by Tony Attwood
Untold has published over 10,000 articles, and one of my favourites remains
It was the story that reported that Switzerland had changed its law to remove the legal protection previously offered to people who were visiting Switzerland to attend meetings of international sports organizations.
The rest of the media didn’t run that story, and so the only people who were not that surprised when the Americans marched into an Fifa meeting and started arresting people were those who read the European press, and those who read Untold Arsenal.
That failure to report the story didn’t change the attitude of the UK press – for even though they reported the arrests on the day they still didn’t accept that there is anything wrong with international footballing groups. Nor any need to watch the European media.
And so when Uefa demands that tens of thousands of its people, their guests and fans can enter Britain without any question of verifying their status vis a vis corona virus, nobody seems to mind too much. Because, well, we don’t do foreign news in Britain.
Meanwhile British prime minister Boris Johnson says “sensible accommodations” can be made, as if international football bodies ever act in sensible ways.
If matters follow their normal course Uefa will get everything it wants and give nothing in return. Thousand of people will be allowed into England without having to quarantine while anyone going on holiday outside of the UK will be forced to quarantine – and pay for it – or refused permission to return. Meanwhile vast numbers of our businesses remain shut and many have already permanently gone out of business.
Inevitably Uefa is also threatening the UK government saying that if it does not agree to its plans in full, the finals will be moved to Hungary.
The FA of course always kowtow to Fifa and Uefa demands and will demand the government back them up. Since the government finances the FA through the use of taxpayers’ money that seems likely.
I feel personally affected by this since one of my daughters lives in Australia and has just given birth. Although the UK allows me to travel to Australia, Australia simply won’t let me in, so I am not able to visit my daughter and see my granddaughter.
Of course, that is not the end of the world, and I fully respect Australia’s concern. I’d like to go, but obviously, I will wait until I am allowed to travel. But to find that Uefa is demanding the rights for tens of thousands to come to England to watch a football match, and have no quarantine controls at all, is just too much.
Sky News have said that the government is “working to negotiate a sensible compromise”. But how do you compromise with a virus?
Worse still, all these people they want to bring into the country are not even taxpayers. I am; I pay my part for this government to exist and run the country, but it seems that the thoughts of keeping myself and my family safe are as nothing to allowing a bunch of Uefa bigwigs and deadbeat journos in to watch a football match. I don’t try to trick my way into Australia to see my daughter and granddaughter, but Uefa are doing everything they can to force their way in to watch a football match.
If it does go ahead I can only hope there will be a major civil uprising against the government for treating us with such contempt. And indeed as one Liberal MP said, “It’s part of the way this Conservative government operates – there’s one rule for their friends and another rule for the rest of us.”
As it is we have a situation in which clubs that hold maybe 100 people can’t open but the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 at Wembley will have crowds of up to 45,000. Now you may have no interest in clubs – I mention them because my hobby other than football is dancing in clubs, but it just shows the insanity of what is going on. These clubs are tiny businesses, and many have already folded. But no, they count as nothing.
Uefa, already sensing victory against a government that seems to give in to anyone other than ordinary citizens, has said “UEFA is delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches...
“There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London.”
- Arsenal to spend quarter of a billion; all going to happen (according to reports)
- 82 players tipped to join Arsenal this summer in £250m spending spree
- Last season a quarter of PL clubs failed to list 25 players. Why?
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour
- With Balogun will Arsenal be heading toward goalscoring records