Arsène unedited on the subject of refs, plus trafficking of child footballers
I’m hoping that, with all the work I’ve put in over the last couple of weeks (ie, writing fairly complicated articles on the topics of FIFA, money laundering, Barcelona, and FIFA again), Untold readers will forgive me for just submitting a simple Untold Media update this time around.
Really, the media has been much better behaved than usual lately, which has given me time to focus on some other topics. But I thought I’d do the following brief Untold Media update on three stories that I thought were worth covering.
Story 1: Thank you bjtgooner
Ok, this isn’t really a media story. This is just my effort to thank regular UM contributor bjtgooner, who has been so excellent in terms of submitting media reports to me on a regular basis, and whose reports I have nonetheless not used in an article for months. I want to make sure he gets credit for his substantial contribution. Thanks 🙂
Story 2: Arsène unedited on the subject of refs
I’ve noticed an upsurge in the comments sections recently on the topic of “why it is that Arsène and co. are ‘so willing’ to submit to the abuse that comes their way?” But are they? I thought that the following comments from Arsène’s pre-QPR press conference, unedited, would be quite revealing on this subject, and I would love to hear full-on debate in the comments afterwards.
The following is transcribed from Arsenal player. (and unlike some other people whose names I won’t mention), I’ve noted any place where I’ve made edits:
[starting about 3 minutes in, all emphasis from Arsène]
“Q: And a touchline ban, probably, for you [Arsène], another improper conduct charge?
Arsène: I play 200 games in Europe, and suddenly people discover I can be suspended. I don’t know if I am, and if I am, it’s not justified. And I will straight away appeal.
Arsène: Because they transf… because I believe that uhhh, they’ve transformed now, UEFA competition… the referees in unspeakable, untouchable, icons, and you cannot even have a word. The only thing they understand after the game is report.
And I believe that when you have 25 years, basically, consecutively, in Europe you can still ask the referee…that you can have some discussion with him… and it’s very difficult to understand. And last year I’ve been suspended. A second time. First time was not justified.
The second time was a joke. Because they told me what to do, and after, they said ‘no, sorry, we were wrong,’ And so, I have a bit at the moment, difficulties with UEFA, but… And I can take what is wrong on my side, but in these difficult, different situations…I think their go a bit overboard if they suspend me.
Q: Picture of you there with Patrick Vieira Arsène, can I give you his quote? ‘When Manchester United Play at home, they may get an advantage that some other teams might not get.’ Do you agree with that?
Arsène: He spoke with his heart, and I don’t know what… It was after the decision on Monday night where Fulham didn’t get the penalty, and in fairness, it was penalty. It just shows one more thing, that the referees need help. Video assistance, and then they will gain credibility. And there will be no suspicion.
If the referee was a difficult decision to make, if he had ANY assistance from video, he would have given penalty or no penalty, but it would have been a decision that will be no suspicion, you know?
The other thing I would say, on the evidence of the numbers, at least you can say Arsenal doesn’t get ANY advantage from ANYBODY, because we have zero penalties, you know?
So, that’s what comes clearly out, is on our side, we do not get only no penalties, but we get penalties against us that are not penalties, this season. So that at least keeps us out of that fight.
Q: But that argument would be disproved by that almost, because Arsenal are a big team, not getting, you say, penalties…
Arsène: No, I look at the numbers, we have..uh…. today, Man United have got seven penalties at home, Man City got seven penalties at home, Arsenal zero. So you can say, at least, we come out of that with no advantage from anybody, so we are very happy
Q: Are there mind games in Japan and France as much as there are in England?
Arsène: It’s always, yes of course, everywhere. I don’t think it has a big influence on the players, you know, the players are focused on achieving what they want to achieve, and I must say, it just puts the referees under more pressure to perform well, but I believethat in this…
For example, in this situation, on Monday night, you don’t suspect the referee not to be honest, he’s certainly honest, but he has to decide, make a decision, in a fraction of a second, where you can understand it’s a very difficult decision.
And that’s why I am for YEARS now for video assistance, because you do not want to come out and say ‘oh, the referee didn’t give a penalty, he’s not honest, he is honest, but he has to make a decision, a fraction of a second, but we do not understand, there’s no time to check is it right or wrong?’ And…uh… it’s difficult [another little smile]
***Edit. Arsene talks of Jack Wilshere for a bit.****
Q: You talk about touchline bans Arsène. Are they meaningful, do they mean anything to you? Do they hurt you?
Arsène: No, they do not hurt me. Injustice hurts me, you know? But apart from that, if you can prepare your team, it doesn’t change a lot.
***Edit. Another 5 minutes on the press conference, but I’ve stopped transcribing at this
point. Go check out Arsenal Player***
Story 3: FIFA human trafficking report airs on Sky Sports News
Personally, ever since I became aware of the preliminary publicity for this particular Sky investigative report, I’ve been following the story quite closely:
Unfortunately, ever since the initial report apparently aired on Sky, the only follow up that I’ve been able to find at all is the following from Sky:
“FIFA head of security Chris Eaton has confirmed that an investigation has been launched into football trafficking.
Sky Sports’ Special Report on Monday looked into the trafficking of young footballers and FIFA-listed agent Robert N’Kuimy was filmed agreeing to sell 14-year-old boys.
Evidence has now been passed on to FIFA and Eaton insists the matter will be thoroughly looked into.
“We have been investigating these matters,” he told Sky Sports. “We have been very concerned about the issue of player trafficking around the world, from South America, from Africa, into some European leagues.
“The issue about them being abandoned in some countries is also well known. This general matter of player trafficking is one of serious interest to FIFA.”
This is a very important issue, and I look forward to FIFA fully investigating it in the near future. I will be closely following the situation for future updates, and I will update our readers accordingly.
Anyway, that’s it for this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to give you something more in-depth next time around.
Match officials: Attacks upon linesmen and the professionalisation of refs
Match fixing: Media rush to deny match fixing takes place
George Armstrong: everyone’s favourite who played under four Arsenal managers