Arsenal News
Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


October 2016
« Sep    

France, Rio, Russia, corruption, strikes, cheating, implosion, health risks, terror. Just a coincidence really.

By Tony Attwood

Huge gatherings of sports fans for international events.  Great fun.  Big TV event.  Why not?

Well, if the current round of huge gatherings is anything to go by, the answer is because they can be rather troublesome.

We have the Euros in France organised by Uefa, a body that is renowned for its incompetence in dealing with corruption and racism and which recently threw out its own president for corruption.

We have the Olympics in Rio run by the Olympic Committee which has been deep in scandals since the Salt Lake City fiasco in 1998 when it was revealed several members of the IOC had taken bribes, ten members of the IOC were expelled.

In 2006, a report said the Japanese city of Nagano provided millions of dollars in an “illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality” to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone.

In August 2008, the IOC issued demands that Tibetan Protest videos on You Tube be taken down.  You Tube refused.

Before the start of the 2012 Olympic Games, the IOC decided not to hold a minute of silence to honour the 11 Israeli Olympians who were killed 40 years previously in the Munich Massacre as the IOC President said it would be “inappropriate” to do so. 

And I haven’t even come to the World Cup in Russia organised by Fifa and its follow up in the desert sands. 

So let’s have a little look at the Euros, Olympics and World Cup, and then consider what conclusions may be drawn.  Remember that these are not three events specifically picked because they support my thesis, but the three biggest international sporting events across a four year period.

At the current Uefa event in France you will have heard of the civil disturbances between the police and fans.  Hardly any need for me to go into that.  And you probably know that France is ravaged by strikes because the government in trying to change the long standing labour laws, against the wishes of many workers.   Then there is the fact that France is on full scale highest level terror alert.  And they are putting on an event organised by Uefa.

In case you have missed it, Air France pilots are set to go on strike from June 24 to 27.  And you may have been distracted enough by the football to note that protesters have been throwing stuff at the police in Paris in the labour laws dispute.

The UK’s government has a strong warning for anyone going to France at the moment, which says, “Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be extra vigilant and has reinforced its own domestic and overseas security measures.”

So that is France.  Labour disputes, fighting fans, insecure stadia, riot police, and jolly chirpy commentators in the studios chattering away as if all is right with the world. What about Rio?

Rio has multiple problems.  The city has just declared itself to be a state of “Public Calamity”, and has issued a warning of the total collapse of security, health and transport.

Among other situations, one particularly unpleasant warning from Associated Press says “athletes will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human faeces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games”.

Meanwhile the cost of the  2016 Olympics has risen by $99.3 million since August due to rising costs of supplying temporary power and seating at venues.  Quite how they missed that off the list originally I don’t know, but they’ve just found the extra bill.

The trouble is Brazil is in deep recession, inflation is over 11%, and hospitals have been forced to close units and turn away patients as money runs out.

The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics is on 5 August.  Meanwhile there is a massive corruption scandal going on relating to a cartel of engineering firms siphoning taking money out of the state oil firm Petrobras.  In the lower house of Brazil’s Congress, many of the members are themselves under investigation for corruption, and the President has been impeached over the budget accounts.

All five engineering firms involved in building work for the Olympics are under investigation for price fixing.  The Supreme Court has a backlog of some 50 politicians to investigate on charges that they received bribes.

And that’s before we consider the Zika outbreak.  The virus is generally focussed in northeastern Brazil, away from Rio, and mosquitoes are not particularly active in August, so maybe this isn’t too great an issue, although of course for any pregnant women who get the virus the results are utterly frightening and awful.  And there is a risk of Olympics travellers carrying the virus back to a vulnerable home country.  There have been calls to stop the games because of the risk, but of course this isn’t happening.

Meanwhile corruption allegations in Brazil have now taken in the stadiums built for the 2014 World Cup.  That one will still be running when the WC opens in Russia.

But let us move on to… athletics.  The head of the International Association of Athletics Federations is Lord Coe, one time runner, one time Conservative MP and two times Olympic gold medallist.  He has now been accused of misleading MPs about his knowledge of the anti-doping scandal which in the words of the BBC “has paralysed athletics”.

A BBC programme alleges that his Lordship was “sent an email outlining how a Russian marathon runner was asked to pay £360,000 to cover up drug offences – a year before he told a Parliamentary select committee that he “was certainly not aware” of the allegations.  .

Amidst other revelations it is said that Coe became president of the IAAF with help from ex-IAAF consultant Papa Massata Diack, who is now wanted by Interpol for his role in the doping scandal. Coe denies any wrongdoing.

The IAAF has announced that Russian track and field athletes will be banned for this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro following allegations of state-sponsored doping after Wada the drug monitoring agency claimed 73 of 455 tests on athletes could not be collected, and 436 tests were declined or cancelled, as it tried to monitor the Russian situation.

And since we are now with Wada let us not forget that Uefa recently refused to ban a footballer found with a forbidden substance in his blood, because if didn’t like the Wada list of banned substances.  Effectively Uefa is now outside Wada regulations.

Uefa has recently threatened to disqualify England and Russia from Euro 2016 if there is any further violence by fans in an attempt to distance itself from its own inability to provide safe stadia for the events.   Uefa has admitted there were issues with segregation of fans, and promised security would be “strengthened”.

So, maybe it is a coincidence that Fifa, Uefa, the IOC, and IAAF are all mired in the deepest controversy.  Maybe it is a coincidence that the Euros, the Olympics and the Word Cup all have problems.

Or maybe all the money spent on stadia could be spent on public health improvements.  Maybe we didn’t have to donate London’s Olympic Stadium to the club formally known as West Ham.

And maybe one day (and I know this is an awful lot to ask but I can dream) one journalist in one newspaper would actually say, “hang on a minute – Olympics, Euros, World Cup, corruption – could there be a common thread running through all of us?  Should we always be giving such massive support for these events which are corrupt and leave countries bankrupt, the rich even richer, and the poor even poorer?”   Should we pack TV studios with grinning faces who carry on as if everything is ok?

But sadly, for the moment, it seems little Untold sits on its own.  Mind you, maybe the fact that we do raise such things occasionally is why we get quite a large audience.

Insult of the day…

You peasant swain! You whoreson malt-horse drudge.  (Taming of the Shrew)

(The insult of the day appears on the home page most mornings).

Recent Posts

Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle.  The books are

  • The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
  • Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace.  By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
  • Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football.  By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
  • Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
  • The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.

You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page


16 comments to France, Rio, Russia, corruption, strikes, cheating, implosion, health risks, terror. Just a coincidence really.

  • WalterBroeckx

    hear hear hear!
    I have been sick and tired with all these things and I am a lonely voice in my environment.
    People just don’t talk about it as the media doesn’t say anything about it.
    I am considered a bit of a lunatic for not waving with the flag of Belgium, put develish horns on my head, put all kinds of stupid flags on my car and act like a fool.

    Sorry I cannot do this because I cannot support corrupt organisations like Uefa and the rest.

    Fick them all!

    The silence of most of the media is amazing to be honest. Just pretend all is fine. Don’t you see how beautiful the cloths of the emperor are???

  • Mandy Dodd

    It’s all very depressing, but you do sense a tipping point is approaching, which may temporarily do great harm to sport in general, but hopefully, something a bit better may rise in its place…..for a while at least.
    Equally depressing….that the greats of football and athletics are being implicated in this corruption. Maybe they are greedy, power hungry, perhaps neither, but politicians and pragmatists who understand how these things work know you have to grease palms to get anything done. But even if the latter is true, they can only blame themselves if they get caught.
    but the sad thing is, we in the UK are not in the clear with any of this. I dread to think what the FA/EPL/MSM/PGMOB and whoever may.or may not influence them ….have in store for us all next season ….with all the money. Just seen an article with the …..mainly nice easy fixtures Leicester have after ECL games…..haven’t checked whether we have the same, because I can already make a pretty good guess.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I am suspecting Uefa must have some skeletons in their cupboards. Hence, that’s why they’ve adopted a proactive measure in advance by pulling out of Wada now per say. So that any shady drugs activities discovered by Wada in future that implicates Uefa’s officials and their anti-doping agency will become null & void as Uefa will say, they are no longer bind to comply with Wada’s anti-doping rules and by the list of their banned sports enhancing performance drug..

    Incompressible, how can Uefa say they’ve removed themselves from the officially recognized and accepted World anti-doping agency of the IAAF? Are Uefa belonging to another different global entity? If so why are they residing in our own global entity and have suddenly refused to comply with the rules and nouns which are guiding our global entity? Or are they trying to overthrow the legitimate order of our entity by entrenching their own illegitimate and unacceptable order to govern our global entity which is being governed by legitimate order that is legitimately entrenched by democratic order?

    And, are Uefa trying by the implication of the actions they’ve taken to pull out from Wada’s sole anti-doping authority and went ahead to compiled their own banned substances different from those on the Wada’s list to consequently instigates other sporting agencies of other countries to follow Uefa’s illegal deeds? What if Russia decided to tell the IOC that they are pulling out of the compliance of Wada’s banned list and will be putting in place their own banned list?

    So Uefa have advocated for an uncontrolled and chaotic sporting drugs administration in the World or what? I think the sporting World need one single supreme authoritative body that monitors the lawful usage of drugs in sports in the World generally. And not the kind of independent sports drugs administration being introduced by Uefa.

  • norman14

    Andrew Jennings started off with an investigation into the IOC which led him into the FIFA corruption.

    With regards to the World Cup in Russia – I personally think that the FA should pull us out now. If we are not in it, they can’t do anything about it. They can’t ban us if some English “fans” go and cause mayhem because we won’t be there. EUFA can’t ban us from the 2020 Euro’s because the world cup is a FIFA event.

    Someone has to make a stand against this blatant global corruption – but are the FA and, more essentially, the UK government, prepared to do it?

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Leon

    norman 14

    I agree that the FA should pull us out of the WC in Russia, and other nations would probably follow our example because we are still respected and have some influence in world football, but the government are not allowed to interfere in football related issues at this level, with a ban likely as punishment if they attempt it. I wouldn’t mind missing this one .
    I think the Olympic Games will prove to be decisive as Russia is hardly likely to accept the decision to ban them without any retaliatory actions which will have some long term ongoing repercussions.

  • jim

    The FA should pull out of the WC in Russia just like we should pull out of the bent EU.Anybody on here ever go on the ONLINE GOONER,that site used to be a great site up until a few years ago when it seems to have been taken over by supporters of other teams and the AAA.I have noticed that anything on that site that remotely says anything positive about the club or manager is jumped on by what can only be described as near neo-nazi posters and quickly removed.Great shame as I used to buy their magazines back in the 90’s.

  • finsbury

    The the term or definition that you (all) are looking for is:

    “Rico Enterprise(s)”

  • finsbury

    The decision by primarily Lord Coe to inisist that the 2012 stadium in Stratford was built only for athletics was a very strange decision indeed.
    Unless he simply wanted the taxpayer to pick up the bill in order to convert an empty white elephant into something else.

    A decision of craven stupidity, or something slightly different. How you interpret the information that is available dear readers, that choice is yours.
    We should also recall: The hacks ignored Jennings for many many years.

  • bushido

    sadly all of this will never change as long as there is corruption involve in the proceeding.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am sure Coe did very well out of those Olympics

  • Until all the corruption is for once and all taken out of these organisations and replaced by the people who put the sport first and themselves second sadly nothing will change at all. What once was noble and honourable in all these different sporting bodies has become extinct, once people put the sport first and themselves second then and only then will we see the changes but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

  • Jammy J

    I’m sure there are many journalists out there, that are fully aware of the awful going-ons in the sports world, but unfortunately, no mainstream publications will print their stories. It is far more lucrative for journalists to write articles about who Peter Andre is now shagging. The media are absolutely complicit in all of this.

  • para

    As i said many times before:- there is nothing unconnected in this world today. All organisations are required to follow the “elite” agenda:-

    Two quotes from above:
    “that France is ravaged by strikes because the government in trying to change the long standing labour laws, against the wishes of many workers.”

    “Then there is the fact that France is on full scale highest level “terror” alert.”

    Am i the only one that see a connection here?
    When a country tries to go against the “agenda” this is what happens.

    Don’t be fooled by the propaganda. Remember what the CIA does for work. It becomes a terrorist organisation. Too many examples thereof in history.

  • Menace

    jim – I used to subscribe to Online Gooner & enjoyed their mag. But not I have boycotted the mag & will not even look at the site as they are anti Wenger & stupid.

    The corruption in sport, politics and in society cannot be imagined. Everyone is in for a buck. Passionate about Britain while evading tax. Interested in football only for the money. Loving sport just for glory.

    There is no honesty.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘ The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write , but those who cannot learn, unlearn , and relearn.’
    – Alvin Toffler

  • jim

    I find the negative Arsenal sites like the Online Gooner do far more damage than good.They seem to have a real problem with this site as well for it’s positiveness towards the team.I like you Menace are giving up on that site,I noticed the four positive posts about the team this morning have all been removed with all the usual grumblers out in force.One guy with the monicker mgb posts around 20 negative comments a day and has done so for the last five years.There were a couple of excellent posters called Badarse and Jamerson who really stuck it to them yet I believe they’ve both been banned from the site.England Hotspur were garbage again tonight can any body take to that side,Ramsey again looked excellent for the Welsh..