By Tony Attwood
In one sense it is all rather droll. On the one hand Arsenal’s current form is enough to take them to third in the league by the end of the season, and on the other hand the Guardian reports that, “Fifa has decided that Russia can continue their bid to qualify for this winter’s World Cup, despite their opponents refusing to play against them.”
Put that together and if you want a domestic story about Arsenal there is a really positive one but the media won’t touch it, while if you want to venture into the depths that Fifa has descended into you have that too and this time, for the first time, the media are getting behind it.
So what does the Daily Mirror say in their headline?
“Arsenal sent another painful Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reminder amid Barcelona upturn”
But the real question is which country will be the first to leave Fifa, and form a new organisation that is more relevant to the modern world?
For clearly a situation in which Russia is told it can continue to play qualifying matches, while the rest of the world refuses to play against them can only mean that Russia wins their group and goes forward to the final, while everyone else is disqualified.
Earlier this weekend, each of Russia’s possible play-off opponents confirmed that they would refuse to fulfil the fixture. Poland and Sweden were joined on Sunday by the Czech Republic who said both officials and staff had agreed they would not play. “It’s not possible to play against the Russian national team in the current situation, not even on the neutral venue”, the Czech FA said. France have indicated that they too will not play Russia.
So what happens? Fifa will probably change its stance, but it will always be behind the game, and so with a bit of luck this will come too late, and Fifa will be a thing of the past.
The war against Ukraine will continue to be a terrible appalling act of mindless aggression, and football will remain trivial ini the face of this, but at least Fifa will fall.
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