Brawling Captains, Powerless Referees, Cheating Players ... Who Dares Tell the Men Running Football to Clean Up the Tainted Game?

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

Brawling Captains, Powerless Referees, Cheating Players ... Who Dares Tell the Men Running Football to Clean Up the Tainted Game?


Byline: CHRIS BLACKHURST

ON Tuesday, my 12-year-old son was watching Manchester United playing Arsenal at Highbury on the TV. "Come and watch, Dad, they're fighting again!

Wayne Rooney's just told the ref to f**k off. Oh my God, he's not sending him off."

In the tunnel beforehand, Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, the two captains, had squared up to each other. This is the same Keane who boasted in his autobiography of having once launched a premeditated attack on another player, ending his playing career.

During the match, Manchester United's Mikael Silvestre head-butts an opponent, causing him to bleed. He is sent off.

Nobody on his team rebukes him. The United fans applaud him off. After suspension, he can play again in a few weeks.

For 90 minutes fouls are executed and imaginary ones are feigned, shirts are pulled, opponents are obstructed.

On Wednesday, I was at Craven Cottage to see Fulham take on Aston Villa. The same sort of behaviour went on.

Players dived to try to get penalties, they blatantly niggled each other and when decisions went against them they surrounded the referee.

On each occasion, as they do after every match, the commentators talked in the same blinkered, fawning, self-serving terms, of the "passion" and the "commitment" that so characterise our national, supposedly beautiful game.

It's hard to think of another, major prop of our society that displays such rank hypocrisy as football. Politics? Well, not all the time. The media?

Certainly - but then we know our place, down there, near estate agents.

Football is up at the top: an increasingly powerful institution, pored over by millions, its stars feted and worshipped like never before.

Yet it is played, managed and run by violent thugs and cheats. They and their legions of supporters will say otherwise, of course. An England player fails to take a drug test.

Is he banned for life? No. The England manager has an affair with a secretary (as does the Football Association's chief executive). The secretary and the official lose their jobs. The manager keeps his. Like many in topflight soccer, the same national manager treats his employment contract with contempt, holding talks with a billionaire club owner. Is he sacked?

You're joking.

IN GOLF and snooker, players readily admit to making foul shots. In football, the ball crosses the goal line and the team, in this case Manchester United, concede it did. Does Sir Alex Ferguson concede the three points? Hey, no way, this is football. Good old Fergie.

The cancer runs throughout the peak of the game. From clubs who drop replica shirts (and even their suppliers), forcing families to shell out more money, to backhanders from transfer fees, to absurd salaries, exorbitant ticket prices (executive seats in Arsenal's new stadium will cost [pounds sterling]5,000 each, with a commitment for four years), to the disgusting on and off-field behaviour of the players. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Brawling Captains, Powerless Referees, Cheating Players ... Who Dares Tell the Men Running Football to Clean Up the Tainted Game?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.