Seeing the world upside down: Emirates disappoints, Fifa is as normal

By Tony Attwood

Travelling to Australia is exciting, is a pain, is a back ache, is lost sleep, is wondering if they are going to let me into the country with my supply of herbal tea bags (they did) and for me most of all is one long long hug with my youngest daughter on finally getting through customs etc.

And then getting used to being upside down, and having the middle of the day in the middle of the night and all that stuff.   And the fact that my daughter Heather has moved since I was last here and now has an apartment overlooking Sydney harbour on the Manley side of things.

But a quick flip around the internet shows nothing much has changed in football.  Shock horror they’ve awarded the world cup to Qatar and everyone is going to die of heat exhaustion, and the British Prime Minister says, never mind, I know we only got two votes but we don’t bear you a grudge Fifa.  We’ll sort it out.

What is good, it seems to me, is looking at the newspapers on line when not in the rush of everyday life is the chance to cogitate where things are going.   The New York Daily News speaks of “the corrupt and corpulent Chuck Blazer, once the sport’s No1 powerbroker in the United States spent $29 million in credit card charges to help fuel his extravagant lifestyle, which included a pricey Trump Tower apartment for his cats.”

We knew about Blazer of course, but it is still just, well, obscene.

And overall there is something desperately sad that we are still considering the Qatar issue, or indeed come to that the Fifa issue.  But that’s what is going on as the media argue among themselves whether a world cup in November is viable.

The problem is of course that the media is so used to bowing down to Fifa by buying into the world cup rights and pushing international football as if it matters, that they have to take the whole thing seriously.

And this makes me realise that once again the whole thing is an issue of perspective.  If you start from a perspective that says that Fifa is a corrupt, criminal, racist gang the members of which have successfully got the football associations of the world to buy into their appalling activities through giving the media junkets, then you get one view.  If you start from the perspective that Fifa activities like the world cup are actually important, then that gives you a different view.

Which somehow (probably the jet lag) brings me back to my trip to Oz.  For the first time I flew Emirates, feeling I should do something to show my recognition (at least to myself, for I am not saying anyone else would notice) that they had pulled their sponsorship of Fifa.   Unfortunately I didn’t think they were very good.  The £10 discount for being an Arsenal season ticket holder was insulting, the stop-over in Dubai was a mess (the flight in was late, the check in and out halls were hopelessly overcrowded, the signs were inadquate and most worrying the hand luggage checkers looked like people who had seen how slack the bag checking is at the Emirates Stadium and thought that was the way to do it, rather than the exact reverse.

On the flights the food was awful, the service was slow, the wine to have with the meal arrived 10 minutes after the meal was finished, the range of drinks was very limited, the choice of food was rubbish, and everything points to me moving back to Quatas for the next trip.   Sorry Emirates, I gave you a chance, but that was just terrible.

But look, what of this?   The Guardian is actually considering backing the campaign to have a mass rebellion against Fifa and “a World Cup that is built around corruption, myths and lies.”   Wow.  Untold ahead of the game.  Who’d have thought so.

However there is still fun to be had.   David Cameron (a British Prime Minister) says he is going to offer British experts to help build stadiums for the Qatari world cup.

“Qatar is known for its employment of immigrants paid the most appalling salaries while the fat cats around them get fatter, so I think Britain and Qatar are natural allies,” said the PM.  OK actually he didn’t, but he probably thought it.  Although it is good to hide such thinking behind the usual blah blah of politics.

Labour, the largest party in the UK parliament, at least until next year, has suggested that the bidding war should be re-fought for 2022.  That doesn’t get my vote.   But at least Labour has said of Qatar that it has “criminalised homosexuality and the drinking of alcohol, and is accused of widespread human rights abuses.”

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said where the fiasco was to be held was a decision for FIFA.

In reality it is a decision for us.  If we don’t watch world cup matches either in person or on TV the TV companies that bid for the rights will quickly drop the project, and that will be that.  In the end it is in our hands.

Oh and there is one other thing.  Apparently in the House of Commons it was announced that some of the money due to be paid to British firms for building stadia in Qatar has ended up in “the hands of the Islamic extremists in Syria.”   That’s in the Telegraph.

In the end all we have to do is just say no.

Untold Arsenal is here.    where you can also find details of the three Arsenal books we’ve published.


37 Replies to “Seeing the world upside down: Emirates disappoints, Fifa is as normal”

  1. I think I’m the only one who was pleased with the result / performance yesterday.

    Anderlecht are a top team – much better than a League One side like what some is saying.

    We shoed chracter to go 3 up and were unlucky to concede the 3. We probably would have won 4-3 if the game had been another 10 minutes.

    We are still one of the best 4 teams in the champions league

  2. The game was stern warning for the Manure game coming in a week or so. Should we pair Per with Monreal, we will be in real trouble. I think yesterday our defence let the attack down. The only way to atone for the mistake is by Per to score a goal in the ManU game, then defend it successfully for the rest of the game.

  3. Glad it came before Man U game , team must get there heads right for that one it’s time to beat them, I was confident now a little unsure, but can’t bloody wait !

  4. OUCH! Really, really very disappointing. The best attacking play around paired with park standard defending. Oh, and PLEASE Arsene, kick that useless flop No 1 into touch. I’d rather take my chances with Martinez.

  5. @pv4
    Why is cesny a flop? Could you please explain?
    And could you give me any stat comparison between saves, interception he made versus his error?

    Is it his “flopness” that cost us the lead?

    Please teach this stupid head of mine…

  6. it was a dissapointing result considering we were leading comfortably
    but football is like that -very unpredictable-Brazil was humiliated 7-1 at home-the world didnt end there.what Arsenal need is to pick them up and forget about this and move on- more carefully this time

  7. Glad you arrived in one piece Tony!!!

    I won’t go into the article with respect to FIFA/Quatar and all in detail…I of course agree with everything you mention, and that a spectacle of such public interest is to be held where people in power have no respect for human rights is totally against the spirit of any sporting platform – I guess thats why FIFA back it!

    PS: have you posters directly above my post even read the article here?

  8. By the way I know Sydney very very well…your daughter is in an excellent spot!!! 🙂

  9. @ apo – Answer – NO !
    But then they know all the answers !
    They ‘ll ace this one for sure !

    You have to work out what the letters mean. See No 0 as an example.
    According to MENSA, if you get 19 + of these, you are a “genius”.
    Only 2 MENSA members achieved full marks. See how well you do.
    Scoring:1 to 5 is Average, 6 – 11 Somewhat Intelligent, 12 to 18 Intelligent, 19 + Genius

    No. Cryptic Answer
    0 24 H in a D – 24 hours in a day – TRUE
    1 26 L of the A
    2 7 D of the W
    3 7 W of the W
    4 12 S of the Z
    5 66 B of the B
    6 52 C in a P (WJs)
    7 13 S in the USF
    8 18 H on a G C
    9 39 B of the O T
    10 5 T on a F
    11 90 D in a R A
    12 3 B M (S H T R)
    13 32 is the T in D F at which W F
    14 15 P in a R T
    15 3 W on a T
    16 100 C in a R
    17 11 P in a F (S) T
    18 12 M in a Y
    19 13=UFS
    20 8 T on a O
    21 29 D in F in a L Y
    22 27 B in the N T
    23 365 D in a Y
    24 13 L in a B D
    25 52 W in a Y
    26 9 L of a C
    27 60 M in a H
    28 23 P of C in the H B
    29 64 S on a C B
    30 9 P in S A
    31 6 B to an O in C
    32 1000 Y in a M
    33 15 M on a D M C

    YOU SCORED – ?

  10. @ Tommie Gun – you’re good . Or you lie well !
    I’ve only got 12 , but in my defence after imbibing of some fine wine , my mind wanders and only tits , boobs , C & D cups and names of other lady parts are coming to mind !

  11. How about U T C W A P

    Up The Creek Without A Paddle



    Three degrees below Zero

  12. For example – 15 – 3 whores on a trois ?
    28 – 23 Patches of Cum in the Head Board ?

  13. Tony,
    You made no mention of leg room on the Emirates but I can imagine it would only suit midgets and small ones at that.

  14. @ Brick – I’ll wait till everybody is finished with this and will post …

    [btw in order to see if I “lie well” you’ll have to give me a bigger challenge ! btw 2.0 I already lied very well in a negotiation meeting today (if I might say so) so that’s almost enough lies for one day for me]

  15. @ TommieGun – will follow this tomorrow – the brain is shutting down fast !

  16. Tony,
    I think you expected business class service.
    BTW, Quantas now has a code share with Emirates. In all likelihood, you’ll fly with Emirates even if you buy your ticket from Quantas!!!

  17. @ Brickfields G,
    I’m still trying to work out what MENSA means.
    Does it stand for MEN of South Africa?

  18. @Sammy the Snake,
    I think when Tony reads your offering, he will decide to return home by sea.

  19. Shakabula Gooner -November 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm – Wow ! Impressive ! Then again the AKBs on here have ALWAYS shown great intelligence and depth !

  20. Well, if everything is upside down to Tony at the moment, I suppose what happens in Canuckland is just sideways.

    I spent some time looking through Google News for articles on refereeing: UEFA or EPL. I found nothing on the UEFA side, all officiating was as the Volkswagon commercials are telling us, perfect.

    On the EPL side, a young commentator in Canada (was at The Score, when it was bought out by TSN, and is still there) who apparently originates in the UK somewhere by the name of Kristian Jack. However, I can find nothing about him outside of the context of being a football commentator. He had this quote near the end of his article:

    > A football referee has one of the hardest jobs in sports, so to think that any of them would actually make it more difficult by finding ways to screw over your team deliberately is absolutely laughable. If fans actually stop to think about this, they would surely enjoy the game more.

    Yahoo is accusing Wenger of being the most unfriendly manager in football. In the article, we find:

    > Brown claimed that Wenger had influenced referee Mike Riley into booking Boaz Myhill while he also accused non-playing captain Cesc Fabregas of spitting at assistant manager Brian Horton.

    Say what? Arsenal having some kind of pull with Mike Riley 😈 ?

    In general, the only EPL referee stuff I am seeing, is the odd article about video replays and officials. But, just as in UEFA-land, the officiating is otherwise perfect.

  21. Brickfields.

    In an earlier comment you mentioned something about women. Here’s another referee joke from law18.

    After a grueling game, a gorgeous blonde Referee walks into the physiotherapist’s office. She gets in the room with the physiotherapist’s and says, “Hey! I hurt all over.” The physiotherapist’s is really confused. He says, “What do you mean, you hurt all over?” The gorgeous blonde Referee says, “I’ll show you.”

    She then touches herself on her leg. “OW!!! I hurt there.” Then she touches her earlobe. “OW!!!!!! I hurt there too!” Then she touches her hair. “OW!!!!! EVEN MY HAIR HURTS!” So the physiotherapist’s sits back and thinks on it for 5 min. Then he says, “Tell me, is blonde your natural hair color?” The blonde says “Yes, why?”

    The physiotherapist’s says, “Well, you got a broken finger…”

  22. Gf60 – November 6, 2014 at 4:28 am – Well done . I ‘ve just reached that same score . Isn’t it great to be in the ‘Premier ‘ league ?

  23. Another two hours to get up to 26. Very embarrassed that my last two related to football side and my home country!
    When do we see the answers??

  24. @ Gf60 – November 6, 2014 at 10:37 am – Not making excuses, but there is bad news and there is good news !
    The bad news is that I can’t find them as this quiz was from Feb. 2011 ,and not sure why I didn’t save them.
    The good news is that Shakabula Gooner has all the answers !
    ( November 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm
    Brickfields, Just scored 33 out of 33! How about that!)

    For the know-it-alls , I’m sure they have all scored high!

  25. And as consolation ,here’s another quiz that you’d really enjoy !

    Student who got a zero on his exam -My kind of guy or gal.

    I would have given him 100%!

    Q1. In which battle did Napoleon die?
    * His last battle

    Q2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?
    * At the bottom of the page

    Q3. River Ravi flows in which state?
    * Liquid

    Q4. What is the main reason for divorce?
    * Marriage

    Q5. What is the main reason for failure?
    * Exams

    Q6. What can you never eat for breakfast?
    *Lunch & dinner

    Q7. What looks like half an apple?
    * The other half

    Q8. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?
    * It will simply become wet

    Q9. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?
    * No problem, he sleeps at night.

    Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?
    * You will never find an elephant that has only one hand..

    Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have ?
    * Very large hands

    Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?
    * No time at all, the wall is already built.

    Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
    * Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

    Hope I’m forgiven !

  26. STOP THE PRESSES ! A little bird just sent the answers to me ! So boys and gals , here goes …

    No. Cryptic Answer
    0 24 H in a D 24 hours in a day
    1. 26 L of the A 26 letters of the alphabet
    2. 7 D of the W 7 days of the week
    3. 7 W of the W 7 wonders of the world
    4. 12 S of the Z 12 signs of the Zodiac
    5. 66 B of the B 66 books of the Bible
    6. 52 C in a P (WJs) 52 cards in a pack (without jokers)
    7. 13 S in the USF 13 stripes in the United States flag
    8. 18 H on a G C 18 holes on a golf course
    9. 39 B of the O T 39 books of the old testament
    10. 5 T on a F 5 toes on a foot
    11. 90 D in a R A 90 degrees in a right angle
    12. 3 B M (S H T R) 3 blind mice (see how they run)
    13. 32 is the T in D F at which W F 32 is the temperature in degrees fahrenheit at which water freezes
    14. 15 P in a R T 15 players in a rugby team
    15. 3 W on a T 3 wheels on a tricycle
    16. 100 C in a R 100 cents in a rand
    17. 11 P in a F (S) T 11 players in a football (soccer) team
    18. 12 M in a Y 12 months in a year
    19. 13=UFS 13 is unlucky for some
    20. 8 T on a O 8 tentacles on a octopus
    21. 29 D in F in a L Y 29 days in February in a leap year
    22. 27 B in the N T 27 books in the new testament
    23. 365 D in a Y 365 days in a year
    24.13 L in a B D 13 loaves in a bakers dozen
    25.52 W in a Y 52 weeks in a year
    26. 9 L of a C 9 lives of a cat
    27. 60 M in a H 60 minutes in a hour
    28.23 P of C in the HB 23 pairs of chromosomes in the human body
    29. 64 S on a C B 64 squares on a chess board
    30. 9 P in S A 9 provinces in south africa
    31. 6 B to an O in C 6 balls to an over in cricket
    32. 1000 Y in a M 1000 years in a millenium
    33. 15 M on a D M C 15 men on a dead mans chest

  27. tweet tweet! The 0% student is so funny! Thanks Bricks for both quizzes.I only made 18.
    COYG etc

  28. I would have got no: 33 right if they had put in the Y H H ..Yo ho ho ,.. (And a bottle of rum !).
    Those who put 100 Cents( Sen ) to the( Malaysian ) Ringgit or the (Indonesian ) Rupiah , for no : 16 -also get it right .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *