Chocolate Fireguard and Other Stories
Well we all know how fragile a chocolate fireguard would be, right? So why is it when the English FA is quoted to be about as popular and effective in Europe as the aforementioned fireguard, that only the English themselves can see their bid for World Cup 2006 as being “on track” and “all the indicators point to our bid being successful.” This comes in the wake of the biggest scandal to rock the Football Association’s 135 year history, culminating in the resignation of Chief Executive Graham Kelly. Was the “loan” to the Welsh FA 3.2 million sterling or 2.2? Was it a loan or a gift? Ah! The joys of soccer management. Was it really just to buy votes for aptly named Chairman Wiseman, who continues to hold on Clintonlike even in the midst of the dreaded vote of no confidence.
Whether you recognize it or not England, your rivals are chortling perceptibly as their campaigns continue “unchanged.” Except perhaps that Kelly may now join the South Africans efforts to stage the event. But that’s not much of a change, right? Is that coffee I smell? Graham’s future (after all we’re still on first name terms) seems a little brighter than that of the much maligned kamikaze pilot he’s been quoted as representing. And let’s not forget the lucrative “compensation” package that ironically accompanies his stepping down.
Can Glenn Hoddle be far behind? Naturally the timing of FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s renewal of his support for South Africa’s campaign was coincidental. And of course it’s pure coincidence that the Germans chose this moment to announce Franz Beckenbauer as their “Michel Platini 2006.”
What else happened this week? Oh yeah! the USA and Britain bombed Iraq, again. Not a joking matter, but the thought struck me (ouch!) that perhaps Saddam Hussein would settle for the less controversial post of FA Chief Executive, thereby cementing England’s bid (to the ocean floor) and doing the world and his fellow countrymen a favour at the same time.
The draw for the quarter finals of the European Champions Cup sets up some classic confrontations for the coming year, and I, of course, will be predicting and reviewing in good time. In case you missed it, the match ups will be: Manchester United v Inter Milan; Real Madrid v Dynamo Kiev; Juventus v Olympiakos; and Bayern Munich v Kaiserslautern. Games are due early and mid March and my pulse is already rising.
You don’t have to be so nice and agreeable all the time. If you think the article smacks of bias or just stinks, email me direct or join the discussion and let me know your thoughts. If you have some topics you would like discussed, please bring them to my attention. Come back next week for more and see you on the Suite.