December 02, 2011

Blatter, FIFA and All That Poppycock

GRANDAD SHOUTY has nice words about FIFA ...only joking!


Well, its been quite a month for Sepp Blatter and his minions at FIFA, hasn’t it? Their influence has spread far and wide in the game - even at Pools.

I refer, of course, to the first round cup tie against Stevenage - and the sending off of Scott Flinders. OK, I agreed with the award of the penalty but the sending-off after only seven minutes effectively destroyed the game. Maybe, we should send our ticket stubs to FIFA for a refund - as they were the guilty people. In my opinion, sendings off should only be for violent play and the game shouldn’t be clogged up with all that nonsense about the ’last player’ or ’preventing a goal scoring opportunity’. Surely, the award of a penalty is sufficient punishment.

At one time, referees were told at the very outset that there are seventeen laws of the game and that the eighteenth law is ’use your bloody loaf’. Yet referees aren’t allowed to use their loaves any more - and its all down to those dickheads at FIFA. They, and their president, are a bloody menace. I’ve got mixed feelings on referees. OK, some of them are incompetent but most of them do a good job given the difficulties that other people place them in."Maybe, we should send our ticket stubs to FIFA for a refund - as they were the guilty people."

Then, of course, we had the FIFA-inspired shambles over England players wearing a sewn-in poppy on their shirts in the game against Spain. This particular time of year sees a close association between the game of football and the remembering of our fallen heroes. In the game against Stevenage, the two minutes silence was impeccably observed by both sets of supporters (as it would have been at all other grounds) and Stevenage supporters joined in the applause for the service and veterans’ representatives. Yet, in come those idiots from FIFA who forbade the display of the poppy on the England shirts on the grounds that it could be construed as a political message.

In the end, of course, the England players wore an armband with a poppy embroidered on them - the reality was that the armband was more prominent than having a poppy embroidered on the shirt. I suppose we could maybe excuse an organisation that is based in Switzerland. I can only think of only two prominent Swiss - William Tell and Roger Federer - and as for fallen heroes, I would suspect that they haven’t any. Maybe the Swiss army tank has seven gears - two forward and five reverse.

Then there’s the issue of racism in the game. In this country, we’ve come a long way in recent years but Sepp Blatter simply buries his head in the sand and pretends its not a problem in football and that black players should remember its only a game and shake hands with their abusers. Black players have enriched the English game and we are better for their participation. If racism is not a problem, how is it that England’s black players are regularly abused in Europe - Bulgaria being the latest country to be hit with a nominal fine by UEFA. These remarks come in the wake of other ludicrous statements - that gay people should refrain from sex if they go to the World Cup in Qatar and that women players should wear tighter shorts to show off their bottoms. Again, to repeat, the man’s a bloody menace.

Then there’s the FIFA-inspired transfer window. It becomes more like a circus every season as Sky Sports News, in particular, counts down the hours, minutes and seconds to the end of the deadline. Now, I’m no legal expert, but I would have thought that the transfer deadlines were a ’restraint of trade’. But has anybody challenged this through the courts? My opinion would be that the authorities are scared of Blatter and FIFA and would never go down that road. Perhaps, the British Attorney-General could go through FIFA’s regulations line by line to see which parts are incompatible with British law. We might get a shock!

All of these rantings of Sepp Blatter lead me to think that we could revive some of the old jokes that were prevalent in the 1980s, particularly those about Irishmen. How about the following?

Sepp Blattter was given water skis for Christmas. He’s now going round to see if Lake Geneva has a slope.

Sepp Blatter was asked ‘Who was born in a stable and followed by millions. He replied ‘Was it the English racehorse, Red Rum’.

Sepp Blatter rang Swissair and asked how long it would take to fly from Zurich to London. ‘Just a minute, sir’ the call centre replied. Thank you, said Blatter, and hung up.

And then there’s the story of Ken Hodcroft, Sepp Blatter, a retired doctor and a fourteen year old school boy travelling together on an aircraft.The plane developed engine trouble and the passengers had to bale out. Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes. Ken Hodcroft said that as he’d turned Hartlepool United into a well run football club he was deserving of one. He took one and baled out. Sepp Blatter said that as the president of FIFA - and organiser of World Cups - he was entitled to one. He took one and baled out. Two left - and only one parachute. The doctor said to the schoolboy that as he’d nothing left to offer the world, it would be nice if the young man took the remaining parachute. Oh, don’t worry, said the young man. There’s still two parachutes left - Sepp Blatter took my school satchel. Boom, boom!!

Another possibility is to put the celebrated photo of Vinnie Jones and Paul Gascoigne onto a t- shirt. Paul could become Sepp Blatter - any suggestions as to who could become Vinnie Jones? Perhaps Prince William, uttering the words ‘Take that, you little creep’.

Finally, of course, there’s Pools. How on earth are we going to stop the home losses? As soon as Yeovil scored, I knew that was it. Midfield packed and there was nothing we could do. We never looked like scoring and there was an air of despondency right round the ground. Yet, Yeovil were very poor side and are destined to stay near the bottom of the league. Yeovil’s goal was another case of slack marking following a corner and we paid the price. At one time, we could put these mistakes behind us but seemingly not anymore. It seems as though if we want to see Pools win, we’ll have to travel to away matches. James Poole, for example, is a different player away from home - it's as though he lacks confidence at The Vic.