Could clubs finally take on the appalling Fifa over the legality of travel?

by Tony Attwood

In the end there is one set of organisations that could take on Fifa.   Not the countries that are members of course, because they are afraid of being suspended from a competition which could carry on without them.  But the clubs which are allied to the regional bodies such as Uefa.

Of course Fifa would then suspend the clubs, but would organisations such as the Premier League actually kick out its leading clubs on Fifa’s say so, and thus destroy their own income, as the TV companies stopped paying and sued them for breach of contract?  I doubt it.

No, if enough took the step, it would leave Fifa organised events as being games played by third choice players.  The TV companies would demand a refund and Fifa would slide ungracefully into Lake Zurichsee.

But what would make clubs, or even come to that players, turn against Fifa?

It has been hard to see in the past although as I hinted recently, Mr Wenger’s scheme for bi-annual world cups could be the catalyst that is needed – it would be Wenger’s final revenge against the international matches he so hated.

The catalyst at this point is simple: players who refused to go to Brazil to play for their country are now being banned by Fifa.  If clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds have the nerve to stand up to Fifa and select the players anyway, it would be the first ever serious challenge to the utterly corrupt of dissolute organisation.

As things stand, clubs cannot select players who were selected by Brazil for recent World Cup qualifiers but did not travel to a country, because of the fact that it is on the red list for UK residents.  The players that did go can’t play because they have to quarantine.

According to media reports this means that the Leeds / Liverpool game would have four players missing on Sunday.   The Manchester City (now I see increasingly simply called “city” in the media as if they were the only city in the kingdom) v Leicester would lose two players, as would Chelsea and Manchester United (now just called United).   The opening Champions League games would also be affected by the removal of players.

So could this be the end of the line for Fifa, its ability to issue diktats and to demand clubs, players and football associations bend the knee to their every whim?

Well, maybe not because the European Club Association is also in the fray, representing the clubs who have long felt  that the ever increasing demands of Fifa, Uefa and the national organisations, has now got utterly out of control.

The clubs pay the money, the clubs have to look after the players who come back from internationals with injuries, and the countries and their mega-organisations, just lay down rules, while corruption runs rife through most of them.

But now, it seems clubs are really for once standing up to Fifa.  Of course it may be too much to hope for but just this once the players could act in a unified way and recognise that their personal safety, well being and long term careers are at risk if they go gallivanting around the world to red list countries.

Of course in England we have less of an argument because our leader encouraged everyone to go and watch England play at Wembley, and we know what happened then: Uefa turned up with all its acolytes and the Uefa variant of the virus was introduced into the UK.

The fact that we currently have 38,975 cases a day of coronavirus reported in the UK, with 7907 in hospital with the disease, and 191 daily deaths was not just down to the decisions concerning one badly administered match at Wembley, but the rise was in part aided by holding that match, and doing it in such an inept manner. 

That affair shows that Uefa should never be part of any involvement in laying down rules which affect public safety.

Of course none of this has been helped by the case of Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa who joined a gang of fugitives and entered South America pretending they had or hadn’t been to various places (sorry I lost track in the end, not going into quarantine, and then going somewhere else.  Pesky things these international footballers), and I am thankful he was he who left the club and not Leno.

Indeed the fact that the media has resorted to making up statistics to suggest Martinez had a better season last time around than Leno, shows how lacking in regard for reality they have beecome.

But still, it will all work out in the end.  It’s not as if lives are a stake.


How referees influence games 

3 Replies to “Could clubs finally take on the appalling Fifa over the legality of travel?”

  1. I do disagree on one specific point in terms of the effects of internationals on clubs. In the actual system, getting a national call-up is something important for a player. And any player, especially young, who gets into a national team sees his value go up – if he performs ok.
    Which means the club in the end can profit when it comes to transfers – with the caveat that the player must stay healthy.

    I have no idea what the effect of a national call-up is on a player’s valuation, but I’d think clubs know they can profit at some point from it : would Messi be as popular worldwide without the World Cup, the Copa America ? Then, I’ll accept the fact that this probably applies only to top 10 or 20 players. Still, Football is, for the owners, often a casino…that fits the business model.

  2. Why do we tolerate this lie that the media keep spreading. The 3 players that missed penalties in the Euros!!

    The 3 players didn’t miss penalties. Their penalties were saved, at least Saka’s was definitely saved. Saka didn’t miss. Get the facts right and then make your racist or anti racist statements. Hate starts with lies and gets worse when the lie is made into a headline.

    Shameless media pundits perpetrating lies.

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