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Winter World Cup and Premier League Hypocrisy

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Winter World Cup and Premier League Hypocrisy

Post  Hieronymus on 2015-02-27, 11:23 am

I am not happy at the prospect of a World Cup in the run up to Christmas 2022 and appreciate that it will cause lots of problems for leagues as well as supporters who want to take holidays to attend etc etc. I also appreciate there is a moral argument against Qatar being awarded the World Cup when the bidding process was so obviously corrupt, combined with the appalling conditions being endured by people constructing the venues and infrastructure. 

But I do agree that the hypocritical outrage shown by Peter Scudamore also stood out for me, as articulated in this decent article by Scott Wilson. At least the European Leagues have 8 years to sort things out. Unlike many supporters, who have made travel arrangements and find ther game has been moved for TV, less than a month before the game. What compensation do those fans get? Nothing. Just told "Hard luck!"!  Twisted Evil

Wilson's World: Forget a winter World Cup - it's the Premier League hypocrisy that has been really unpalatable
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UNHAPPY: Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has bemoaned the decision to host the 2022 World Cup in November and December

First published 4 hours ago in Sport by Scott Wilson

RICHARD SCUDAMORE probably thinks schadenfraude is a new German television company keen to enter the bidding for the Premier League’s lucrative overseas rights. Or maybe an Eastern European left-back poised to become the latest foreign import into the English top-flight.

In fact, the Germanic phrase means ‘deriving satisfaction from the misfortune of others’, and it was hard not to experience it as Scudamore, in his role as chief executive of the Premier League, voiced his disapproval at this week’s announcement that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place in November and December.

“Our particular concern is that a FIFA World Cup that finishes late in December could result in damaging one of the English game’s great traditions and attractions, with the removal of the entire Premier League, Football League and FA Cup Christmas and New Year fixture programme,” moaned Scudamore, before hinting at the possibility of legal action that could also encompass the league’s domestic broadcasters.

“Damaging one of the English game’s great traditions”, eh? I think plenty of supporters would argue that happened when the Premier League permitted the television companies to switch the time and date of matches whenever they see fit. Forget the traditions of a Saturday afternoon kick-off at 3pm, let’s have games on Sunday lunch-times, Monday evenings and, from the start of next season, Friday nights.

“I’m very disappointed at what this would mean,” added Scudamore, before going on to bemoan the “radical change of plans” that would be required. A change of plans, perhaps, like the alterations that are needed whenever supporters book train tickets and hotel accommodation for an away game at the other end of the country, only to find they’ve wasted their money when the game gets switched a month or so before it’s due to take place.

“Sadly, it would be the supporters of our clubs who would lose out,” is an argument the Premier League chief has used in the past when decrying the potential for a winter World Cup. So similar, then, to the way in which the fans lose out every time a new broadcasting deal pours extra millions into the bank accounts of the Premier League clubs, only for ticket prices to remain outrageously high.

There are plenty of very legitimate reasons to bemoan the fact that Qatar will be hosting the next World Cup but one. The deeply flawed bidding process that is widely acknowledged to have been riddled with corruption. The disgraceful working conditions that mean the immigrant labourers who are constructing the stadia and infrastructure required for the tournament are effectively entrapped in a version of modern-day slavery. The deeply-worrying suggestion that money held within Qatar is being siphoned off to Isis to support the terrorist organisation’s attempts to establish an Islamic caliphate.

All three of those issues provide justified grounds to speak out, yet Scudamore and his fellow mandarins on the European Clubs’ Association have said little or nothing about any of them. Instead, it took the potential for a few of the Premier League’s billions to go missing for the head of the organisation to speak out.

Like a playground bully who finds himself cornered by the big lad from a couple of years above, the Premier League cannot handle the fact that for the first time in a long time, they are not going to get their own way.
For once, the rest of the footballing world has proved unwilling to dance to their tune. FIFA is a thoroughly repugnant organisation in so many ways, but there’s something vaguely admirable in world football’s governing body refusing to buy in to the idea that the global game begins and ends with a small number of extremely rich European clubs and the competitions they play in.

Why should world football meekly fall into line with a European calendar and perceived European ‘traditions’? ‘Because 75 per cent of the players at the last World Cup play for European clubs,’ is the argument that has been adopted this week, but in the context of a global tournament that brings the whole of the world together once every four years, it’s a meaningless one. The fact that so much footballing talent is concentrated in such a small geographical region merely reinforces the need for a genuinely global tournament to redress some of the balance.

Had Qatar not been awarded the 2022 tournament – and there are plenty of very compelling arguments to suggest it shouldn’t have been – it was surely only a matter of time before a World Cup was awarded to a nation in the Middle East.
It is a region with a growing, if occasionally uneasy, relationship with sport, its financial strength makes it a major player in global geopolitics, and given the multiple social, political and religious problems it is wrestling with, there is a powerful ethical argument that a positive spotlight could be immensely beneficial in terms of challenging the prevailing narrative.
Is the Premier League really saying that any Middle Eastern country winning the right to stage the World Cup should be prevented from organising the tournament as it sees fit? And if so, by extension does that mean that any future World Cup host has to run their plans by 20 English clubs just to make sure they’re deemed acceptable? No wonder the rest of the world continues to think that English football has ideas way above its station.

The reality is that for all its money and profile, the Premier League is simply no match for the World Cup. The same can be said of the Champions League too. Both competitions like to think they’re the be all and end all in terms of the global game, but the World Cup will always tower over them and the rules are set up to ensure that remains the case.
So come December 2022, we’ll all be settling down to watch the World Cup final in the build-up to Christmas. Then by January, we can get back to the cherished English ‘tradition’ of wondering how we’re going to get to the Southampton vs Sunderland game that’s been switched to a Friday night.

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Re: Winter World Cup and Premier League Hypocrisy

Post  cyprussyd on 2015-02-27, 11:54 am

This whole sorry saga is simply more evidence of IFAS total disregard for football and football fans, power, money, back scratching and corruption are the only legacy of Blatter and the puppets who elect him.

I have little interest in the World Cup but I do enjoy my domestic game, a game again to be interrupted and for me spoilt by a break for some competition I have no interest in.

Between FIFA the Premier League and Sky the game I enjoy is being torn apart and ruined, how long before I and others simply walk away?

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