Monday, June 21, 2010
World Cup Football Fiasco
Today the unthinkable happened and New Zealand All Whites drew with Italy the last World Cup winners who are now in danger of being eleminated. New Zealand is ranked 78, football is not New Zealand's sport and Italy with all the hype, the money and supposedly the full professional players should have massacred little NZ and proceeded to the next round.
For the last three months the World Cup has received unprecedented media cover especially from the BBC. Every news item, every programme even religious ones seem to be focused on the Event. Thousands of European fans have made the 11,000 mile journey and on the whole have met with disappointment almost bordering on disillusionment.
What is wrong with World Cup Football? Maybe one answer is the way the game is run. For a start it seems immensely unfair. One example of this is the French team who by rights should not be there because of the way they beat the Irish with a blatant handball which was never corrected. The French got away with it as FIFA let them. The way the game is governed leaves a lot to be desired. The Togo team was completely ostracized by the African governing body for failing to play after three of their team members had been killed. Horrible!
Then in Europe the National Teams are not really teams. Each major country's club sides are filled with imported players from developing nations lured by the colossal money that can be earned. The wages are out of all proportion with the skill. Very few local boys make it.
So when a National Team has to be fielded where are the local players? Non existent hence a so called team is cobbled together but is no more a team than a scratch ring around for a local cricket team. Most of the team have never played together in their lives. The French Teams behavior and performance off the field is a pathetic as their game on it. Instead of being pleased to get there by a cheat they have let down their country is a less than acceptable manner.
New Zealand may not be a top football nation but it is a true national team. The players play together, know each other, are disciplined and love the game. They have worked to get to the World Cup and even to score a goal is a major achievement. It matters not a jot to New Zealand whether its team progresses they have done themselves and NZ proud.
They might have won against Italy but again for questionable referring when up against a scratch, cock sure Italian side. Never do to relegate the favourites too early in the competition!
Perhaps it is time for FIFA to take a deep breath and get its act together.