In September 1913, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats lamented the extent to which money had come to displace virtue amongst his countrymen. “What need you, being come to sense / But fumble in a greasy till … Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, / It’s with O’Leary in the grave.” Fumbling in greasy tills sparked similar Read More…
Long-standing coach of Oxford University Association Football Club and Oxford United legend Mickey Lewis has passed away at the age of 56.
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.
Regardless of the fact that the final withering of football’s heart appears to be a foregone conclusion, we should hardly take it lying down. Every concession granted to economic and political tyranny should be polemicised against with sharp invective by our media, our bureaucracies, and ourselves.
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.