By Tony Attwood (not really an Emperor; he’s just a very naughty boy).
When journalists want to talk about crime, they often choose to talk of “organised crime”. I’ve never heard a discussion of “disorganised crime” but if it exists, I suppose we can say it’s what the gang that runs the illicit international football trade do. They’d like to be part of “organised crime” but they are such a bunch of dolts, as well as being a thoroughly disgraceful collection of crooks, that they can’t quite get it together.
As a result international football is at once laughable and depressing, chronically messed up and frighteningly awful. Fufa: an organisation run by a bunch of thieves who steal our players, run them into the ground, hand them back broken, and then demand them back for the next round of internationals.
Never was this insane state of affairs more insane than when we were faced with England v France B. On the programme it said “Algeria”, a country for which I have a certain affection, having lived there for a year, but 17 of whose players in this world cup were in fact French, by most definitions of the word. (Incidentally the fact that England can’t beat France B says something I think, but that’s another matter).
When there is a commercial dispute over a contract in the UK the matter is dealt with by the civil courts, which decide who is right and who is wrong, but who have limited powers.
To give a very simple example, if I sell you advertising space on Untold, and you don’t pay me (and assuming always that you are based in England, Wales or N Ireland) I can fill in a form online and send it to my local County Court. If you defend, a District Judge hears the case, and gives a ruling. If my firm wins, he does not have the power to send you to prison. I have to apply to the court again to send in the bailiffs to persuade you to pay – and troublesome though bailiffs can be, they too have limited powers. They certainly can’t arrest you, charge you with criminal offences etc.
But that’s not how it will be in England if Fufa and their media and government supporters get their way, and the world cup comes to town. England will be forced by Fufa to institute laws which mean that anyone breaking a commercial contract involving Fufa can be thrown into prison at once, and then charged with contravening those Fufa dictated laws.
I don’t particularly like the government we have in the UK today, and I didn’t vote for them. But a lot of people did, and so they have the right to make the laws. That’s democracy, and I quite like demoracy. Handing over our rights to a self-selecting group of disorganised crooks with highly dubious ethics who don’t even pay tax in the UK, is not democracy.
We know about how Fifa – (renamed Fufa following the arrival of the wonderful FICK FUFA banners) – works, and what they did with the ladies dressed in orange (now, following a worldwide outcry, thankfully released). Here’s some more of what dictatorship under FUFA will be like in the UK.
In 2005 Sepp Blatter met President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, after the bid by South Africa had been accepted by Fufa. Fufa and their local agents (the Local Organising Committee) then told South Africa to change its Cape Town stadium plans. There were two big stadia in the city, and both had clubs in them. Either or both could have been developed for the world cup. But no, even though the bid was done and accepted, Fufa changed the rules and said they wanted another stadium: Green Point.
Cowed by the bullies of Fufa, and to its eternal shame, the government of South Africa agreed to spend R4.5 billion on Cape Town Stadium, despite the fact that the money could have been used to improve housing in the townships, and despite the fact that the government’s plans had already been accepted, and despite the fact that there was not then, nor is there now, the slightest idea what to do with the new stadia after the FUFA world cup is over. The other two stadia in the city have full time occupants, and the two other football teams in the city get crowds of just a few thousand. Come back in two years and see what’s happened to that stadium.
That’s just one example of what Fufa does to a country. It signs a contract, and then throws it out the window. It forces the building of crazy unneeded stadia. It’s own police force arrest 36 women and accuse them of the crime of promoting a Dutch brewery, and throwing some in prison.
The women of whom I speak were arrested under the Contravention of Merchandise Marks Act. They were tried not in a civil court as befits a business dispute but in a Magistrates Court that tries criminals. Likewise the company was not “arrested” or “charged”, but its part time employees were. A police report said, “We view ambush marketing in a very serious light and we urge people not to embark on these ambush campaigns.” Of course. South Africa is known across the world for taking ambush marketing seriously. When firms consider doing business in South Africa it is the first thing on the agenda.
Like fick it is.
It’s a bit like saying that I particularly like visiting Iceland because of the local lamb that is served in the restaurants in the north.
Here’s a Fufa statement. “Fufa has filed charges against the organisers of the ambush marketing stunt pulled during the Holland versus Denmark match in Soccer City. The matter is now under criminal investigation, and the South African police service is proceeding as per the normal legislation.”
Shall I do that one again? Fufa has filed charges. Since when does Fufa have the right to file charges? In most countries either the police or a Criminal Prosecution Agency file charges. But no, in South Africa a private Swiss based company that pays no tax in South Africa, and which has a dreadful corruption record, files charges.
And corruption allegations are everywhere – especially relating to corrupt tender process for constructing parts of the new World Cup stadium near Nelspruit where Italy played a match.
The former speaker of Mbombela municipality, Jimmy Mohlala, said he had evidence that tenders for the stadium had been improperly awarded. Mr Mohlala is now dead along with three other men who, according to a Guardian report, have been killed in connection with this affair, and another three have died strangely – possibly after being poisoned.
It is an interesting stadium – visually wonderful, but set in a location where there is no mains water (just water from an infected reservoir behind a dam) and electricity, no tarmacked roads and only poor housing. Mbombela council promised the people of Matsafeni that the building of the stadium would be matched by improvements to the village. But nothing happened.
There is a new road leading up to Mbombela Stadium, but it stops there, and does not service the residential areas. Come to that it doesn’t even service the back of the stadium where the construction traffic created a year of dust storms as they built the place.
Of course there are still promises about areas being improved, but no one is quite clear how much will be done when the appalling FUFA leave town. But we can be clear about what might happen in England.
Already there has been one legal change. Players who come to the UK to play in international tournaments and earn money while here (for example from UK sponsors, newspaper articles and the like) are now exempted from UK taxation. (We couldn’t even put in a bid for the Fufa cup without that law).
So while workers in the UK have just heard about how their taxes are all going up, and how the services provided by the government are going down, and while government workers are now on a two year pay freeze, they can smile and be happy to know that if and when we have a world cup finals series here, players from outside the UK who already earn £5 million or more a year, will be able to earn some more, in the UK, free of all UK taxes. (And yes I know it is like that everywhere there is Fufa, but that doesn’t make it right).
FICK FUFA. You know it makes sense.
Note: some of the information on South Africa in this article comes from the book, Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and 2010 Fifa World Cup, by the Institute for Security Studies as reviewed and analysed in the Guardian newspaper.
It’s Untold, that’s why we tell it. If it wasn’t untold we wouldn’t touch it. Confused?
Woolwich Arsenal. Our origins. Our heritage. Our history.
Woolwich Arsenal. Our origins. Our heritage. My book
PS: One of the lovely things I got for my birthday this week was a Bruce Hornsby CD (The Very Best of) which contained a live version of “Sticks and Stones”. I have never been so knocked out since the last time I was knocked out. If Bruce H. is your type of music and you’ve not heard it, you’ll be amazed. Not an Arsenal or football matter, but it came on while I was writing this, and I thought I’d share it. You don’t have to read this bit.
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