The not so beautiful game – The treatment of Sulley Muntari

Yet again football in Italy has failed to properly deal with the racism issue. This time Pescara midfield Sulley Muntari was the victim in a Serie A game between his club Pescara and Cagliari. Having received abuse, the Ghanian and former Portsmouth player went over to the fans who he had identified as those ones shouting racist chants. Having confronted the racists, I chose not to call them fans as decent football supporters don’t result to such levels, Muntari spoke to the referee. Thinking that the referee would deal with the matter, he was surprised to be on the receiving end of a yellow card. What was he given the yellow card for? dissent. I mean come on, if a player gets punished for reporting racism to a match official, then we are in trouble. Naturally the player walked off the pitch letting the game carry on.

It is appalling but yet not surprising to see the Italian FA failing to deal with the racism problem once more. We have seen time and time again that the racism problem raises its dirty head once more. Another example of failure to deal with racism is the treatment of Mario Ballotelli. The football enigma has been often a victim to the disgusting racism with the n word and monkey taunts. On one occasion was seen to be crying whilst on the bench having been on the receiving end of abuse. The response by his manager, Clarence Seerdorf and his players? Nothing to do with racism, but his passion for the game causing him to get upset.

What it needs is for a ban of some sort by either UEFA or FIFA on the Italian Football Association to make them realise that they need to take things more seriously. Handing out fines will simply not do.


We don’t have the time to wait – The Fifa debacle continues

Today at a news conference, briefly interrupted by Simon Brodkin (More commonly known as Lee Nelson), Sepp Blatter announced that FIFA had taken some important decisions, one of those decisions being that the extraordinary committee will elect a new president. That’s the good news, the bad news is that this election wont take place till February 26 in 2016. Which means we are lumbered with Blatter for another seven months. It always too good to be true when Blatter said he would stand down, that it would actually be straight away.

Football fans around the world will be hoping that these seven months will pass quickly. The mess that FIFA finds itself in, means that having to wait till 2016 for definite change, is unacceptable. With the legal action and various arrests taking place, the organisation cannot seriously move forward with a clear vision whilst Blatter leads. How long will it be before more sponsors call time on FIFA.

Ideally who ever takes over as the FIFA President, will be someone who is more game focused and not leaning towards any national association for favours. Whilst the successful candidate may not be able to change the World Cup 2018 process,  they will have the chance to sort things out and reopen the  2022 World Cup host selection before its too late. The reason why it will be too late to change anything is due to the fact there are four days till the draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifying takes place.

In 2016 we will see either the death of FIFA or the raising of a new organisation that brings a positive new organisation.