Notepad on Life

June 11, 2012

FIFA hypocrisy over painkillers should hurt us all

Filed under: Sport — - @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
Fifa 09

Fifa 09 (Photo credit: Contz)

What a breathtaking prelude to the 2012 European Championships. Stopped me right in my tracks in slack-jawed amazement, it did.

The tournament’s opening ceremony? Don’t be ridiculous. I mean the crocodile tears of FIFA’s medical officer, Jiri Dvorak, over the abuse of painkillers by international footballers and the damage it could do to their careers.

Like I say, breathtaking. This, from the organisation that turned the World Cup Finals into a bloated monster of 32 teams where there were once 16. The organisation that stood by and said nothing as the European Cup and its five knock-out rounds turned into the Champions League and virtually a football season all of its own, with four qualifying rounds, a group stage and four knock-out stages. The organisation that watched while players in countries like Brazil have run themselves into the ground for years, in a ludicrously congested domestic season.

The reason, we can all take a stab at. The only time FIFA feels pain is when the swelling goes down in its profit margins.

You want to know about FIFA and pain? Read David Yallop‘s searing analysis of the whole wretched cabal in How They Stole the Game, to discover just how much hurt Joao Havelange, Sepp Blatter et al have wreaked upon the game they  are supposed to nurture.

Find out exactly why the 2018 World Cup will effectively be played in an oven, with FIFA’s diversity policy conveniently put on hold for four weeks, as Yallop – a highly-respected investigative writer – makes a dazzling prediction a whole two decades beforehand.

If, like me, you like to think you’re at an age where greed and corruption in sport can no longer surprise or anger you, read the book and prepare to be disappointed. Hurt, even.

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