80 World Cup games in November and December 2022 in a desert state. It’s no more bizarre than the rest of what Fifa gets away with, with investors in Saudi Arabia and China waving their money at Infantino anxious to be part of the show.
In fact before Christmas, Infantino was in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s 82-year-old King on discussing ways of “improving football” and “fields of cooperation between Fifa and Supreme Sports Authority GSA in Saudi Arabia.”
And why Saudi Arabia? Oh because in January this year it allowed women into special “family sections” of selected football stadia to watch matches. And they have lots of oil and hence money.
Of course Infantino doesn’t have it all his own way. In Europe and Asia, he is being watched like a hawk with everyone (well, ok, not by the FA in England, most other organisations) and some are getting more and more suspicious.
And meanwhile we will not have VAR in the PL, as noted above – despite the claims a couple of years back from PGMO that they were ahead of the game when it came to VAR. At once the PGMO following media instantly came out in supportive mode, the Guardian for example telling us that “VAR is another slap in the face for the long-suffering paying spectator.”
Shall I say that again? Yes I shall.
It is not the vagaries of referee decision making that is the slap in the face for the long-suffering paying spectator.
No not at all.
Where do they get these journalists from?
Ludicrously the English media has been briefed to proclaim that the reason we don’t like VAR is because there is a “lack of communication in the decision-making process”, as if at the moment we had any communication between the referee and the fans. A wave of the hand when we are lucky, nothing more. The Guardian report says, “Supporters have been left bewildered while games have been stopped,” forgetting just how bewildered we are at many games by what referees do and don’t do.
So now the excuses emerge. “VAR was supposed to be applied only in the event of a “clear error” by the referee.” No, that’s not right. It was meant to be called upon when the referee needed extra information.
Thus VAR will be used in the World Cup, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A. But not the very superior and we known best Premier League.”Every big game this season has been decided by mistakes that could have been avoided with VAR,” said Mr Wenger, and he’s damn right.
But of course it is just those silly foreigners with their little boxes. Why can’t they play the game as it was meant to be played? An old brown ball and two village teams knocking the shit out of each other until one village is burned to the ground. That’s the way we like it.
*Before the raids on Fifa HQ in Switzerland Untold did point out the change in Swiss law which would allow American agents to arrest Fifa executives, and suggested that Fifa might want to start holding meetings in South America. In writing that I didn’t expect them to make me seriously – and of course they didn’t for their next meeting – where the arrests took place. But now it is something of a world tour – except it only includes those parts of the world where there is no extradition warrant.
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