, now all that money going to him will be mapped, anyone ‘helping’ him out will soon fall under the investigative scope of the US as well, due to possibility of being an accomplice. I am not stating that those people are that, but a criminal investigation is taking place. Now he is in a land where bank secrets will not help him as he is under scrutiny of extradition, in addition, Scotland Yard (who must feel humiliated as this all happened under their noses) are now looking at him 24/7 as well (a presumption on my side). Jack Warner is under a microscope whilst his sons are talking to the FBI, naming their father as a joined co-conspirator. The fun never ends, with every claim he does not pursue (the avalanche of secrets) his position becomes weaker, whatever he reveals implies his connection and it weakens him further as his former ‘friends’ will want to stay away from that toxic environment. He still gets hit, no matter what. I would think that as a former National Security minister, he would have planned his tactics a little better, but that could just be my wrongly skewed vision. Now this comes to blows with the press, I wonder what Brigadier General Alfonso will do. Now that his former colleague is accused, will the General start an investigation into the bank accounts of the agency? I am not stating that Jack Warner stole anything, but what if he used the accounts to syphon money in more than one direction, not just to receive, but to make payment. Now we have a ballgame that is more entertaining than soccer, because if that is so, than Trinidad could be touched by the FIFA scourge. If so, Jack Warner might stop fighting extradition, just to escape the wrath of Brigadier General Alfonso.

In all this, never forget the parts that matter here, there is no evidence that Jack Warner had nothing but the highest love for his Trinidad, his need for … ‘susceptibility to gifts’ does not diminish his national love or in his view his national pride, but how is it viewed by his peers and other around him? That question touches on the quote “The prime minister of this Caribbean republic walked out of a session of Parliament on Friday, angrily chastising a fellow politician and former ally, Jack Warner, who finds himself and his two sons at the center of soccer’s widespread corruption scandal” which the NY Times article started with. You see, overall corruption is not a new thing, it happens in many places, it is just a clear fact that when it gets out in the open, those persons are usually not liked anymore. The same danger he faces all over the field, which is why some of the aspects seem so funny to me. He might throw a few parties now in Switzerland, but soon he will face the reality of legal fees and cost of living, because whatever he wants to pay with will be under none stop scrutiny.

So, we will see plenty more FIFA ‘shit’, the question I have is how UEFA will act and react, because faith in FIFA could soon be at an all-time low, more important, what is Electronic Arts (EA Sports) not willing to pay for?

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The price of soccer

This is how I see the issues as we see the mountain of ‘complaints’ in regards to Qatar 2022. The first part is seen on the BBC site (a http://www.bbc.com/news/world-31605149). Richard Scudamore is very disappointed, which is fair enough. My issue is with his statement: ‘if the integrity of a football league has to stop for 6-7 weeks‘. Is that truly the case? The integrity of a league does not diminish when they are out playing their best for their nation in a world cup. It shows that these people, with multi million pound incomes can set it all aside to play their best for their nation. That is the simple truth of it all. So is this about FIFA, UEFA? Or is it because of advertisers? You see, those 6-7 weeks advertisers will move to the world cup, they go to where THEIR visibility lies. I think that this is a side that the football managers forgot about. When they spread the visibility of Soccer, getting more and more nations, they forgot that new members are every bit as eager to promote their national side and we can safely say that the middle east has plenty of money to invest in new stadiums.

Part of me is just a little amazed that both FIFA and its members did not see this coming. It is a sports event! In a places where for all kinds of environmental reasons, the Olympics cannot be held there, is it such a surprise that they want to show off their nation by hosting the soccer World Cup event? That what followed is still to be regarded as an episode of comedy capers, for those too young to remember, see the intro here (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjZMfRwsuOM), see the man at the back, that could be Martin Ivens, you remember the Sunday Times claiming to have seen all those ‘millions of documents‘ reported by Reuters on July 28th 2014? I mention parts of what was claimed in ‘Sacking the Editor?’ on November 14th 2014 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/11/14/sacking-the-editor/), it could be regarded as evidence on just how much a paper tiger Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is. As mentioned before, if we go by the words of IPSO “We uphold the highest standards of journalism by monitoring and maintaining the standards set out in the Editors’ Code of Practice” than they should also be pre-emptive. Especially when allegations of corruption are being made.

Was there corruption? That question remains a valid one, but when we see “FIFA report into alleged corruption clears Qatar to host 2022 World Cup” (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/nov/13/fifa-report-alleged-corruption-qatar-2022-world-cup), the mention by the Sunday Times give way to bring a forced publication of that evidence, or be hit for damages. None of that seems to have happened. In addition, we see this in The Star (at http://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/2015/02/24/fifa-deserves-red-card-for-the-debacle-that-is-qatar-world-cup-arthur.html) “FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who sits on FIFA’s ethics committee, reviewed the report and released a 42-page summary to the public that stated the report cleared FIFA in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively“.

I am not denying the facts that are, but no one seems to show evidence, which is crucial. You see, as stated before, I think this is for the larger part about something else. If we go back to the statement ‘if the integrity of a football league has to stop for 6 – 7 weeks’, is that so? How about taking a 7 week break and prolonging the season that one time? I think that these soccer players, who are making tens of thousands a week, can work an extra 8 weeks that one time. If it is about the advertisers, than it is just bad luck. You see, many people have had enough of ‘enabling’ advertisers to the max, and if this costs them a little extra this once, than live with it. It is NOT about the advertisers, it is about the sport and everyone is very adamant not to mention that ‘A’ word, or ‘sponsors’ for that matter. Is it all an inconvenience? Yes, I reckon that is the case and this is also the consequence of broadening the membership list of soccer playing nations, there is a consequence at some point. So, yes, I do agree that Qatar was never the best place, but guess what, they did the dance, they went through the motions and they got the gig! Now all others will have to program around this for once, I think that the fact, that this had been running since 1888, implies that the sport could use a little exception and a little flexibility.

This does not take away the issues that play at FIFA, there are a few issues with the Russian part, especially the ‘the Russians claimed that all e-mails relating to their bid had been wiped from the computers they used, which were rented’, I mentioned that in a previous blog too, because such levels of incompetence should not be allowed anywhere. Yet, the full report of Garcia was never given to the public at large, which gives us a few extra issues, but then, the Sunday Times under Martin Ivens blowed a lot of hot air, but then did not release any evidence of in any shape, size or form. It seems to me that this is not a good thing either.

If we accept the star with their quote “But FIFA is so powerful, so unaccountable, that the inartfulness of the lies doesn’t matter” as well as “FIFA pushes slush piles of money to federations all over the world in the form of development grants, and that secures the necessary votes to keep Blatter in power“, that we have a massive problem. You see, I have been (to some extent) on the side of Qatar, because there were allegations from many, but NO ONE presented actual evidence and all these events played like this was all about big business not getting their way. I have an issue with that! In my view, if you love soccer and it is your life, that that is fine, but when we see these pushes whilst an average soccer player gets per week what most people get per quarter, that we can agree that those people get to suck it up a little and not whinge or whine like little bitches when they suddenly get an ‘adjusted’ calendar once per 4 years, the fact that this now happens for the first time ever, they can just shut up and take it, so this once they get to experience what most workers endure on a yearly basis.

On the other side, if there is a level of unaccountability from FIFA, that it makes equal sense for ALL members of FIFA to break with FIFA and create something new, to which ALL members of FIFA are to be excluded for a few decades. See how that solves issues. The reality is that Qatar 2022 might be the only deviant event (compared to all other world cups) as a lesson for future FIFA events, in that case FIFA will have learned a lesson, but perhaps we learn another lesson too. Perhaps that environment will only fuel a global desire for soccer and in that light, premiere leagues of all nations will have to consider that once every four years there could be a different light in how that year the league is played. It might be refreshing in so many ways that it will, for some, rekindle the true love for soccer. Let’s not forget in those 6-7 weeks those players do not represent their team, they represent their nation, is that not a great thing? It should be!

In that light we should also see the response BBC sport had “The former Manchester United and Everton defender added that he would be “licking my lips” if he was England boss Roy Hodgson because “we’ll have the freshest ever national team going to a World Cup”” (at http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31610300), you see, it is not all bad, I reckon that soon we will see similar responses from coaches and players in The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

Now consider the following quotes from the links used earlier: “The 2026 World Cup television rights in North America were awarded without a bid to Fox and Telemundo, who had complained about the Qatar schedule change, for which they hold the broadcast rights“, “Six European federations demanded Fifa clean up its act. Three top commercial backers, Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s, did so too” and “Of the 11 men who voted on 2018 and 2022 World Cups who are no longer on Fifa’s executive committee, only five provided answers to Garcia’s inquiry. Two could not be located at all“, it is clear that there are issues, especially when considering the part, ‘two could not be located at all’, is this for real? What, did that person go on a $600K cruise and there is no phone where these people are at (just one of a few options)? There is no question that there are issues on several sides, but there is still the matter of evidence, evidence that is either concealed or never found. The fact that the report was never released is also cause for concern, I do admit to that, but in law when we apply ‘is it more likely than not‘ can be just as easily applied to the large sponsors who see their return on invested revenue lessen to a small extent, taking into consideration that 2022 will be the first time (possibly the last time) that this happens brings for the question ‘why enable big business to this extent?‘ is a matter that is not and likely will not ever be answered, which is why, I currently remain on the side of Qatar. Sport is about the sport, whether it is local or nations playing, it is about the sport, not about the visibility of the sponsors. They get visibility because of sport, not the other way around. It is time big business learns that no matter what game they play, the sport itself remains untouchable, which also means that sometimes the game needs to be slightly more flexible. That part is also shown in regards to Fox and Telemundo, who complained about schedule change. Really? Complain now about an event 6 years away? If it is such an inconvenience, than give the 2022 rights to one of the free TV channels. I wonder how that channel will suddenly benefit from sponsors. If anything, this event shows me how corporate greed has been maximised within sports, an upsetting issue.

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