His imploration for grief and sympathy over the amplifying effect that lockdown has had on poverty was met with the indignation one now tends to expect, given the loutish state of many football fans around the UK; the battle-cry of the ever-aggrieved masses was, predictably, ‘stick to football’.
While Karishma’s struggle mirrors that of millions of girls worldwide, hers is certainly not a novel one. Since practically the beginning of professional football, pioneering women have been fighting for their rights to gender equality on the pitch.
While the clear stratification of men and women’s football is beginning to be rectified at the national level, our sporting institutions and bureaucracies still leave much to be desired in terms of the prestige, wealth, and glory granted to the women’s game.
By the time you’ve added up the world’s more than two hundred leagues with back-of-the-envelope calculations, added all the intentional club competitions in, accounted for the huge aviation consumption of the football business itself and factored in a football-sized chunk of the carbon footprint of the sportswear industry, that’s a carbon footprint the size of another small nation.
When something disrupts the world’s most popular sport, the impact goes way beyond supporters being left bored twice a week. Coronavirus stopped football in its tracks, jeopardising the eco-system that nurtures the livelihoods of thousands of people, both inside the footballing world and its periphery businesses.
Christopher O’Neil breaks down the problems in Scottish access and advocates for revolution in outreach programmes and strategy, something he belives the Clydeside Project is leading.
Surely most of the figures complicit in the corruption behind Qatar’s bid are gone from the sport. What’s the point in raging over closed cases, especially when the Qatari World Cup is so close? One may query. Well, I would answer, FIFA is a very seedy operation and you aren’t thinking big enough.
It seems utterly unconscionable for FIFA to shamelessly tolerate the degradation of human life in exchange profit and status, but I have little doubt that they will do and with a smile – as long as the games go smoothly, their pockets are lined and their investors happy.
To date, more than two dozen people and entities have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering in the ongoing investigation. As such, the past twenty years of footballing bureaucracy – and the football that has emerged from it – has an excoriating asterisk next to it in the record books.
Part 1 of a mini series sharing the songs that have been keeping us going through this peculiar time.