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June 2021

The trouble with international football is there just isn’t enough of it. So now there will be more.

By Tony Attwood

International football.  Isn’t it wonderful!  Don’t you want more?  Of course you do!!  So let’s have not just one international tourney (the World Cup, or WC as its known in the Untold Penthouse) or even two (adding the Uefa European Championship.)  Any idiot can see that is nowhere near enough.

After all we have all these players sitting around doing nothing all day, only playing once a week.  they need something to do.  So welcome:

The Uefa Nations League.

And just to confirm, neither the WC or the European Championship is going.  This is an extra.  A new one.  Something to keep us occupied when there are not enough scandals from Fifa and Uefa doing the rounds.

Countries (now called “teams” in the official jargon) are put into four groups.  Here’s “League A.”

Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, France, England, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Netherlands

Then these nations will be split into four groups of three, with the group winners rumaging around for even more players who are not yet injured to contest the Uefa Nations League Finals which will consist of semi-finals, third-place match and final.  That happens in June 2019 – because these lazy nambypamby footballers only work 9 months a year and really they have it too soft, so we need to keep them going.

Oh and we have relegation too.   The four sides that finish bottom of their groups will be relegated to League B for the 2020 edition.  And yes, in case you wondered there is a League C and a League D.

But who is in Group D I hear you cry.  Well it’s…

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Azerbaijan, FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Latvia, Faroe Islands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Malta, Andorra, Kosovo, San Marino, Gibraltar and Corby Town.

Actually I made one of those up.  I wonder if you can spot it.

Here’s another one.  Who will pay for it.  Choose from one of these

a) The fans of clubs who pay the wages of the players who won’t be able to see their players because they are injured or recovering.

b) Taxpayers who fund the governments who fund their country’s football associations.

c) Fifa executives out of their own pockets.

You can choose two of those three.

Oh and there is more.   The top four-ranked League A teams that do not qualify for Uefa Euro 2020 will enter play-offs in March 2020, with one finals place on offer.   And the six countries that have the most injuries in the course of one year caused at internationals will play off in the Broken League Finals which will take place at 3am in the middle of the North Sea on an oil platform with worldwide press and TV coverage.  OK I also made that up.

But here is one that I didn’t make up.   Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan who is described as a top Emirati security official has said that the blockade of Qatar will be over if Qatar gives up the WC (world cup).  He expounded thus…

“Qatar is faking a crisis and claims it’s besieged so it could get away from the burdens of building expensive sports facilities for the World Cup. That’s why Qatar isn’t ready and can’t host the next World Cup….the cost is bigger than what the Hamadein [the ruling family] have planned”.

So it is apparently now cheaper to have a war than stage the WC.

Qatar is of course a money spinner for Fifa which makes mega trillions of dollars out of each WC while leaving behind a bankrupted country.  They gave the competition to Qatar because that was where they could see the biggest amount of money coming from, with the least amount of effort.  I mean, the country was planning to use slave labour, so what could be cheaper?

But things have gone wrong.  A Qatar consultants’ report cunningly copied and released by the BBC said it was “an increasing political risk that Qatar may not host the World Cup in 2022” As the report puts it: “Western diplomats have privately stated they do not know whether or not the tournament will take place as planned.”

Of course Qatar denies it all saying this is fake news coming from the countries running the Qatar blockade.

But the blockade has always been about causing Qatar as much difficulty as possible, and you can always tell when a country or an organisation is in trouble when it starts explaining away difficult practical situations through philosophical views – in this case about the WC pulling the world together and being a happy and joyous occasion for all.  Talk about fake news!

Of course some of the statements that emerge from Qatar would be screamingly funny if the slave labour that is being used to build the event wasn’t a reality.  Try this one for size:

Qatar’s foreign minister has said the blockade violates international law and human rights.

Can I run that by you again.  “Violates human rights”.  In a country that has no human rights – unless you are part of the right family.  The blockaders have in the past issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country.

Would they actually stop the blockade if Qatar gave up the WC?  Maybe, but it seems unlikely.  And anyway according to one official in Qatar, “Qatar doesn’t give in to blackmail.”

A fifa related event without blackmail?

No, sorry.  Doesn’t compute.

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9 comments to The trouble with international football is there just isn’t enough of it. So now there will be more.

  • Chris

    Well they’ve just copied the blueprint of the Davis Cup….

    The only missing thing is the equivalent if the tennis yearly Masters, with the 8 best ranked FIFA teams…..
    Maybe FIFA can get the world to move to a 13 month year….
    Or rule that clubs can have a squad of 50 players like american football.

  • Jax

    I like it! Gets rid of the waste of time friendlies, and makes the games (at least) competitive.
    Bring it on!

  • WalterBroeckx

    I give up on football…. it is only Arsenal that keeps my interest alive for what was once the sport that I loved so much. If it wouldn’t have been for Arsenal I would stop watching football completely.

  • nicky

    Not a cheery post Tony, to read over my Sark eggs on toast this breakfast time.. Even though much was tongue in cheek. 😉

  • Nitram


    Same here.

    It is without question that if it wasn’t for Arsenal I would no longer engage with football at all.

    As it is I a avoid 99% of football related media.

    The little I do read or see, either through a mistaken sense of ‘They cant say anything bad about us for that can they?’ or through sheer boredom tempting me to pick up a paper in the mess room, winds me up.

    Of games that do not involve Arsenal I probably watch 20%. Basically just matches that may affect Arsenal. The ones I do watch I hardly ever watch the build up, half time or Full time bollocks, because win lose or draw it usually involves endless slagging off of our manager, players and Club.

    Reading what Tony has just written I’d like to say I’m shocked, but the truth is I’m not, because I think I’m beyond being shocked at anything those cretins come up with.

  • nicky

    Can’t quite go as far as you. Without Arsenal, I would probably support Spurs while still blanking the internationals. 😉

  • Goonermikey

    Yep. I’m with Walter and Nitram on this.

  • Nitram


    As my dear old mum would say, ‘now wash your mouth out with soap and water’.

  • Gord

    I think the only way this idea will fly, is if the national teams start to recruit players themselves. Not just demand that teams release players to perform for the national teams.

    A player would then have a choice, either play (for the most part) for a club team (like Arsenal) or play (for the most part) for his national team.