Dream final?

Oh boy, FIFA’s gone and done it again. Its own site proudly trumpets “Dramatic semis produce dream final“, and the article goes on to proclaim that a Japan-USA rematch is “the gold medal match fans the world over were hoping to see”.

Well, it’s the final that FIFA was hoping to see, clearly. When you put things in those precise terms, FIFAbots, people might at some point assume that the result of the Canada-USA match was rigged. And given FIFA’s own notorious problems with corruption and people at very high levels passing brown envelopes full of money up and down the chain to ensure expected results (let’s not kid ourselves, that’s how Qatar got the next world cup) it really should make more people wonder whether FIFA has perhaps taken a position on the match that was not exactly impartial.

And when I now hear that FIFA is looking into punishing Canadian players for their post-game comments, while the real outrages that took place on the field remain unquestioned, I can’t help but see Sepp Blatter as your traditional mafia don, preordering the result of important games and exacting a capricious, autocratic revenge on anyone who dares question his dictatorship. Remember how this is the same idiot who didn’t think there was anything wrong with Thierry Henry’s infamous handball which sent big-market France to the World Cup finals and sent small-market Ireland homeward.

It’s time to call a spade a spade here. FIFA and its leadership are corrupt to the core and everybody knows it. It’s time for serious football to organize in an organization which is not so completely and utterly rotten.

edit: I’ve decided to save a copy of FIFA’s “dream final” text to this post, as I have a feeling that it will probably be heavily edited later.

The magic number is ‘vier’

Germany sends Maradona and Argentina packing with a stunning 4-0 victory at Green Point Stadium. And a well-deserved victory it was — the Germans came out as a disciplined eleven playing as a team, while Argentina generally lacked discipline. If anything, the Germans were a little loose on offense, while the Argentines were loose on defense, and you just can’t have poor goal-zone defense in a World Cup quarter-finals match. With three four-goal games so far the Germans are emerging as definite favorites for the Cup. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

I really need to take up cycling. In Sweden.

From the “things you don’t hear about every day” dept. — a 50 year-old Swedish man has reportedly complained that while he was out biking he was pulled of his bike by a lady with tattoos on her arms who then proceeded to have her way with him. He also reports that the same unspeakable crime was committed again when he rode in the exact same spot the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. In fact he’s so upset that if these incidents don’t stop within 6 months he’ll be forced to consider maybe changing his route.

Second Strike.

So, how do you repair your public image after an interview in which you praise Hitler? You blame the Jews for the financial crisis, that’s how. At least that’s how it works in Bernie Ecclestone’s mind. Seriously, this guy just doesn’t get it. But there’s a chance that something positive will fall out from this — I don’t see how he’s going to be able to remain at the head of the FIA for very long if he keeps up the Prince Philip act. Even now he’s had to cancel his personal appearance at the formal opening of this weekend’s German Grand Prix and who knows how many other races he won’t be welcome at.

Rules.

There aren’t many absolute rules to life; to each rule there seems to be an exception, with the notable exception of this one: if you’re a controversial public figure and an associate of Max Mosley, and you’re talking with reporters, you should never, ever say anything that even sounds like “Hitler was a man who could get things done.” In fact unless you’re a historian any discussion involving Hitler probably doesn’t belong in an interview. Can we at least agree on this?

0 and 16.

I don’t really follow American football, but even I was waiting to see the results of the Detroit-Green Bay game on Sunday. Rather predictably the Lions dropped this one, ending up with 0 points for the season with a 0-16 record which officially makes them the worst team in the history of the NFL. No one had gone 0-16 since the season was extended to 16 games back in 1978. Way to get into the history books…