Monday, June 20, 2011

English soccer's cluelessness and FIFA's war against honesty

I saw an article in the UK Guardian about the English soccer team crashing out of the European Under-21 Championships. Manager Stuart Pearce blamed his side’s failure on their lack of ‘doggedness.’

And this is the English mentality in a nutshell. To them, dealing with repeated failure doesn’t mean improving skill, technique or tactical awareness, areas where the English are light years behind countries like Spain, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. Their solution to everything is always to just “be more dogged”... which, without the aforementioned improvements, equates to banging your head against a stone wall a little bit harder.

Why American soccer has taken this as its model, as opposed to those of countries which actually challenge for top level championships and produce world class attacking players, is beyond me.

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Speaking of soccer dysfuction... the sport’s international governing body FIFA has been tarnished by an avalanche of corruption and bribery accusations. It’s become so controversial that even a newspaper in Nigeria, no stranger to graft, has noted that “FIFA has become so corrupt that it no longer knows that it is corrupt.” FIFA’s tinpot dictator Sepp Blatter has acted in the same manner as every other tinpot dictator, doling out slush funds and ruthlessly punishing anyone who dares challenge his rule. But what do you expect from a man who once dismissed a journalist's query by saying, “I am the president of FIFA and you cannot question me.”

FIFA is so committed to secrecy that not only does it refuse transparency in its own operations, but it even relentlessly squashes any attempts at transparency in its member organizations.

Given the entrenched nature of the organization's corruption, I suspect pressure from their highly-paying sponsors is the only chance of badly needed reform.

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