Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Here we go again. This time, the really big one, the mother of all ball games - the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa next year, no less. (Sheesh, that phrase is trademarked). What event can be bigger than that for a world crazy about 11x2 (minus the occasional red carded) people kicking an inflated rubber ball around a rectangular field?

And to fit the size of the event, Fifa, the world football governing body, has seen fit to extract that pound of flesh from the very people that give life to this activity. In Singapore, the main broadcast providers, Singtel and Starhub, have very sensibly colluded to get the best deal they can from the licensing people in Fifa. Yet even this collusion might not guarantee a sensible price at which armchair footballers might be willing to cough up. I hear that Fifa is expecting everyone to serve up an arm and a leg for the rights to broadcast the World Cup matches. Talk about profiteering. The price for watching club football in Britain's EPL is bad enough. They routinely also extract that pound of flesh for broadcast rights, which football crazy fans so willingly offer on the altar of the mother of all balls. I suppose Fifa has wised up to the game and wants in too. The colour of money excites more than balls, stupid! What they will do with that money is beyond me. Maybe fly first class to any and all meetings around the world to start with. They say money corrupts. Are we witnessing the beginning of the fall of soccer once the greed sets into every part (read: people) of the game? Well, ok, they did SAY they will donate the proceeds, but when you cause pain to countless so that you can appear generous to some...I am not so sure where the charitable spirit lies...(Hmmm...I wonder if Fifa's accounts are audited, and if so, by whom?)

Many say soccer is the beautiful game. Well, I agree. Its a beautifully 'green' game, and I don't mean environmentally friendly. I can see where some people can spot the beauty in the game. Soon the officials will be so swamp with the cash that they wouldn't even care what a ball looks like, or care if it is made of bullshit, much less what to do with it (handle it? - yeah this is accepted in FOOTball nowadays - the rote has set in, led by some of the world's best footballers like Diego Maradona and Thierry Henri, who win matches with their hands, whether sanctioned by God or not).

So when this happens, people will be knocked to their senses to see how they have been fooled all these many years into coughing up blood money to people who just kick a ball (and handle it once a while) and people who just organise these kicking ballfests.

Have the rest of us humans become so dumb that we willlingly let others swindle us in broad daylight? Yeah, blame the balls.

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