With the massive corruption scandal at FIFA dominating the headlines and editorials are we perhaps forgetting that football has a whole host of other problems that need tackling?
Football, a sport that now has more manifestly obvious issues than a neurotic kangaroo in a minefield, is undergoing one of the most tempestuous periods in its history. The corruption scandals at FIFA might have grabbed the headlines and much of the attention but they’ve been a surprise to relatively few people, the organization’s reputation having long since hovered between simply being blatant criminal scum and that of a Satantic cult out to destroy the sport from the top down.
Homophobe Shown Red Card
• Simen Juklerod sent off for abuse
• Norway’s FA stand by their man
• Football not just corrupt but nasty
Fans of the game, who despite being the sport’s raison d’etre are barely, if ever, consulted on any of its intricacies, always knew FIFA was more bent than a three dollar bill and will still have little say on its future. The same vested interests of money, power and politics just as likely to rule what comes next as they have been the basis of the corruption that went before and which is now being investigated by just about everyone from law enforcement to banking regulators.
However as the world fixates on Sepp Blatter’s cabal of criminals, its mafia-esque management of the international game and the vast sums of money that go with it, football’s other issues remain quietly unresolved, still blighting the game and seemingly far more difficult to tackle than the fiscal irregularities of the upper-echelons of the sport’s organizers. Whilst authorities go after the money-men,
gambling news of their arrest will spook others into confessing, Football retains some core problems.
Violence & Racism In Football
Football violence has been on the wane in the last few decades. The dark days of the 1970s long since behind us, but that doesn’t mean it has vanished completely, and it’s tarnishing of the sport is so obvious even Sepp Blatter knew it. His lambasting of the western media as racist for covering football riots during the Africa Cup of Nations just one example of football’s highest authority more willing to sweep problems under the carpet than face up to them. Something of a FIFA tradition apparently.
Of course Sepp Blatter accusing people of racism is entirely par for the course, shoring up his power base amongst Asian and African nations by accusing everyone else of being racist whilst himself using their support in an exploitative manner just one of the many objectionable behavior patterns of this fat defunct power-hungry money-grabbing carbuncle on the backside of humanity. There is still a problem with racism in football, but it doesn’t stem from press coverage but of players and fans behavior.
A poll of 200 players in English football found over half had witnessed racist abuse from players, fans and managers, with Chelsea fans being the most arrested for racism, which is perhaps apt given John Terry’s abuse of Anton Ferdinand. When the England football captain can get away with it in front of thousands of witnesses, the fans will emulate those attitudes, and the “Kick It Out” campaign to rid football in England of racism has been lackluster at best, but as those who like to bet on sports in Norway might have noticed, there are other problems too.
Is Football Inherently Sexist & Homophobic?
Currently the most obvious is sexism. The Women’s World Cup now underway in Canada is being played on artificial turf, something the men would under no circumstances be asked to do, but given FIFA’s attitude to the Women’s game is like something from the 1950s we should perhaps be thankful they’re not being asked to play barefoot and pregnant. Of course the surface didn’t stop the Norwegian team from spanking Thailand 4-0 in their opening game, keeping their odds of winning the trophy at 25/1 on digital gambling websites like ComeOn! Sportsbook, but the fact is they shouldn’t be asked to play on it at all.
Blatter’s own sexist comments on Women’s football, suggesting they wear more skippy outfits, underline just what a male dominated bastion of macho sexist bullshit the world of football still is, but despite this it would seem there are at least some in the game willing to stand up to stupid bigotry, and who are unwilling to so blithely dismiss it. For a good example of that we need look no further than Norway itself where a referee recently took a stand during a second tier game between Baerum SK and Sandnes Ulf.
Anders Gjermshus should be praised for his decision during the match to red card Simen Juklerod for his abusing of an opposing player with homophobic insults. Homophobia, like sexism, racism and violence, should have no place in football and Norway’s FA has sensibly backed their man on the spot for his entirely sensible decision to have no truck with this ridiculous behavior. Juklerod obviously denies meaning anything by it, the Norwegian gambling laws of the game aren’t that strict, but it is the sort of defense of the indefensible that once again makes people wonder if football is not only corrupt at the top, but full of nasty racist, homophobic liars at the bottom too.