Stone Cold Friday: The Morning After The Night Before

Here’s this week’s sermon from Darius. As Colonel Ross said, “I was counting on you being an insubordinate bastard, Palmer”

It’s the morning after the night before when the England World cup bidding team redefined what humiliation on a global stage is. The Three Lions of the doomed English bid return home more like 3 battered, bruised and dishevelled pussycats.

Venom, negativity and sour graped reactions took over in anarchy as the English media and footballing establishment responded to the perceived denial of a divine right.

The truth is that if they even bothered to ask Harry Pearce and his Section D MI5 Spooks at Thames House, England would have been told that they had no chance. The establishment tried to play FIFA at its game using the laws of the jungle and they lost

Despite that, there was a disturbing sense of misguided self righteousness that ruled the air waves and left a bitter taste in the mouth. It’s one thing lashing out at losing a bid, but it’s another thing altogether suggesting that certain countries in the world should never be allowed to host anything.

What next, are we going to stop mixed race couples from having children? Or fat people from living in the section of town populated by the slim? Or people from a particular country from leaving their own borders – which in fairness already happens in Gaza and the West Bank.

It shouldn’t matter that the world cup went to the middle-east or Qatar, it should matter more that the world cup is no longer a preserve of an elite cabal of countries who assume that only developed countries have a right to bring the tournament home.

England only have themselves to blame for indulging probably the most corrupt and unaccountable entity in the world. An organization that has Presidents and Prime Ministers holding their whatsmijigmifaces as they masturbate their egos; an organisation that has royalty licking their proverbial boots and succumbing to their every whim.

But as England contemplate adding Jack Warner and Sep Blatter alongside Julian Assange to the terrorist watch list, I do fear that yesterday’s decision will plunge English football back to the Stone Age with a regressive siege mentality.

I fear for a thoughtless and ignorant backlash at anything anti-English in football. We already have xenophobic radio stations urging English fans to react negatively to Andrey Arshavin, who truth be told, was doing the same thing Beckham did for his country.

I fear for an ignorant footballing populous, easily influenced and misguided by an incompetent and jingoistic media reacting negatively to the foreign influence within the English game.

I fear that Arsenal is likely to become an even more amplified ‘poster boy’ for everything the establishment hates about world football.

Yet, if ever there was an opportunity for the English footballing establishment to change guard and look forward, this has to be it. The way to respond is by going to Russia and winning the damn world cup. Nothing is going to happen though until there is a root and branch overhaul of the footballing infrastructure.

Nothing is going to be different until attitudes within and outside the game shift and the establishment starts to embrace change. Nothing is going to be different until the media frenzy and hyperbole about what English football is capable of right now is toned down with a dose of humility and respect for difference.

Believe it or not, when we reflect and wonder whether there is really an anti-Arsenal sentiment in the English media and establishment; what we’re seeing around us right now is a resounding ‘Yes!’.

The answer as to why isn’t rocket science. The blunt truth is that Arsenal represents a template of what the establishment is scared of looking at. They know it has to happen, but the success of Arsenal as a direct result of the philosophy and approach of the club will be living proof that the establishment has been an abject failure in its approach.

We can’t blame foreigners for our own short-comings. There were no foreigners in the English game proper for nearly 30 years since 1966. England still didn’t win anything.

What happened yesterday with the English bid was a culmination of a determined exercise to gloss over the massive issues within the English game. We were given a slick and funky presentation coupled with a military style charming offensive of the FIFA executive with the might of the House of Windsor and Downing Street.

The Calvary was rolled into the hotel bar with characters like Boris Johnson, the Match of the Day clowns of Shearer and Lineker, the hardnosed negotiating and lobbying of David Dein and David Beckham and yet no one stopped to think that they were being taken for a ride.

When you get Beckham and his son Brooklyn spending the night at Jack Warner’s home in Trinidad, and Special Branch allowing the insalubrious FIFA Vice-President to freely drape his arm around the future King as if they were drinking buddies; then you have to ask whether England really thought they were going to do this by greasing their way through the door.

All this hides from the fact that English football needs an overhaul; and the establishment needs to desist from lashing out at anything that moves because of their humiliation yesterday. 2 votes and an exit in the first round was a monumental bitch-slap whichever way you look at it.

When thinking of solutions, I always say that the establishment can’t do any worse than looking at London Colney, their adopted training home. I remember the first time Wenger faced a media backlash after the Crystal Palace game where for the first time, Arsenal had no English player in the team.

Wenger stoked the fire even more by his up-front comments about the over inflation of transfer fees for English players who are not that good anyway. The Arsenal manager promised to develop his own cohort of English players as an alternative to what was available, and he was laughed off.

Step in Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Craig Eastmond, Jay Emmanuel Thomas, Henri Lansbury and the rest of the ridiculously talented Arsenal youngsters, most of whom have been playing together since the age of 9. England is hurting; England awaits you.

’til Tomorrow

Posted on December 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 246 Comments.

  1. The lashing out was hysterical and irresponsible, and often hateful. We’re such sore losers, despite our hypocritical notions of ‘English fair play’ and all that crap.

    But England did have the best bid. Even I am disappointed, and you know I dislike the English football establishment as much as you do.

  2. History will prove Wenger right. Until then, one can only hope that the medieval English football establishment, jingoistic plundits, unsound refereeing etc will not harm Arsenal too much. The state of English football is or should be of secondary importance to all gooners, regardless of nationality.

  3. England should of got the world cup. Who wants to go to Russia? The answer is nobody. They didnt even sell out the champions league final. As for Qatar, do me a favour. Youre looking at this as a reason to bash England, the hand that feeds you, when its quite clear the decisions were made regardless of the quality of the bids

  4. Ole – absolutely agree that there’s nothing wrong with being disappointed. Losing a bid is always disappointing. But the lashing out is just sad.

    I suppose the question you have to ask is if the technical bid was that good – why did it only get 2 votes. 2 out of 22 is an indictment. The vote had nothing to do with the technical bid. it was a political message. What worres me is that the bid team allowed themselves to be sucked in and they indulged the egos of Blatter, Warner and their chronies.

    At least 9 of the voters looked Cameron and Prince William in the eye and said “I will vote for you”. 2 votes…sheesh! They were taken for the mother of all rides. It would have been more credible if England got say 8 votes or lets face it, more than 2 votes.

  5. Great write up Darius.

    All this fuel to the anti-Arsenal fire is only going to make it that much sweeter when the england team is full of talented Arsenal products, and Wenger’s trophy cabinet is filling up. Any excuse to bring out the xenophobic biggotted shite eh? The beauty of it is, that we know we, at Arsenal, will have the last laugh…

  6. Darius,

    MI5 isn’t called MI5 anymore!

    Ole, if I may continue the debate (well not reallly continue, since I’m not really arguing a point) from the previous page, perhaps I am indeed attempting to level the score, but as I conceded in my preamble, I’ve never been to Russia, but I have been to Spain, italy, and France and experienced what felt to be racism. Sure it wasn’t violence and it could have simply been a mild bit of paranoia – which would be all-types of weird considering I’m not paranoid type, quite the opposite when it comes to people in truth, however, there was a closedness which seem too off-key. It doesn’t have the immediacy or potency of a punch to the face, but it has been enough to bug me quite a bit. A punch to the face becomes a test of battle prowess, and I prove my superiority over the next dude by smashing his face with my fist; but an off-key attitude, you can’t really leave feeling the victor.

    Bah, next time I’ll just whip out my dong and tell ’em to suck it.

    Anyways, you correctly say, that is more than a stones throw to violence, and in terms of immediate impact, the latter will be detrimental to hosting a global event. But money speaks loudest unless you’re trying to turn a white-only pie into a bleeep pie – that’s a movie reference in case you all missed it – so here’s to Russia

  7. Darius – I fear for the backlash in the English, sorry, Barclays Premier League. You voiced exactly what I feared, that our little Russian, Andrei, will be targeted. Afterall he is the posterboy for the Russian bid, which is a testament to the high esteem he is held in the world, confirmation of the high standing that any 1st team player at Arsennal is held.
    But the bigger point you made, is how willing the English football establishment, the Russians the Quataris etc are willing to sell their souls to that corrupt, bloodsucking, exploitative parasite of world football, FIFA. No wonder our world is in so much trouble.

  8. Darius. I thnk youre a bit out of order using this as an excuse to bash England. On one hand you say people always bash arsenal but you prove you are just as bitter when its convinient for you. Fifa are a disgracefull organisation. Its quite clear that the quality of the bids had no impact on the decision making. Considering england spent half a billion pounds on there bid i feel they have a right to be ticked off. You are obviously bitter towards england for some reason, even though i imagine youve benefited greatly a country that trys its best to be open to change. You wouldnt get such freedom of speech in other countries, particularly the two countries who get to host the world cups. Please refrain from biting the hand that feeds you and attack the correct organisation. Which in this instance is fifa

  9. It was a fix. England never had a chance – Russina money bought the bid.

  10. Darius, called me biased or whatever you like but yours is the most balanced article on England’s world cup flop on any blog in the world today! The English press has been behaving as if the world cup was theirs by right! And federations who think they have a right to such tournaments keep on flopping. Remember the USA’s bid to host the 1986 world cup. They were so bloody righteous about it. Or Athens saying they deserved the 2000 Olympics. Or China demanding the 2004 Olympics. South Africa demanding the 2006 World cup. All flopped. The bids that succeed are those that don’t take the competition for granted.

  11. If it truly was about taking football to new frontiers, like FIFA say, then South Africa would have won the won the right to host 4 years earlier than they actually did.
    Rather, it seems to me that its more about ‘who is willing to pay the highest rates’ that decided the winner.

    I have about as much affection for the english national team as i do for a club such as Birmingham City.., so not much. But even I feel a little disapointed, though not surprised this morning at what happened to our bid team yesterday.
    To have recieved a single vote, other than our own, when in FIFA’s own words we had the best bid of all seems incredibly strange and unnerving to me.

    We had no chance of winning all along, and yet the rotund and greedy pigs at FIFA still merrily gorged themselves at our trough. That is what makes me most perturbed at this whole thing, especially given that we are dragging ourselves from the worst recession in many many years.

    FIFA is about its members, and not football. Qatar being awarded the 2022 tournment, in my mind, simply confirmed this. FIFA’s own report raised serious questions over the safety of both fans and teams if any world cup was staged there.
    No footballing heritage. No experience in holding a tournement anywhere close to this size. 50 degree heat. Security. And what seems to me a magnitude of potential problems. All of this means i cant for the life of me understand why anybody would decide it was a good idea to award the tournement to Qatar over the US or Australia, hell factor in any of the competing nations.
    I’m left scratching my head and looking at the one thing that they do have a lot of and making the connections to a regime, in FIFA, that has been exposed as corrupt and self serving as recently as the start of the week.

    And i say this as all as a man that lists exploring new cultures as one of life’s pleasures. I’ve seen the world and travelled extensively across it, meeting new people and trying things that have enriched my life and being.
    Taking the world cup to new places is a good thing, but i fear that FIFA are simply taking it to the highest bidder. Reason enough to tear down the stinking cess pit of FIFA and build it again, this time so that it serves the game instead of a wealthy and corrupt kleptocracy of old men.

    Enjoyable article as always.

  12. A message to all these bloggers bloviating against FIFA; you are wasting your time. Your own FA is part and parcel of the Evil Empire. Until FAs and governments are prepared to to reform FIFA, 1st by destroying its supra-state state status by removing its immunity from any accountability to the laws and norms of civil society, then FIFA will continue to thumb its nose at the world. There is no chance of that happening any time soon. So they will continue to plunder, setting nation against nation, while they plunder the loot as they did in Soth Africa (over $1 Billion is the estimate) last summer.

  13. Curious that the talentless sh*t throwers at Talksport reportedly asked for the ire and fury of the English supporters to be cast upon Arshavin this weekend, for, as you rightly put it, doing only what Beckham has done for his country. Because clearly Arshavin was the brains and money behind the Russian bid. Not Abramovich the Chelsea owner. Yet no cries for opprobrium to be brought down on him or his club. How odd. Why ever could that be?

  14. There will be a backlash. We cannot be surprised. This has been the script that the media have been following since the bid was decided.

    1. Hype the Bid excessively.

    2. Ignore all foreknowlege of the currupt way that FIFA goes about it’s business to encourage football fans here to believe that England can win.

    3. Ignore the ferrago of the FA’s attempt to put together a body able to actually make the bid.

    4. Make the ‘Three Lions’ seem like a cross between the Crusaders and Mary Poppins.

    5. Build fans into a frenzy of expectation.

    5. When the inevitable happens accuse Fifa of corruption.

    6. Build fans into a frenzy of zenophobia and injustice.

    7. Stoke fire.

    8. Keep stoking.

    The only winners apart from Fifa, Russia and Qatar are the media.

    Well, fuck Fifa and fuck the media. The FA can join them as far as I am concerned.

  15. Truly well said!

    I wish they will actually take some of these points seriously and they should actually leave AA23 alone! Is that the best response they can come up with? Childish at best! Like he had a role in the FIFA votes

  16. I was hoping the 2022 world cup would go to Australia but I can appreciate why it was awarded to Qatar. Fifa has given the Arab world a piece of the action. Hosting the world cup means a lot to middle east.
    As for Russia I can remember in the 1980’s that Fifa had informed the Soviet Union that they could host the world cup whenever they were ready. The Soviet Union is dead but the Russian federation is the closest think to it. But I was for The Netherlands/Belgium bid!

  17. It does not bother me that the World cup went to Russia, but the way in which it happened was grotesque.

    Couple of points to consider.

    Why were we bidding for a world cup and at the same time cutting of funding for sport in schools?

    Why didn’t we do as the Dutch/Belgian[sic] bids and object at the World cup contract demands?

    Why is it that we were so upset at the Times and the BBC before the vote only for us to be happy to cry corruption and collusion after?

    As you might surmise I am/was indifferent to England hosting the world cup, I just couldn’t understand why would any country where transparency de rigueur would want to lie in bed with such an opaque organisation.

    Why would we expect such an organisation to want to expose themselves to any opaque society?

  18. where transparency de rigueur == where transparency is de rigueur

  19. It would have been nice to have the World cup played here. I remember what it was like when we had Euro ’96, only I was a teenager back then. To truley join in with the merriment and festivities which a football tournament of the scope of the WC brings, to do so as an adult, now that would be something.

  20. On an aside, did I really hear Blatter say that the game originated in China and developed in Britain or was I having a flashback?

  21. On racism in Russia my brother had an interesting observation. He’s a Helicopter pilot in our Air force and had gone to train there for some months as our air force had purchased some heli’s from Russia. What he found most amusing was the Russians stopping him in the streets of Moscow so that they could take pictures with him. He’d always considered Moscow an international city and didn’t expect that being a black man would be such a novelty.

  22. It’s also interesting that Talkpoo’s gone after Arshavin when they could quite legitimately be going after the Birmingham fans

  23. Lets be fair USA got the ’94 World Cup so i don’t see the reason why Qatar should not get it this time round. Whether its bribes or not let FIFA pretend to spread the game. With the England bid am not sure it was cool to ask Warner to vote for England and then the media insinuate he is a corrupt dude. Wonder what the media would have lost if they had waited until after the voting process.

  24. Qatar in June. No thanks. Good luck getting a drink with that thirst.
    And the racist Russian Nationalists running amok.
    And then Adidas will bring out it’s new beach ball.
    All for the good of the game.

  25. Talking of novelties there was the incident where my Kenyan friend wore a Nigerian Agbada while in Australia and caused a traffic jam? Just a bloody agbada!

  26. I guess that’s xenophobia; always assigning blame to an external factor.

  27. What a mad world we live in…

  28. I don’t care where they hold it, but Russia and Qatar.

  29. Sky, you’d be amazed with the facilities in Qatar. But you probably fear the heat just as much as I fear a European winter!

  30. Wengerball,

    I agree re tax demands and changes to employment laws but there are ways and means around them. Transparency, though, is an illusion in Britain. Any governmental directive which purports to give greater transparency on any subject matter, merely serves to provide more obscurity on matters which count.


  31. Gadget at 10:57, you’re right!

  32. I saw England play Brazil last year in Doha.
    So I know what a farce it will be, they will have the stadium.
    But the organization will be crap.

  33. Here what I’m looking forward to: horror stories in the weeks preceding the WC, the rumours of Chechen rebels planning attacks on stadiums, the heavy handed military nature of the police force, blah blah blah.

    It will be fun!

    Anyway, isn’t there football this weekend? We need to play well against Fulham. Fight to the end!

  34. poor old Aussies, I thought they had a good chance they had a good team out there and their plans were good……………. there world cup bid i thought was good aswell!!

  35. Sky, our army officers who train in England complain that the English countryside smells of horseshit but that doesn’t mean that the country’s crap. It’s more like cultural shock. Don’t prejudge the Qataris!

  36. Kenyan, as a man of Carribean blood believe me European winters aren’t that bad as long as it snows. When it doesn’t snow it’s annoying because you get all the coldness, but none of the joys – I love the snow! When it started snowing here in London, it reminded me of my first skiing trip to Austria. Such an awesome holiday.

    What’s a bit annoying is London’s micro-climate. Really weird. Cold as an ice cube’s arse but the snow doesn’t really stick as bad as it does in the sticks. I’ve been hoping to be snowed in, but alas, no joy. But I did get into a snowball fight yesterday! Good times!

  37. How many years have you lived in the middle east then Kenyan gunner?

  38. Here’s what the Qataris should do: outsource the logistical and organisational elements to either the Germans or the Japanese or both, or me. Turns out I’m really good at organising stuff.

    Still, it’s a shame that their World Cup won’t actuallly happen. The Zombie apocalypse is coming people – but fear not, World War Z has shown us this scourge can be defeated

  39. Gadget, that’s what most of the oil rich middle eastern countries do – outsourcing! I wouldn’t be surprised if they hired the whole English team.

  40. Outsourcing, try modern day slavery.

  41. Qatar getting the World Cup reminds me of South Africa getting it and every European nation complained about everything and how bad and unready. If i remember correctly the only complaint from the 2010 final was the vuvuzelas and it was a success so give Qatar a break as for Australia i was jumping with joy when they lost out. They where the ones leading the onslaught on South Africa to lose the 2010 finals.

  42. Sky,you don’t like Arabs, do you?

  43. England has also been involved in FIFA shenanigans in the past. England colluded with Germany to bag USA the World Cup in 1988.

  44. I just don’t know what all the fuss is about.

    FIFA: Russia, England why do you want the world cup?

    RUSSIA: Well, we have the means to host it, 180m people spread across European and ‘Asian’ Russia with a popular culture of football as much as anywhere; and a world cup will propel football and spotlight the Slavic and Slavic Euro-Asian cultures (and there’s something in it for you guys too).

    ENGLAND: We have the best technical and commercial bid. We have a global media, especially our world football media (and it’s shining as never before you you too, smile for the cameras!). We are the home of football. We made the damn rules, you blithering idiots (OK, delete that). Oh, and um, we are the best. Would you like your picture taken with the Prince?

    Come on …

  45. Martin Samuel nails it:

    Ultimately, good stadiums do not matter, good supporters do not matter, cost-effectiveness in a global recession does not matter, racism does not matter, history does not matter, the fans do not matter. And legacy doesn’t matter. Not really. Don’t kid yourselves on that one, please, the fig-leaf of altruism FIFA ExCo members always use to hide their naked greed.

    Martin Samuel was starting to lose it. Suddenly he finds lucidity again.

  46. Zimpaul – (and there’s something in it for you guys too). I love that!

  47. I like Arabs, but I don’t like countries with no workers rights and no elected government.
    So don’t play the race card with me Kenyan gunner.

  48. ‘Following reports in the English media about corruption in the upper echelons of FIFA, we went to interview FIFA vice-president Jack Warner in his brand new luxury appartment in Qatar. We asked him about the various allegations that had been circulating in the press. “Well,” he said, “as a member of an elite, one gets used to these kinds of stories. It’s a shame that the common people don’t know how hard we at FIFA work for the benefit of world football. We often laugh amongst ourselves at the contrast between the tales of corruption in the newspapers and the reality of our own goodness. To some extent, I suppose, it’s our own fault. We work so hard at making football a success that we often don’t give enough time to the public relations and whatnot that influence how we are perceived by outsiders.”

    ‘To verify Warner’s account, we went to FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s brand new luxury appartment in Qatar. The door was opened by Mr. Blatter himself. “Guten tag, gentlemen. I was just discussing the 2018 World Cup with some …er… Russian officials. Won’t you join us?” Five young women, the Russian officials, were already sitting in the large drawing room when we went in. They greeted us far more warmly than one would expect from government representatives. We told him about the previous interview, and Blatter was happy to confirm his vice-president’s account. “It’s true! It’s true! Jack’s as honest as the day is long. We all are. No doubt about that. You couldn’t hope to meet a more honest group of fellows.” We asked him about the claims that FIFA representatives had taken bribes from the Qatari royal family. “Nonsense! It’s true they promised us some modest gifts if the Qatari bid was successful, but I told all the voters they could only accept the gifts if they agreed not to let them influence their voting. It was all above board, you see.” Although we accepted his explanation, we were still surprised that the World Cup had been given to a country that cares nothing for football. We told Blatter of our bemusement. “But that’s all just western prejudice, you see. The fact is, the Qatari people are mad about football. It’s probably one of their ten favourite sports. Hundreds of them watch or play football every week. Believe me, no country loves football more than Qatar.”

    “With all our doubts thus resolved, we left Qatar with a new, less cynical, understanding of the work of FIFA.”

  49. Sky, that’s the same thing they used to say about Hong Kong under the Union Jack. No elected government and no workers rights.

  50. And when did Hong Kong host the world game?

  51. Sky.

    Who are we to tell a sovereign nation how to run their affairs. Your starting from the position that an elected government is an absolute doctrine that the world must adopt.

    Look at what “spreading democracy” of the western flavour has done to the world. And if elected governments are the purest form of accountability – what hypocrisy that until this day – the Palestinian people who elected their government in a free and fair election have never been allowed the right to that self determination and the right to have a government of their choice that they elected. What nonsensical double standards by the beacons of democracy.

    I suppose the point which I’m trying to make is that you cannot indoctrinate an entire people or an entire culture based on your own ideologies and think that this isn’t arrogant and imperialistic. If we’re to be anal – China’s human rights record is worse than Qatar. They not only hosted the 2008 Olympics – you have the western world kissing their collective arse in a bid to guarantee the survival of their people. Why the hell should they turn a blind eye on China’s human rights record, and then cry out that Qatar or any other country for that matter should not host the world cup.

    We’re getting the same reaction from the west when South Africa was awarded the 2010 World cup – with ludicrous stories of how supporters, players and officials will be infected by some funny jungle disease – and that the African people were too primitive to host something like the world cup.

    The point is that the world cup going to Qatar is not the issue – the point is that the tournament is being spread around the world. I would support seeing it in the Caribbean next and that the countries in the region pool together to have their showcase – preferably with Jack Warner retired and in a museum or something.

    Having said that – the way FIFA are going about it is grotesque as has been said earlier. They are a law unto themselves and in an ideal world, need to be cut down to size.

    Just look at the tax rebate demands and the priviliges they insist they should have. Actually, the Dutch and Belgian bid team did well to question and argue against their lawless demands of tax exemptions and perks.

  52. Darius many thanks on the most well balanced article on the “failure” I’ve read.

  53. Quatar is a very small country,no football history,most of the population is from the region india/bangladesh part (Cricket is their sport clearly,as for football is more the EPL than football in general)who are used as slave by the rich oil arab minority.You can look in anyway,the Quatar is rubbish.I dont mind an arab country host it,but Quatar really …

    The selection is based on nothing but greed by corrupt FIFA who saw oil.Like Bernie Ecclestone with F1 ,they are ruining football for money and power
    And i m not english,but England have not host it since 66,and with a superb football culture,excellent stadium they should have host it again( and yes they are not perfect )

  54. sovereign nation?

  55. Joss 1, Some idle rash statements there mate. Why should England get the world cup? Who wants to go to Russia? The hand that feeds us? What in the world are you rambling about? My business ties have taken me all over the world to include Russia, St. Petersburg is one of the most wonderful places in the world. England had no devine right to host it, why should they? Our National team has not done anything to put football on the world map since 1966.

  56. Inshallah

  57. Sky – can you make a credible argument and stop hiding behind the sofa.

    Come on out – let’s have a debate.

  58. For God’s sake, Skywatchingmug, don’t encourage him.

  59. Gadget, You just hit the nail on the head. I can only laugh at those who say Qatar can not organize the WC. With all the money that they have available they will bring in the best from all over the world. Logistics and organization will mot be an issue.
    While I do not agree that Qatar should have got the vote it is not fair for posters to say they have no right to host it, why not? Football is a global market, the World Cup is global, therefore I see no problem with the likes of Qatar hosting it. At the end of the day it is up to them to turn it into a major success. Those who think it cannot happen need to progress from the little Inglander counsell estate mentality.

  60. LOL @ POLI

    Not a bad explanation

  61. DFG, Qatar could not even broadcast the last world cup with out making excuses about sabotage from Eygpt. Middle East and North Africa the only region in the world that had to pay to watch the last World Cup. Al Jazeera and it’s over paid hired lackeys mucked it up. Go Google it.
    And by the way just because you go somewhere for your holidays don’t make you an expert on the place.

  62. Darius there’s an old saying that goes, “Never argue with a fool!”

  63. Kenyan gunner found your voice again.

  64. Skywatchingmug going somewhere for holidays means you have actually seen the place you and can make an informed decision not have to rely on google. USA got it in ’94 so that left Australia and Qatar in my book. Australia talked rubbish about the 2010 world cup so they had no chance in getting some votes from Africa or those who brought it to South Africa.

  65. Skywatchingmug, “Holidays” re read my post!

  66. The arab world is a huge market for football, they love the sport. Like a few already said qatar have the money so they will have no problem building it. As for the heat apparently the bid says they will build climatised stadium (which sucks for the environment but the footballer won’t be complaining about the heat). The country is so small it will be an unique experience for the travelling fans as they will all be in the same city. I think it is not a bad choice, just a bit gutted for the aussies.

  67. Is the problem who won it, or how it was won?

    If the former, I’d say that’s silly, let time play out.

    If the latter, well, you probably have a point. Only probably, because the question then becomes would you have stayed silent if your chosen nation had won?

  68. Skywatchingmug , So you are saying that because of this that in “12” years time they will not be able to host a world cup? Stupid thinking! Get a life!

  69. I think when we visit any Birmingham team, we should sing the following:
    “Your lot lost us the world cup
    wooaaahhh, disgrace
    your lot lost us the world cup
    wooaaahhh, cocks”

  70. DFG so you think FIFA gave Al Jazeera a month to get there coverage in order.
    They had at least four years.

  71. Let’s be honest people, what does England do for world football? Every tournament we enter (when lucky enough to qualify) the English mentality and the British press go crazy with the we will win it all attitude. Answer me this, what have we won since 1966? What have we learned since 1966? Why can’t we develope top class talent of our own? Everyone talks about the problems at grass roots level, what is being done to correct that? Where is the money and support for developing youth programmes? Why can’t we get our kids off of the street and onto the football field? Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming everyone else for the fact that we did not get the world cup, we need to take a long hard look at our own system. If we are so much better than some of you claim, then why do we not succeed at International football? I for one am sick and tired of all of the petty excuses. We are shit at International football, our youth programmes are broken. Fix our own backyard before mouthing off over Qatar.

  72. I’m sorry Darius but any country that has to build air conditioned stadia to play football has no credibility. If an age existed when football at any cost was acceptable, that time has gone for good.

    Pity the poor old Dutch and Belgians who hoped to impress with a ‘Green’ World Cup where fans got around on bycycles to lower the carbon footprint of the event to see Qatar’s approach find favour.

    Laugh? Well, you have to really.

  73. Yogi. I haven’t read the Declan Hill book but this is very good on the topiv of Fifa and corruption.

    Foul!: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals by
    Andrew Jennings

  74. ..or this.

    The Beautiful Game?: Searching for the Soul of Football by David Conn

  75. On another topic, which goal did you vote for the November Goal of the month?
    I hesitated between the Cesc goal against everton, Walcott against Shakthar and Nasri’s one against spurs and voted for Nasri’s one. The pass and the run was beautiful and the effect he put on the ball was great!

  76. Cbob

    Not sure that the libel lawyers have allowed the Declan Hill book a UK imprint – he may have resolved the issues but I don’t think so.

    Jennings is a good, investigative journalist and his website does his work more justice than the tabloid style piece on Panorama earlier this week.


  77. Not that interested in all this bid stuff, since even if the WC was to come to Ingerland, I doubt that I along with most of the population, wouldn’t be able to afford tickets to most of the matches! If I am going to watch it on t.v then I really don’t care where the broadcast is coming from! Plus haven’t Europe had their fair share of staging the world cup?

  78. “I’m sorry Darius but any country that has to build air conditioned stadia to play football has no credibility. If an age existed when football at any cost was acceptable, that time has gone for good.” – Cbob

    Seems to me, that line of thinking starts limiting those who can and can’t host WC based purely upon latitude, which isn’t something I can possibly agree with.

    Forutnately, my Gadget Guide to the Universe says nor did/will the rest of the planet. Apparently once the Moon gets colonised and their little problem of 1/6th gravity compensated for, there was a huge argument as to whether Moonation could even take part in the WC 2222 let alone even host it. It took a global court ruling who finally and more importantly officially decreed Moonation as part of Earth, a decision which angered the Moonation Separatist Movement no end. Unfortunately for them, Moonation then went and won the World Cup bid which essentially spelt the death of the MSM, as the Mooners rejoice their success, and the authorities clamped down upon any nonsense with the full backing of over 95% of the Mooner population.

    The Mooner World Cup was a great success, but the Mooner football team went out in the first round losing every match. It took them the better part of a century before they were able to win the WC, to much controversy.

  79. Auntie Beeb has announced that they will screen WHU v Brum 1st Leg & Arse v Tractors 2nd Leg. Isn’t that a bit Arse about face for our tie? Surely the chances of an upset diminish in the 2nd if the favourites are at home?


  80. bloody foreigners, how dare they nick our world cup!!

  81. It was a real shame that the media were so willing to get the kids all hyped up over the possibility of England winning the bid. City centres around the country had big screens up and scores of kids all screaming their heads off because they believed that England were dead certs to win the bid. A harsh dose of reality was served up to kids at a very early age.
    The hierachy of football is flawed and has been for many years. Our own FA seems to stagger from one scandal, disaster or humiliation to the next and we as a nation have held the view that FIFA hates us for some time. Why did we think that everything would change just because we had the best technical bid?

  82. Great write up Darius, agreed will all of that!

  83. YW,

    Maybe they have come around to the idea that we may win!

  84. Very sorry for you guys about the world cup. Getting almost no press coverage over here.

    I wish the US sports fans were as passionate about real football as you are. 99% of our sports fans think football is a sport played by steroid crazed 300 pound physical freaks whose goal is to knock their opponents heads off. Oh well, life goes on. Arsenal 2 – 0 over Fulham and then 3 – 0 over Partizan. A draw or better at Old Trafford would really see our season back on track.

  85. California Gooner

    So, the idea of air-conditioned stadium sound decadent, although there might be some interesting innovations in air-conditioning that come out this, if done right. However, how might that compare to the carbon footprint of simply flying to the games? Or flying between venues that are set far apart, as would happen in the U.S.? One thing: when humidity is low, air-conditioning really ins’t very difficult.

  86. I’d say that WB’s post best reflects what I’m thinking. And I agree with a lot of what OG said on the yesterday’s blog. Sorry to jump on your comment earlier, Gadget – though I agree with what you say about travel, my belief that Russia has serious problems with racism and the far right isn’t entirely preconceived. Not that I’ve got a good sample of a country with 180 million, just that my experience seems to have been shared by many.

    Still, I felt like it was a kind of cheerful, innocent racism – bizarrely unabashed. So I like the idea that the world’s glare and some first-hand contact would help in different ways. And by disagreeing with you on racism, I wasn’t suggesting that Russia doesn’t deserve to host the world cup.

    Well, that’s my clumsy way of putting it!

    I haven’t enjoyed the Qatar debate at all. I know it’s branding fluff, but I just haven’t been able to reconcile FIFA’s mission statement with the state of affairs in Qatar, even after reforms. There are some horrible contradictions.

  87. A interesting book called “A Renegade History of The United States” shows how people who were out of the norm contributed so much to American society. With these peculiar World Cup nomination we find ourselves in a not to dissimilar situation. Indeed for Qatar we find ourselves in a similar situation to Uruguay in 1930. In that doubtful tournament lay the seed to the World’s greatest sports extravaganza. We return to the future in another renegade moment.

  88. I have been out hunting this Winter looking for ‘the big buck.’ Finally, after many days of freezing in the cold, my efforts had been rewarded. He appeared in a field with a splendid rack. Perhaps a twelve pointer! He was walking towards me, following a group of Does that had been eating in the field. I thought that I could never miss this Buck but I surely did. His tail went up into the air and he bounded out of the field and into the cover of the woods. A search of the area revealed no traces of blood nor a wounded animal. It was a clear miss.

    I thanked the Great Spirit for giving me the opportunity to see such a fine specimen of nature and the strength to enter into a world that belongs to the wild life. I will not hunt again until next year but I have many wonderful memories of seeing migrating Geese and by being amused by little Fawns playing with each other in the fields. Surely the Great Spirit has looked kindly upon me.

  89. OneOfUs, sport is peculiar in how it responds to the nuances of society. Like the 1978 world cup held in a brutal dictatorship in Argentina. I found myself in an unpopular situation as I believed that South Africa had more important things to do with their money than host the world cup. And yet I wouldn’t agree with those who say that the Emirates stadium is a hedonistic monolith! Our humanity is also due to what may appear irrational.

  90. Limestonegunner

    Wonderful post, Darius. Top notch–intelligent, ethical, and full of class. A lot like Arsenal.

  91. If global warming continues at the current rate, they won’t need to turn the air conditioning on.

  92. Arry calling FIFA corrupt????? Well what can you say, a Sp*d managing Englishman at his best!

  93. You’re wrong Poliz, it not global warming, but the zombies. The zombies!!

    For the love of God people, I’m just trying to save ye!!!

    Why won’t they listen?

  94. Darius (12:13),
    we can and should critisize the lack of human rights, elected governments and democracy, wherever it happens. Anything else would be carrying cultural relativism too far. This does not mean that the US is always right (or wrong) when it’s playing world cop. And anybody who sees the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy as a black and white thing is clearly misled.

    Having said that, why on earth are we not discussing the Fulham game? The world cup is just a poor substitute for following Arsenal.

  95. Our match against Leeds will be live on ITV 12:45 kick off though.

  96. DFG talks sense.

    Anyway, isn’t it obvious that some decisions and consensus was reached (as would be the norm really) weeks, even months ago, and this charade was just that, to announce some decisions all but made. Putin was clever not to attend; it was not necessary.

    As for me, like most global fans it would have been nice to have a WC in england, and equally nice for many other reasons in russia and qatar, and if its about football I don’t see why russia would be disqualified.

    The thing for england to ask itself, but it won’t, is why no one, except one guesses USA, voted England. DFG has part of the answer.

  97. Talking of corruption, has everyone forgotten about are those greedy, mercenaries in Westminster we call our representatives! While their leaders may not deserve it who says it isn’t time people in the middle-east join in the WC party? (god knows they need it) While Qatar doesn’t have a large pop. you can bet your bottom dinar that people from, The U.A.E, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait etc will be making their way over there!

  98. I listening to Gadget anyway .. hmmm … the zombies you say.

  99. DFG,

    Need to cut out the council estates references though! I am hurt, most of my furniture resides there!

  100. Well said Darius, well said!

    If Russia is a racist as some have said, atleast they have quite a few years to hopefully change some attitudes. Maybe the World Cup will cause change in the minds of the people, sports have a way of doing that.

    You still have the Klan in the US and other white supremacists groups and trust me, a person of another race better not get caught or it would be lights out.

    My Brother is in England and he is not too impressed with the covert racism.

    As far as the abuse of wrokers. Why do you think big companies produce their goods in other countries and this while there is unemployment in their own. Take a look at your football jersey and know that someone didnt get paid as much as they should to make it while you are paying a good bit. Do you think the Nike big timers have any financial issues?

    Look up the free zone in Jamaica. These people were being paid pennies while assembling things for many well known manufacturers. So lets not pick on the Russians for greed is global.


  101. ZP, I alway knew you would listen. You’re sound of mind and strong of character. The zombies, if they were capable of such, would fear you.

    There have been annual outbreaks of zombism happening in the US annually for decades now. They call it Black Friday, right after Thanksgiving too.

  102. Some good points this morning. And Darius I very much enjoyed your Friday offering!

    The only reason I wanted to see England get the 2018 WC was so that games would be played in the glorious football palace that is the Emirates. I was anxious to hear commentators and the international community be lulled into a footballing daze as they marvelled at the quality of the stadium, the sightlines, and its quality pitch. My dream was to hear the phrase “Well, Wembley may be the home of English football, but in the Emirates Arsenal have one of the true must-sees in world football.”

    Ohhh well…

  103. Maria, Please accept my sincere appologies. I do not normally lower my standards to such comments and it was uncalled for.

  104. I strenuously disagree with the notion that all countries are equally racist. It’s inconceivable that a native-born Black Russian could be President. The yanks have their racial problems but it’s far ahead of much of Europe on that score.

  105. “Seems to me, that line of thinking starts limiting those who can and can’t host WC based purely upon latitude, which isn’t something I can possibly agree with.”

    Well Gadget, climate is why we don’t do snow sports much in England isn’t it? Climate does make a difference to the sports we all play wherever we are in the world.

    I’m not any kind of advocate for ‘anti global warming’ measures but I think building air conditioned stadia just to play you play football is obscene. I wouldn’t expect to build a bobsleigh track in Devon either.

  106. Look up African students in Moscow.
    Or if you cant be arsed cut and paste. The comments section, is an eye opener.

  107. The peculiar thing with racism in Russia is the number of African students there who return with Russian wives!

  108. Zim Paul. Thanks for the support. I read this blog as often as possible but do not actually post very often. I enjoy this blog as the majority of the posters talk sense and actually confir back and forth unlike some of the neighboring trash sites out there! (good job Yogi)

  109. “We can and should criticize the lack of human rights, elected governments and democracy, wherever it happens.”

    We certainly can. Darius knows that very well. Although he says, “Who are we to tell a sovereign nation how to run their affairs?” he is more eager than anyone to tell sovereign states what to do. On the other hand, I don’t think FIFA should take into account the Darius Stone Criteria of good government when deciding who should get the World Cup. It should be made clear that the choice of venue is independent of political judgements. Then let them choose China; let them choose North Korea; let them choose Palestine; let them choose Iran; provided they can show they deserve it on other grounds.

  110. If they build a really powerful air-conditioning system, perhaps they could host the winter Olympics in Qatar.

  111. Top post, Darius. Why am I not surprised that the most intelligent, thoughtful, and even commentary on this world cup draw is right here on ACLF! A testament to the community you have built, Yogi.
    I sincerely hope that the embarrassment of the single non-UK vote for WC bid causes some reform of the FA, who I hold as almost as unholy a group as Fifa itself.
    Cbob, “The Beautiful Game?” is indeed a great read. Thanks for the tip on the other book, I had not heard of it. Declan Hill’s book is more focused on match fixing and has some illuminating lines of evidence on match fixing in the 2006 world cup in Germany and elsewhere.
    I saw on that Nasri and Squillaci are fit for tomorrow’s match. Good news. A strong squad, momentum must be maintained.
    I have heard that Qatar has promised zero carbon stadiia so perhaps they will be powering all the a/c off solar panels on the roof?

  112. Poliziano, China would probably host the world cup when they feel it’s time to. But knowing them they’ll only do so when they feel that they are strong enough to win it. And that seems years away.

  113. Skywatchingmug . Unfortunatly this is not just limited to Russia. This sort of thing goes on in many European countries to include England.

  114. Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet, was of black African ancestry.

  115. Ole, you are behaving as if the US having a black president was overnight. Many black people have been killed for the US to get to this point? Up until the 70’s violent racism was quite prevelant in the US, its not violent but it still is.

    What about South Africa?

    Also, I know that England was not so accepting of black people and people of other nations in the 60’s when they hosted the world cup.

    I am a black man and I hope that this will change something in Russia. As far as corruption, if the head is sick the body is also.

  116. Calm down Poli.

    If we let politics dictate which nation should host the World Cup only Tibet would get a chance. And please don’t even mention England.

  117. Gadget,

    I wont stand idly by will you attack me and my bretheren in our celebration of capitalism and excess on Black Friday. People up at 2am to go to Walmart.. what a country!! A true democracy!!

  118. DFG,

    It’s kool, was just playing with ya, it was a joke!

  119. With all the critism of fifa, and much is justified, their insistence on governments not intefering in football administration is good for Africa. Our administration is still poor but has come a long way from the time idiot Presidents named the national teams starting lineup – happily something we didn’t experience in Kenya. Though we have a PM who brought us a coach from Germany – where he’d done engineering – and the national team is now in the doldrums.

  120. Pz,

    I want my children to have Mexican ancestry, what does that prove? I think that any country were your afaird for you life, just because of skin colour, has fundamentally wrong with it in regards to race relations. That doesn’t however mean things cant change, maybe with the spotlight on them, they will act right!!

  121. Paul N,

    We’re talking about today Dec 3rd 2010. England wasn’t a terrible place for black people in the 1960s. There were a lot of racist attitudes about, as there are today, but black people weren’t being attacked in central London in 1966, just for being black.

    And what do you mean what about South Africa?

    In 1966 it wasn’t a real world cup. Now it is. I really do wonder how a country can host the world cup if people from certain parts of the world are regularly attacked just for being from another part of the world.

    Anyway, we’ll see how it turns out.

  122. Paul N,

    Don’t ou know we in the west have short memories?

  123. OG,

    I have meet in my short life more than enough older black people, to know that the threat of violence did exist and was prevalent in the U.K in the 1960s! I mean seriously????

  124. Paul N it always amazes me how people want to deny what others have to live with. Hang in there brother.

  125. Maria, OG, others…

    As someone with not enough historical knowledge on the subject.. when did black players in the League become not the biggest deal in the world? At what point did the shock and awe factor of just having a black player on the pitch disappear?

  126. South Africa? they hosted the world cup but black people were oppressed for many many many years in that country, is that not true?

    Well Ole I remember about the so called “paki bashing”, I know the names that were used to call black people and this in the mid to late 70’s, when I was there.

    I am not overlooking Russia’s racism, I am just saying that most countries have racist crap in their history and even to this day.

    Again, sports have a way of bringing people together, lets hope that this happens in Russia.

  127. notlager,
    I don’t understand your point. I just wrote a post saying I don’t think politics should dictate which nation should host the World Cup, and then you tell me to calm down before apparently saying the same thing.

  128. “I want my children to have Mexican ancestry, what does that prove?”

    Probably that you like Mexicans.

  129. Sports does bring people together. Like I initially began to support Arsenal because of the black players. That was in the late ’80s. In the 90s Kanu Nwankwo made Arsenal the most popular club in East Africa. So much so that even after he’d left the fans had began to appreciate all the players irrespective of colour.

  130. KenGun, thank God that the people before me paved the road so that I have a much better life in the US. Racism is not a cultural or colour issue. It is an issue of the heart, its pure evil.

    I just want people to be aware of what has taken place. I lived in Miami for a while and many people have told me that black people had to have some sort of a pass to go to south beach. I am talking about the last 70’s here.

    Agreed Ole, lets hope it works out for the best.

  131. How will Qatar accomodate the Latin and European girls? That’s what we should really be discussing.

    But seriously, we have an important match against Fulham and we’re talking about the damn world cup? The same world cup that draws our players away and brings them back injured? Give me a break.

  132. G69 — Here, Here!!

    Let’s focus on Fulham and hope that we can continue to reclaim our home form!


  133. G69 I think we assume that Fulham is ours for the taking. But I’m worried the number of games in December. And ofcourse the weather. Already matches have been cancelled in the lower leagues.

  134. What about you, Kenyan gunner? Have you started to appreciate all the players irrespective of colour?

  135. Delia---Block 112

    Who knows how FIFA came to their decisions. Neither Russia nor Qatar will be a fans WC . Travel between games in Russia will be a nightmare ,
    never mind the problems with freedom of movement and the old problems of racism. As for the extraordinary decision to give a very small middle east country, with a culture quite foreign to the majority of travelling fans ,(particularly women) ,does beggar belief. I am a single woman and have been travelling alone to Arsenal games for over 50 years. In that time I have never felt” out of place “. I was and still am another Gooner, in a crowd of like minded people. I can’t see the Brazilian girls , in all their glory, on the terraces in Doha! Are female fans to be seated all together ? I won’t even comment on the countries politics, except to pose the question — what happens if Israel qualifies ?
    Enough said, it looks as though we have almost a full squad for tomorrow’s game .AW’s final selection should be interesting! As always COYRs

  136. To think of it, if our match was cancelled I’d be devastated. Is the weather holding up?

  137. Paul N, that was the sixties. There was a curfew where blacks had to get off Miami Beach and go back to their homes at dusk. The waiters and maids who worked at the hotels had to have a pass in order to work after the curfew. It was a charming apartheid situation with lovely music and beach resorts.

    My father, who is a Dominican of dark complexion, married my white mom in Miami Beach in 1970 and they almost got killed by some KKK types when they were spotted walking down Miami Beach hand in hand.

  138. Sport or the lack of international sport was used in part to bring down the then South African government. FIFA has given Russia and Qatar the green light to carry on. Just keep the money rolling in.

  139. There’s too much gas coming out of this thread on Qatar!

    The Bejing Olympic stadium was engineered in London, also used serf-labour, but it was co-designed by a Chinese sculptor and helped pioneer new stuff. None of that to help redeem the Qatari pitch. Another German designer, the genius Frei Otto’s Munich Stadium for the Olympics way back in the 70’s was way better then any of these Qatari proposals. It was a stadium that revolutionised some things.

    If FUFA wanted to win the hearts & minds of the middle east, why not invite a WC bid from Egypt? Which has lots of clubs, a successful national team, and a population big enough not to require an army of serfs to build some green branded stadiums which are anything but ‘green’.
    Not criticising politics here, but design, and purpose. And of course, the issue of labour is unavoidable. It was unavoidable for London 2012 , and they chose to import many labourers from eastern Europe! Crap design too. They might have to demolish the stadium straight away, it’s so crap. The Spammers will go budget and to ‘renovate’ if they get it.

    Thanks be to the Football G*ds for the TNHOF. And AW.

    Lol, there was plenty of violence in the 70’s!
    Like at the top of ‘trendy’ Brick Lane where the NF used to hawk their newsletter? Before they ran away! Kick-boxing became a popular local sport for some unfathomable reason…

  140. I hope not KG. Our home form has been far from stellar and Fulham are a decent side.

  141. So true Finsbury, gave as good as we got.
    Used to look forward to away days south of the river.
    So we could pop into the NF book store in Welling and give them hell.

  142. The only thing worse than our home record when it coems to this tie is Fulham’s away record. Let’s hope we can continue their sufferings away from CC

  143. At the end of apartheid the reforms were stalling. The last apartheid President, De Klerk, held a whites only referendum to decide whether to continue with reforms or not as the conservatives were gaining popularity. In the end the reformists won but by a marginal vote. The victory could be attributed to the fact that the referendum was held during a test series with Australia. De Klerk had warned that were the reformists to lose the vote he’d withdraw the test team from the series. Sport had played it’s part!

  144. Best article i have read today. I was born in Ghana but live in the united states, and i have experienced some of the worst racism i can think of, but it doesn’t change my view of most Americans whom i find to be honest, welcoming people.
    Racism is everywhere, and a few rotten apples doesn’t mean the whole case of apples is spoilt.

  145. Pz,

    Not particularly, Vela is a expection.

    P.S Where is your toyboy Barazite?

  146. So, IAN HOLLOWAY literally has gone mad and want players who wear gloves to “Man-up”, take them off and face the cold head-on.

    So my question is to Mr. Holloway, how is this going to improve or effect football in England?
    A premier league manager wants to take the players back to the stone ages, wait, actually cave-men were smart enough to wear something to keep them warm.
    I really think the entire English Football establishment need their heads examined because there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

    Then talk about the sour grapes in the media about the WC vote, it didn’t come in their minds at all that England has nothing new to offer the WC tournament? The game is already absorbed in every little town in England, and if there are still few English people who are not into the game, you’re not going to convince them now to join in.

    If any one should be bummed about this, it’s the US where there is growing interest in the game and 300 million people to try to sway towards English football. Yet, it seems that the Americans took the blow with a much better approach. At least as far as I’m aware.

    Take pride a little bit England, you don’t need to host the World Cup, yes you invented football – or at least organized the game – but what your really need it to sort yourself inside out in football, and most importantly…..


  147. 69,

    Would the same mixed couple cause such a stir on a Miami bench now? I doubt it, however to get there America had to go through manny trials and tribulations. A nation’s beliefs and mindset can be changed, my recent experience in South Africa proved many of my perceptions wrong.

    Who is to deny me a relationship with my Carly?

  148. Gadget @ 3:38,

    I found that surprisingly disturbing. FIFA might wish to enter it in their own defence (should justice ever prevail)!

  149. All,

    I think today’s discussions have shown why this remains the best blog around.


    Another great post. I suppose Clausewitz’ oft appropriated aphorism, that “war is an expression of politics [and business] by other means”, emerges in its starkest form from current events.

  150. G4E — good post! Yes I too was disappointed about the WC not landing in the USA.. although I’ll admit that I didnt have Qatar pegged as a main competitor. The reaction here is practically non-existant. Those who even know whats going on are showing nowhere near the vitriolic response on the otherside of the “pond”. I think it would’ve done some good for us though in terms of our developing football culture. Soccer became a little “cooler” this past summer — mostly in part to our exciting Revolutionary War Round 2 tie with you guys in our group. I still anxiously await the day when an American slips on the glorious Red and White..

  151. A victory over Fulham would be made all the sweeter given the incentive of inflicting defeat on Mark (the cursing sneek) Hughes. A 2-o victory followed by a win in Europe and at Old Trafford would push things along nicely.

    Fingers crossed

  152. Well I am glad it did not end up in England anyway. The english football head is so far up it’s own ass that I wonder if they will ever get it out again. If it was not for the foregin owners pumpin money into pl or the foregin players doing such a great job your league would not even be famous. You would just be the birthplace of footbal with crap national team and poor league. Again thank god you did not win… Lol

  153. sorry to post this but this guy is a real idiot giving the brits a bad name

  154. Forgive the music, but these two are like the Superman and Batman of our team:

    In case you’re wondering, Arshavin is the Martian Manhunter of the team, and you’ll never guess whose Wonder Woman!

    Anyway, NJ, America, fuck yeah! Ha, nothing but love dude, but as Obelix would say, “those Americans are crazy.”

    Cbob, I respectfully contend your argument about Winter Olympics in Devon is a terrible one, although it did sound nice. Snow (although I think they had to import it for a recent WO) and a large incline with a good gradient are vital to most Winter sports, and I think Devon lacks both these fundamental things, but I can’t say for certain as I’m yet to venture yonder.

    Football just needs a football and maybe goal posts, but the climate is utterly irrelevant.

    Is this blog actually turning to global politics? it’s such a difficult thing to discuss. Democracy is the like capitalism, they both suck but there’s nothing really better – unless you want me to take over the planet. It’s an idea I’ve been pondering but I’m a peace loving hippy pacifist at heart. Unless you’re a zombie.

  155. “Democracy is the like capitalism, they both suck but there’s nothing really better ”

    this is why this blog rules

  156. Alright so the climate isn’t irrelevant, but it’s a minor thing that shouldn’t stop the awarding of a WC, especially when there are ways to circumvent temperature issues

  157. Maria,
    I hardly ever get to see Nacer these days. A few months ago, I fell in love with a young Croatian classical guitarist called Ana Vidovic.

  158. Thanks G69

  159. Paul N,

    South Africa was in the process of racial reconciliation and had made significant steps toward it by the time they were awarded the World Cup.

    I’d have opposed the World CUp being given to Apartheid South Africa & my opposition to the Russian bid is along the same lines.


    I stand by what I said. In 1966 there was very low risk of blacks, Jews or Asians being attacked on the streets of London just for being black. There certainly wasn’t a notion that black people shouldn’t walk through central London because there was a high chance they could be attacked.

    In any case 1966 is 1966. This is 2010 and a country where foreigners and racial minorities are attacked regularly should be a pariah state, at least culturally.

  160. Ah, NJ, you quoting me like that just highlights the flaws of my speed typing!

    Damn my nimble fingers, indecisive mind, and eyes that look without seeing

  161. Great Post Darius…Great debate on this blog…Could somebody please tell me where the 3 Lions on the English Shirt came from? to my mind and knowledge there have never been Lions in England…Would it not be more appropriate to have 3 English Bull Dogs? Makes a lot more sense to me…

    Every one knows football is Global Game.It was firm riposte from FIFA of No – a bit like Caesar(s) would do in in deciding to execute.Thumbs down..Blatter’s speech about China having been the founding nation and then to go on about how Englan helptake he Game to the rest of World was in effect that was PAST this the Present…

  162. NJ

    England and the US should have realized that their chances are getting smaller, the last world cup in South Africa was an indication of the new direction FIFA was taking.

    I’m not a big fan of FIFA and I still think it’s a “Rogue Nation” that doesn’t fall under any national laws, but I think it’s only fair for other countries to have the chance after West Europe & South America hosted it for decades.

    It’s just as simple as being fair, that’s all.

  163. Man, I wouldve loved the WC to be in the US. The WC folks, whoever they are visited Reliant Stadium (within walking distance of my home).

  164. You are such a fucking idiot, Qatar has never been in a World Cup, so marvellous, their team gets a place in the cup for starters. Oh and you a fucking nobhead, we havent held the World Cup since 166, we invented the bloody sport, its just fucked up

  165. I get very annoyed with this ; racism is everywhere thing. Yes, racism exists everywhere. But you can’t tell me that having latent racist attitudes is the same as the situation painted in this article:

    I’ve had black colleagues and friends who were told at their hotels it was better for them not to walk through Moscow unaccompanied because they might be attacked.

    Ask black Chelsea fans about their experiences at the Moscow Champions League final. Some of them had nasty experiences.

    How many countries in the world does a situation like that exist? In how many countries are black & Asians told to avoid city centres because there’s a high chance they would be attacked?

    In how many countries does a senior sports official openly declare that his club won’t recruit players of a certain race?

    Not many.

  166. troll comes on, vacuous arguments, lowering the tone and stinking up the place. pooo

  167. I agree with ole gunner

    How can it be culturally insensitive to be offended by cultural insensitivity and racism?

  168. Skywatchingmug,

    I remember going with boys and gals from school on the huge anti-fascist march in welling in October ’93.

    Words like democracy and capitalisim should not make critisims of a design brief or proposal obsolete.
    Beijing Olympic stadium and site: Works/worked, in spite of the very accurate critiques levelled at the project. For various boring reasons.
    London Olympic stadium: Looks dubious. The bid was based on legacy, not uber buildings, for cost reasons more then anything. For example, children from schools who were part of the bid itself, to emphasise the ‘legacy’ will now not be given tickets to events, as was promised. So, as a project it isn’t even meeting it’s own brief. It’s failed already. I’d still like to see the cycling, and hopefully try out the velodrome (which is a nice building) afterwards! But some cycle lanes to make London’s roads as civilised as Copenhagan or Berlin, would be nice.

    2022 is along way away. We shall see.

  169. Great blog Yogi, great blog Darius! I’ve loved the day.

  170. That’s all well and good (hmmm bad choice of word) Ole, but the question is how do you then challenge and change such mindset in a nation like Russia? It took a lot of suffering in the Western world to change things, and I suspect history often gets repeated in defeating racism; afterall humanity’s ugly head is a shocking sight and enough to make many think twice.

    However, the Olympics in Nazi Germany became a big “fuck you” to the self acclaimed ‘Master Race’, and with us living in different globalised times, might not such a concentrated influx of tourism, with the world’s eyes fixed upon them cause much and needed reflection upon these minds?

    Just hypothetical romantic musings I know, but at the end of the day a chance has been given to do things, and in my op you have to hope that positivity will win out

  171. Hahahahaha.

    All this “England deserved the WC” sound so much like the doomers we have to deal with on a daily basis.

    I should run now.

  172. Maria:


    Would the same mixed couple cause such a stir on a Miami bench now? I doubt it, however to get there America had to go through manny trials and tribulations. A nation’s beliefs and mindset can be changed, my recent experience in South Africa proved many of my perceptions wrong.

    Who is to deny me a relationship with my Carly?”

    Not much has changed in the U.S., Maria. With the election of our first black president the nation’s true colors are there for everyone to see. The thing is that since outward racism is frowned upon, they don’t call him a ni**er. They call him a socialist, muslim, fascist Kenyan who wants to redsitribute wealth (ie; take the white man’s money and give it to blacks). We still have a generation of whites who were raised to fear the other. They are becoming fewer and fewer as time passes by but there are still many social ills left over from when we were an apartheid state. Take for instance the incredibly racist immigration law in Arizona which many states want to implement. This law is nicknamed the papers please law. It’s called that because latino citizens have to prove they are citizens or get put in jail until the police can verify one’s staus. As for mixed race couples causing a stir in MB, I don’t think so. But leave the big cities and you still see people recoil when they see a black man kissing or holding hands with a white woman.

  173. good article darius..

    everybody claimed race would be a hinderance in africa (as they will ise this amongst ather excuses in other countries) but as has been shown in the past this sport can be used as a bridge for positive race relations..

    Arsenal are due a big win tomorrow


  174. This Qatar decision seems less baffling when you take it as a middle east bid than one state alone. The nearby states, include the Saudia Arabia, Oman, and the U.A.E. And many people in these countries are football enthusiasts. And they have Oil, and a lot of money to throw around to Clubs in Europe. Mancity? So why not? Geopolitics seems to be more of a case for this decision than anything.

  175. The only way I know of Deano is palates. For example, let’s say a dog lover goes to China and is served dog for dinner…

  176. Actually, the real deal with London 2012 was explained by ‘Red Ken’:

    “I don’t care about sport”

    It was the only way to get much needed infrastructure built into East and even Central London. Like the Crossrail development. The only way.
    So, even though he was ousted by the tories twice, so ‘Red Ken’ will leave a real ‘legacy’ for Londoners. Is that politics? I don’t know. Sport was involved somewhere in the process. The tubes will be less crowded, and I like the sound of that!

  177. Gadget | December 3, 2010 at 6:04 pm |

    I feel Russia should have been made to confront this issue upfront. FIFA has pretended racism is not an issue. The Russian officials act like it doesnt exist. How then can the World Cup lead to rapprochement?

    I heartily agree with the premise that football or sports can transform racial attitudes. I agree that Russia hosting the World Cup might make the Russian government make an effective crackdown.

    But they won’t address the issue if both FIFA and Russian officialdom pretend there’s no such issue.

    But even more than that, I think a country like that should be a cultural pariah, much like South Africa was.

    Rugby, Cricket, Football, the Olympics all kicked out Apartheid South Africa. That was one good way Sport helped change the world

  178. Jesse Owens was forced to race horses upon his return home. ; )

  179. – – – – – – – – Fabiański – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – Squillaci – – – – – – – – – – – –
    – – – – – – – – – – – Koscielny – – – – – –
    Sagna – – -↑↑- – – – ↓↓ – – – – Clichy
    ↓↓↓↓↓ – Song – – – – – – – – – – ↓↓↓↓↓
    – – – – – – – -↓↓- – ⇐Wilshere ⇒ – – –
    – – – – – – ⇐Rosický⇒ – – – – – – – – – –
    – – Nasri ⇒- ↓↓↓ – ↑ – ⇐Arshavin – –
    – – ↓↓↓↓- – ⇐Chamakh⇒ – ↓↓↓↓↓ – –
    – – – – – – – – – – ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓ – – – – – – – – – –

    Subs: Szsesney, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner, RVP

    With RVP used in the hole behind Chamakh second half.

  180. I agree with g69, we should be discussing latin and european girls.

  181. C’mon Arsenal!! 3-0 tomorrow

  182. From AW:

    “The first signs [for Fabregas] look quite good. I still think two weeks. I don’t know [whether he will be available for the Manchester United game].

    “At the moment [Vermaelen] is in a boot and we have to wait until he comes out of that to see if he has a reaction.” As reported then, not until the new year. *sniffs*.

    Like the look of Limpars team.

    Oh, similar conditions to the Bolton game. Except there is even less gr*t about! Heh. Could be some travel disruption tomorrow.

  183. Now that is a very good analysis. The hypocrisy exhibited by many in England has actually taken me by suprise. Criticise FIFA for being corrupt by all means. It probably is the most corrupt organisation in the world, but we knew that anyway. It wouldn’t be any different even if England had won their bid. FIFA would still be corrupt and you wouldn’t see this reaction from England then. I’m sorry to say that the propaganda denouncing Russia is really strong and it borders on racism itself . What exactly are we criticising Russia for? Being corrupt? Which is exhibited by them winning a bid that you couldn’t? All in all it’s been quite an eye opening experience for me that English hypocrisy, which I must admit I thought was a thing in the very distant past, is still alive and well. This is not to criticise the English or England. I’m just enormously disappointed that people still think that way.

  184. Oh yeah, here we go. The people highlighting Russia’s extreme racism problem are the real racists.

    Fuck off

  185. @Ole gunner

    Highlighting a problem and calling for them to not be worthy of hosting any such event are two different things. I actually don’t think any of us know much about the situation in Russia. I could tell you that racism exists in your country as well but for the most part it isn’t tolerated. I don’t think you know whether the authorities there are taking it seriously or not. You just seem to assume that they don’t because they are Russian. It’s the holier than thou sermonising that actually leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    I didn’t say it was Racism. I said it borders on it, but perhaps I shouldn’t have used that word because of the connotations. Ummm.. let’s see. Bigotry? Is that any better.

    England deserved the bid? maybe so. Does that mean Russia doesn’t? No. Is FIFA and their bidding process corrupt? absolutely.

  186. We all know that Russia (or a large porpotion of Russia)huge problems with accepting that non cacausian people are also humans. However i wonder if this WC forces them to face this problem. Surly they must too realize that a large part of the world population is indeed coloured and they will come to Russia during this WC. A team full of non white players could even WIN!
    They will have to deal with millions of non whites pouring over their boarders ready for a huuge party. Will they be ready for this ?
    Will they be as sad as Hilter was when he saw black people winn during the Berlin Olympics?

  187. Look, I do know that Russia has a serious problem with racist violence directed against blacks, Jews, Asians, Kazakhs, Ossetians, Georgians……….

    It’s actually very well documented that this is the case.

    I’m not just saying it because England did not win the bid. I’m saying it because I do care about the issue.

  188. @ Ole Gunner

    Thats fair. I think you probably misunderstood me. I’m not trying to justify racism or even Russian society. But from an outside perspective, I really do the think the West, at least the UK, has a very blinkered view of Russia, as far as I can tell from the mainstream media. Racism is a very serious problem in Russian football at least. I don’t think it pervades their society though. I say this because often the west misunderstands certain cultural, umm, let’s say, boundaries,as racism. That’s not to say I agree that those boundaries should exist, but they aren’t necessarily what racism denotes. I do know a few Russians and have found them to be very reasonable and at least in one instance even very likeable people, once you get to know them. And THAT actually is the hard part. Their culture is quite different, and the way they talk can appear quite rude to people not accustomed to it.

    I think they deserve the opportunity to show to the world that they can put on a good show, and part of that includes tackling the menace of racism present in their football, however much in a minority or majority such elements might be.

  189. Ole

    They also have a problem with honest journalists.. have you read about some of these attacks? It’s quite ridiculous. Write an analysis that is the slightest bit critical and you can be sure there will be some goons waiting near your car to have a “word” with you a few days later.. Pathetic..

  190. That’s the thing Shard. It appears pervasive in Russian society. Lots of attacks against blacks, Asians, Jews, people from the Caucasus……

    It’s not just a problem in their football.

  191. I agree, Shard – not with throwing around accusations of racism, but with your defence of Russia. To suggest that Russia should be treated as a pariah is nonsense. They have a problem with racism. The government recognises this, and is combating it. In public, of course, they play down the problem. No country likes to shout too loudly about its imperfections. Russia has plenty of other problems, many of them far more serious than racism. None of them will disappear by 2018. They question is, can they control them sufficiently to put on a successful tournament? I think they can. I think they will succeed, as many other countries that have been diagnosed with unsurmountable problems have succeeded, in hosting a great World Cup.

  192. Ole Gunner

    Thats what you read in your papers as, which isn’t quite the same thing. I realise this is a difficult debate. The truth is actually somewhere in between. But unless you read and look into whats happening in Russia on a daily basis, rather than have your attention drawn to isolated incidents, it can form a skewed picture of what a place is like. Especially a country as large and varied as Russia.

  193. @ Poliziano

    That’s well put. Thank you. Regarding the accusations of racism, I apologised for it. I guess people don’t see anything else once they see that word in print, and perhaps that’s right. What annoyed me was that around the web today many English people are taking this decision as a free pass to disparage anything and everything ranging from FIFA( which I whole heartedly agree with ) to Russia and Qatar, while intimating that they are the best and most deserving, thereby exhibiting hypocrisy, since all of this became a concern only now. After the bid is lost. That is not to say I dislike the English or any such nonsense.

  194. Ole, I really cannot find fault with how you feel, if racism is that bad in russia then it shouldve been addressed.

    I would like to say though, that most changes as far as racism take place when the world focuses on it, its becomes an embarassment to the country. Why is it that the world is not crying aloud of what is happening in these parts of the world?

  195. Spain are more racist then Russia so what would have happened if they won the bid then?

  196. @ Paul N

    Because the world is too busy to care really. Not just about this, but almost anything. Thats not to say that people don’t make any effort. Many people dedicate their lives to highlighting important issues.

    Nation states, with the concept of absolute sovereignty are hard to influence if they choose to behave in a certain way, especially if they have control over certain resources or have influence with those who do. Russia by no means is the only nation which has such problems, nor is it the worst offender , in my opinion.

  197. The Qatar bid would have been marginally more defensible if it had been presented as an actual middle east bid — on behalf of the region, with the host team’s automatic bid awarded to the winner of a tournament amongst the other teams in the region. But that’s not what they did, and if there was going to be a world cup awarded to that region for that sake alone , the host country should have been any of Egypt, Turkey or Morocco — all of which have stronger footballing nations, a greater economic need for the stimulus provided , and a broader range of tourist attractions for visitors from around the world to enjoy. Instead, one of the worst teams in the world — and a country with a population roughly the size of Greater Manchester or Phoenix, Arizona — will be hosting the world cup, with an automatic spot for its pathetic team and a dozen white elephant stadiums that (air-conditioned or not — outdoor air conditioning; really??) that will be dismantled and dispersed around the world after the games are done. Ridiculous. And the ridiculousness of it all is compounded by the facts that that host country is one in which women are not allowed a full franchise; where alcohol generally cannot be consumed; where homosexuality is a criminal offense; where the prevalence of birth defects is among the highest in the world because almost half the population marries first or second cousins; where the temperature can reach 130 F and generally exceeds 110 F; and where other than hanging out in air-conditioned malls there is nothing to do between matches (contrasted with, say South Africa — a terrific host nation, btw — in which you could go on a safari, visit a world class city like Cape Town, or go to a great beach in Durban between matches). All the more absurd when the available alternatives included either the US or Australia, either of which is a great place for anyone to visit and has a demonstrated ability to put on a good show and to play terrific hosts to loads of tourists from throughout the world. Being from here, I would have strongly preferred the US — and don’t think we should have lost it merely for having hosted back in 1994, when many of the would-be attendees at the 2022 tournament were not even born — but wouldn’t have been nearly as disappointed had Australia won. Given the absurdity of awarding the tournament to Qatar and the blatant unfairness of FIFA’s decision making process, there’s plenty of outrage and disappointment amongst the millions of fans here in the United States, although I’m sure it’s a bit muted compared to the reaction in England.

    As for 2018, I look forward to visiting Russia and hope they’ll do a good job with the tournament. But, given the serious questions about their preparedness, infrastructure, and political climate, they shouldn’t have won out over the available alternatives — on the merits, any non-corrupt decision maker would have awarded the tournament to any of England, Spain/Portugal or Netherlands/Belgium over Russia.

  198. I see where you are coming from Shard.

    I just posted a question about racism and the concerns for the world cup on Arshavin’s site. Lets hope he answers it.

  199. Firs, I’d just like to say, I think Duke Goonem is an awesome name 🙂

    Gooner in LA has just given a good example of what criticism should be like (although I’m not sure of some of his facts, esp regarding birth defects, and the use of the word pathetic). largely, expressing an opinion without ridiculing anyone else. (though FIFA should always be fair game) I find it hard to argue the merits of Qatar getting a bid over the likes of Australia and USA (though I’d put them in that order).
    However, now that Qatar have it, they also deserve support and a chance to prove worthy hosts.

  200. Just a couple of points of information about lions. The three lions motif in England is almost 1000 years old, before that it used to be one lion….Normandy. Also the lions we see now in Africa are all that remains of a species which originated in northern Europe, the remains of lions have been found in England dating back many thousands of years.

  201. The selection of Qatar for the 2022 WC is one of the most cynical acts of financial doping in the history of sport. I lived in Doha for a while. A population of 800,000 less than half of which are Qataris, none of whom live there in the summer months. The WC usually attracts upwards of 2million fans. No bars, few restaurants outside of a handful of hotels, unbearable temperatures, no football stadiums (actually one football stadium), no real ties to the rest of the Middle East, particularly as the US military base is there. Lots of gas, some oil, pots of money….and I agree with Delia.

  202. Folks.

    This has been one of the most enjoyable posts I’ve come across on ACLF – with rich debate and opinion and one that has shown the class of the participants.

    It matters not that we hold different opinions, but that we are able to enjoy the space and freedom to share these opinions in an attempt to shape each others views.

  203. If the English football establishment are clever here they can bring down FIFA…and they should.

  204. Sepp Blatter is terrified of David Dein…and so he should be.

  205. Football is not a world sport, nor does it need to be. Football needs to stick to the parts of the world where there is a natural passion for it. No need for some self seeking Swiss cunt to intervene.

  206. …no need to take football to the people Sepp you fat arsed, toblerone. People come to football. If they don’t they can fuck off.

  207. @ Frank

    by that argument you should have no problem going to Russia or Qatar.

  208. Fucking rubbish, Shard. I live in the home of football, I don’t need to travel to countries where football is either non-existent or last in the queue behind other sports. Russia is just not into football…or only a bit. And they have had the opportunity for years and years and years to demonstrate an interest. If the WC was to be in Eastern Europe it should have been in the Czech of Slovak republics, Hungary, Poland. Better credentials. But not Russia. The Russians are just fucking cynical.

  209. Russia has a population of 142 million and Scotland has a population of 5 million. Russia has had the opportunity to embrace football for many, many decades and yet their first division is no better than the Scottish Premiership even with mafia money and there are a lot less supporters. Legacy my arse…..Russia have at least seven decades of football to build a fucking legacy. FIFA is a corrupt, corrupt organisation.

  210. Frank,

    That is one reason why I view the 2022 WC will be a “Disney” event. I get this feeling that it will seem like what Hollywood and writers thought the future would look like in 2001 A Space Odyssey.
    Everything will be sanitary, futuristic, and build for an elite class, especially a showcase for the elite of the Arab world.
    Partying will be quarantined and ‘managed’ as best as they can.
    I still don’t see how they will build an entertainment (hotels, restaurant, bar, beach tourism.. if one can handle the heat) infrastructure in such a small country that will possibly double their population for a month+.

    And then I also wonder what will happen to the large Indian/Pakistani population they will need to import for all the construction after it (the construction) is finished but before the masses of WC tourists.
    Will they integrate them, which they haven’t in any other construction boom Arab country, or try to sweep them out before their big day.

  211. Actually I withdraw one of my comments. Sepp Blatter is no longer afraid of David Dein. Once he engineered the removal of DD, G14 collapsed. G14 was the biggest ever threat to FIFA and UEFA….and DD headed G14.

    Sepp Blatter is being run by a more dangerous paymaster now. A cold war in football is about to start.

  212. Qatar is a slave state, Busch. Most of the slaves are African or Phillipino.

  213. @ Frank

    I can only say I hope you have fun in the home of football while the rest of the world is in brazil in 2014, in russia in 2018 and in qatar in 2022.

  214. US, Australia and England all slapped down by FIFA. FIFA better be clean because the English language media will come after them.

    England has to get its footballing acts together and stop alienating the world. It all starts from English football being played under a parallel interpretation of the laws of the game.

  215. It’s now being suggested that Qatar offered to pay the Argentine FA $87M in exchange for its vote

  216. I have fun in the home of football every season, Shard. I would have thought that was obvious.

  217. Who really gives a fuck about International football. Most of the last World Cups have been nothing but a bore anyway. Fulham on Saturday is much more exciting for me.

  218. I hope the English-language media does go after FIFA. Get some photographers camped outside the houses of the fat-arsed Toblerone and his cronies.

  219. I am sure someone got paid, I just believe it is the norm.

  220. Man Utd wont play this weekend so we can go top and stay top tomorrow.

  221. The fat arsed toblerone’s days are numbered. These are interesting times. The whole pack of fucking cards right down to the FA is about to collapse. Oh what sport.

  222. Here is a response received from Talk Sport about Adrian Durham’s comments about Arshavin

    Thanks for your email regarding Adrian Durham on last night’s Drive Time

    I am sorry that you are not happy with the presenter’s comments about
    Andrei Arshavin. England’s loss of the World Cup bid means that emotions
    are running high so we are doing our best to reflect the mood of the
    country, and we are aware of the potential for highly contentious and
    unacceptable remarks to be made.

    We would never condone xenophobia or racism, and please rest assured
    that your email has been passed to the relevant senior production team
    members. We take listener’s reactions very seriously as part of our
    ongoing review of programme schedules, so thank you again for taking the
    time to write and bringing this to our attention.

    All the best,

    Alice Furse

    —–Original Message—–

    Sent: 03 December 2010 00:21
    To: Alice Furse
    Cc: onair query
    Subject: Adrian Durham

    I am a regular listener of Talk sport. However, I am getting
    increasingly disillusioned by pure xenophobia and at times racist
    tendencies displayed by some of your presenters like this unpleasant
    man, Adrian Durham. Being an ardent England supporter, like everyone
    else, I am also disappointed by us not winning the 2018 bid. To blame it
    on Russian players like Arshavin from Arsenal and inciting verbal
    violence, racial hatred and abuse against him is totally unwarranted and
    unacceptable. And why pick on Arshavin alone- Does he have the guts and
    courage to say the same about Roman Abramovich who was seen punching the
    air when the decision was announced. He clearly knows what will happen
    to him if he took on Abramovich. This man wants to prove that he is an
    English patriot but in fact he is a jingoist coward. One can understand
    that the presenters at times intentionally make controversial comments
    to attract attention and improve their ratings; but this attempt is
    cheap, dangerous and smacks of prejudice and petty bias. I am sure you
    are aware that you might be open to legal challenges in future if this
    man is not disciplined soon. I have no problem with people having
    personal opinions but media have a responsibility also for objective
    discussion and sane comments. You have just lost a regular listener.
    I look forward to your response in this regard.

  223. Detest England as many of you evidently do……in the football world it is the only country that has the courage to bring this corrupt empire to it feet.

  224. ….or even knees

  225. And why are people really suprised? look at PL, is it about tradition? no. is it about history? no. is it English? no. The PL is about money, glam and foregin owners and playes. England and english grit and bla bla bla is not the reason why PL is a success. the Abramovices and Sheiks of the world is the reason why PL is still glam and why the best players still come to play here. The fact it happends to be England is very cool to, but if everyone bought up clubs elswhere say France we would all follow france league, not English.
    The tradition and the history all drowns in the money and the badboy ballotelli, Terry, Carroll and all the other jerks that play in the PL.

    So as people have observed further up . Since Footy is about money and England is already eploited and their raw material exported abroard at a high scale its vital to open up new markets. Englishmenn might fill the stadiums, but they would anyway, there is a recession and its not that much more money you can milk out of the English people when it comes to footy. Its time to find and establish new cash cows. Russian and Middle east being very interested.

    football is money and buisness and men polising their egos. That goes for both owners and players. Fans buy into anything anyway. You can say anything to the fans and they will buy it, and if they dont buy it they will stil buy the merchandice and the club shirts to their fave club. Fans are grea customers. If you can create more of them you will become rich! and thats what it is all about. If people are stupid enough to buy into it they dont deserve better.

  226. Sepp Blatter’s head should be on a pole at the entrance to Wenbley.

  227. Football in England is about the many millions who turn up to watch and/or play the game every weekend and sometimes on a weekday. Don’t let the money men fool you into thinking that they own it….they don’t.

  228. O M G

    Frank’s back!

    The boys missed you, don’t stay away so long next time!!

  229. Good work Desi!

  230. It is a fact that Adrian Durham is an arsehole. Received wisdom.

  231. Football is a big intransigent thing…but every now and again you can just smell a massive change. Oh the portents are there. The fucking ducks are lining up behind the toblerone’s big fat arse…and who knows how far this may go.

  232. Ar rhe end of the day…if AW is stunned by the decision then so the fuck am I!

  233. arrr..arht arrarararr arrr….someone taped a fucking rubber ball into my mouth and duck taped my arms behind my back. Typing with my nose.

  234. Darius- that was well balanced and thoughtful you even mentioned Gazza not the the alcoholic one but that forgotten place in palestine. The whole thing is a farce Fifa, Blatter and everyone associated with the world cup’s bidding system,the voters the bidders the lot of them. You might get the impression that we are gutted in ENGland but no, most of the noise was made by few specially one small radio `talkshite ‘ station who saw the world cup as an opportunity to make them that little bigger most of their bosses are old and could not face the thought of waiting until 2030. lets face it ENGLAND WILL HOST the world cup but most of these old wigs might not be around that all. That was lesson to politicians to stick to serving people. its sad to hear old people dying of cold while Mr Cameron making a fool of himself. The fotball we have in this country is more than enough. we watch the world cup evry week.

  235. Gerascophobia, 1lc?

  236. The point is that there was never a better time to bring down the football establishment, starting with FIFA. The English FA,EPL and press and media are in a position to do it.But will they? I hope so…

  237. “That forgotten place” that is remembered more often than any other place of Earth… Maybe that’s the problem. Both sides keep harping about past wrongs when they should be looking ahead. A nasty, common side-effect of organized religion, nationalism, racism and other infantile but dangerous modes of thought that allow you to shore up a tottering identity and finally belong to something, however retarded, ugly and talentless you are.

    Arsenal is the anti-thesis of all that. The United Colours of Arsenal against the Dark Side, as embodied by The Purple Emperor and The Special Juan, their goons and sidekicks. (Somehow, I don’t feel that way about the Tots – more like a friend’s snot nosed kid brother). Class through absolute meritocracy, economical sanity and mindblowingly beautiful football, mind and body over mere matter… isn’t it great to be a gooner?

    3 – 1 ?

  238. Well said, FinnGun

  239. Football is mezhdunarodnaya tovarich.

  240. A Russian anecdote: Years ago we had zimbabwean guerillas training in russia. My friend Zeph, as a trained policeman, was selected as for intelligence training. One day the russian officers explained there was a selection procedure. They were taken in trucks, without winter gear (in mid winter) or money or ID, and dropped intermittently at busy intersections around Moscow, and told the first 10 back to camp – perhaps 20 miles outside Moscow – were in, the rest were out. Zeph went to the nearest metro, found a policeman, explained in terrible russian he was a trainee at a military camp, had been robbed and was lost, and asked directions to the nearest local communist party offices to seek assistance. The policeman escorted him there. Once there, he explained his situation to some people in the office, leaving out the important detail. They gave him a winter jacket, vodka, a meal and drove him back to the camp, where he arrived hours before anyone else. Most had attempted to walk, a few had been arrested, some had experienced varying degrees of hostility and racism on the streets of Moscow. However, the moral of my story is racism in Russia is not universal. There are anti-racists in Russia, and as KGunner has said, it is notable the number of African students returning with russian wives.

    Perhaps the WC will be a big boost to the modern Russian anti-racists.
    Come on Arsenal!

  241. Frank | December 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm |

    Football in England is about the many millions who turn up to watch and/or play the game every weekend and sometimes on a weekday. Don’t let the money men fool you into thinking that they own it….they don’t.


    Well said Frank. I tip my cuppa to you.

    Football belongs to us fans, Blatter and Adrian Durham & similar maniacs will never take it from us. It’s our passion that drives it and we’ll only tolerate them for so long before they have to answer to us.

    By the way that also applies to the people who tell Arsenal or the Premier League they have to do so and so for the sake of the national team.

    No they don’t. No we don’t. It’s unacceptable to me that Arsenal should lose 1 pt in the league so that England fat cat XI can play against Trinidad & Tobago Fat Cat XI.

    The real football is the League, the Championship, Blue Square, Sunday Leagues, whatever else. England organises that better than (or as good as) ANYBODY else.

    Come see the mighty Arsenal sometime, Sepp Blatter. But you’re a Chav so Chelsea would suit you better.

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