FIFA – totally out of touch!

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I will put my hand up now to confirm that I am not a fan of football as it is now – the majority of footballers are in my opinion over paid ‘prima donnas’ who don’t have the correct attitude for their roles.

Strong words, but I believe that the ‘beautiful game’ as some of my colleagues try to make me believe it is, has completely lost touch with the real man in the street. It is frighteningly expensive to take a family to a match – even in the lower leagues, the behaviour and language in the stands leaves a lot to be desired, and the players are an appalling example in many cases for the kids of today.

And today, just to add insult to injury FIFA (apparently ‘the wise men of football’) have decreed that the England team cannot wear poppies in their next match to show respect for the fallen in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

A spokesman for Fifa said:

“Fifa fully acknowledges the significance of the Poppy Appeal and the ways in which it helps commemorate Remembrance Day on 11 November each year.

“As a multinational organisation comprising over 50 different nationalities, the significance of this date will also be observed by many of its employees, who will remember family members too.

“Fifa’s regulations regarding players’ equipment are that they should not carry any political, religious or commercial messages.

“Fifa has 208 Member Associations and the same regulations are applied globally, and uniformly, in the event of similar requests by other nations to commemorate historical events.”

If I am honest – I have total contempt for that decision – but it doesn’t surprise me if you look at the recent ‘form’ for FIFA.

Hopefully they will reverse the decision – or England will refuse to play (fat chance I know). If not it is yet another nail in the coffin of ‘the once beautiful game’.

Rant over!

A special Sunday!

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Once in a while you get one of those rare days when there are a number of events that will make it particularly ‘special’. This Sunday is one of those days.

A future awaiting us?

Firstly it is Sam’s birthday, not any old birthday, but his 13th. Today we get a male teenager in the family to add to the current female one. I have not as yet noticed any ‘Harry Enfield like’ changes to him – but no doubt that will come!

It doesn’t seem like 13 years since he came into the world, but I am beginning to feel old!

Also in the afternoon we have the World cup game against Germany. Even my wife, who to say the least is not a footy fan, is totally up for this game, amazing what effect a game against ‘the old enemy’ has on us.

It has set me thinking though – I am fully aware that as a team England, will always make things as hard as possible for themselves – the recent qualification for the last 16 being a case in point!

We can all hope!

It’s an old adage, but we do seem to perform best when things are against us, we don’t like to make it easy! So perhaps this is England’s year after all? And one where we can get back against the ‘old enemy’?

If we get past Germany we potentially have Argentina in the next round – who can forget the ‘hand of God’ incident. It would be especially sweet if we could beat them this time as well – especially as Maradona is managing them this time (what does he look like)!

From there on in I think the theory is we would meet Spain, but lets just concentrate on getting a few old skeletons removed from the locker room first!

Also on Sunday we have the European Grand Prix, I love GP’s (not something I would have said a few seasons ago), there is a good level of excitement now and the British boys are doing well! unfortunately it clashes with the football, which will be the one we watch live this time!

Finally, Top Gear is back in the evening! What a way to round off the day (hopefully!)

So, a good day all round I hope!

The Beautiful Game?

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I cannot claim to be a football fan, I don’t follow a team or go regularly to watch football, so perhaps my comments here don’t count? I am one of the cynics who believes that there is too much money in the sport, the players are over paid and most importantly view playing for their country more as a job – than an honour.

Colleagues at work are always telling me that this is the ‘beautiful’ game, the one to watch to see magical things done with a football. I agree that when you see top class players at their peak it is wonderful, for that reason I will sit and watch many of the World Cup matches – because they are likely to be ‘special’.

However last night was probably the worst game England have played in years (not my words – the TV pundits). I will always bore my colleagues at work with my un-educated view that the players are over paid and don’t have that ‘fire in their belly’ they need to win. Well un-educated or not I think I was proved right last night!

After the first England game my daughter asked me why did all the other teams sing along to their national anthem and look proud, but England didn’t? My answer – I don’t know, but you would have thought they would be proud to be there wouldn’t you?


Last night they really did not look as if they cared, plus Rooney’s comment at the end of the match;

“Nice to see your own fans booing you, that’s what loyal support is”.

was perhaps not the best thing to say in the circumstances!

However, at least it shows he cares – albeit possibly more about his poor performance than the result? Rooney was still trending this morning on Twitter – and most of the comments are negative towards Rooney and the team. Possibly well earn’t, if you put yourself on a pedestal you can expect to get knocked off once in a while. The multi million pound salaries don’t come for free.

The players are seen by our kids as role models, sometimes I don’t think they realise this, or take it seriously. It’s time to stand up and be counted boys!

So, lick your wounds and come out on Wednesday as if you mean it!

England always do it the hard way, so we shouldn’t be surprised, they will get through…….

UPDATE 19.06.10

Wayne Rooney has apologised to his fans – good man! He said the following;

“I said things in the heat of the moment out of frustration of our performance and the result,”
“For my part I apologise for any offence caused by my actions.”

Let’s hope this is the start of the ‘New England’ for Wednesday’s game!

Nottingham get behind England!

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It’s good to see that Nottingham City Council have finally sorted out their ‘flag issues’ surrounding the World Cup!    

After a shaky start which involved council staff taking down flags erected on a road in Clifton by a pensioner (which made the national news) and then a personal apology to the pensioner concerned by counsellor Jon Collins (and the flags being reinstated) –  the City have now done us proud with this;    

photo: Scott Osborne


The massive 18-metres wide by 8-metres high flag has taken pride of place on the front of the Council House – a landmark building in the city’s central Old Market Square.    

The impressive sight is intended to add to Word Cup fever in a city which has a strong footballing history, and is also looking to be a host city for the 2018 World Cup.    

Councillor Jon Collins said;    

“We’re hoping that in eight year’s time, the World Cup could be coming to us but in the meantime this flag shows everyone the size of Nottingham’s ambition and pride. We reckon it could well be the biggest St George’s flag in the country.”    

Nottingham is also to play host to an infamous piece of World Cup memorabilia from next week. The shirt worn by Diego Maradona when he scored his controversial ‘Hand of God’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup is to go on display at Nottingham Castle.    

Let’s hope that after last night’s little goalkeeping issue things improve for us in South Africa!