Sunday, 31 May 2015

Go Soccer, Go USA!

As a kid the 1980s were great, weren't they? Kerry Dixon was the real-life Roy of the Rovers, in my mind the A-Team actually existed and the greatest album of all time, Appetite for Destruction was released by Guns n' Roses. There was no political correctness about Hannibal smoking a cigar while smashing a building down with a crane built by Mr T. Letting off steam at football matches was the norm.

Fast forward thirty years. Individual ivory doors kicked in of rooms in a previously impenetrable Swiss Hotel that corrupt FIFA officials were staying in. I imagine the officers had hand guns raised before taking off a trademark pair of sunglasses, holding their badges in the air and screaming, "FBIIIII!!!" The permatanned, poorly coiffured individuals with overly hairy chests and huge moustaches did not have a moment to rise from their beds before a young lady of the night, probably thirty years their junior had to jump out of bed with only a silk duvet to cover her private parts before wailing, "NOOOO! HOW CAN WE PUT THIS ON EXPENSES THIS TIME?"

Quite why it is down to the US of A to have had the balls to crack their whips is quite embarrassing. We have had official after official decry how awful FIFA is without taking any measured steps to physically do anything. England has a new stadium that it needs to fill to balance its budget - there goes boycotting World Cup qualifiers. Sponsors are 'monitoring the situation closely' so they state. Punchy call. I have no intention of attending either World Cup. Not only was the bidding process a disgrace (and Moscow accidentally set fire to computers with evidence as the aforementioned items were past their sell-by date) but also following political issues in Russia and the deplorable treatment of workers in Qatar I wonder why anyone should feel they want to either.

We need to join forces with major footballing nations and create a new FIFA that is not based in a secretive tax haven such as Switzerland. You have the feeling, though that there are too many fingers in too many pies at this late a stage to boycott tournaments. Football Associations of countries that provide the biggest draws are cash strapped - that is why Brazil plays so many matches abroad. At the very least you would hope that as a gesture of goodwill, Russia and/or Qatar are stripped of hosting the World Cup and the USA is given the chance to (even though they did host it in 1994). Those in the FA should grow a set. Boycott FIFA. And if UEFA does not put up a strong stance, boycott the Champions League. Realistically, we are more likely to see heads roll as TJ Hooker throws a baton at the villains but without any major consequences.

Please reallocate where the World Cups are taking place. We would love it if such a plan came together. Then we could press Turbo Boost before Knight Rider brings football towards a fairer playing field.

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