Not much space for an actual post today, since the Footballing Fact Of The Day has elbowed most other stuff out, rather like the World Cup itself. However, there is just space for me to say that the rest of this post is going to be taken up with a list of things which I wouldn’t say to my associates who live outside London. This is partly because it would be a bit rude, but also because I know they don’t reflect reality. There are great and diverse communities, many cultural riches, centres of debate and seats of academic excellence outside London, just as London is much, much more than a place where a lot of people in a hurry are squashed together in a sweaty aggressive antisocial mass. So hold that thought until tomorrow….
But now! The Footballing Fact Of The Day!
Ghana’s government is using a private jet to fly three million pounds out to Brazil to pay its players, who have not received any wages since the start of the tournament. Whilst I rather like the idea of wads of money reclining in pigskin seats, sipping champagne and wondering whether to take another look at the desert trolley, the obvious way to pay the players would be by bank transfer. The players, however, apparently do not trust the banking system and want the cash. Given the level of what for legal reasons I can only call shenanigans surrounding FIFA and all its dealings, I can’t say I blame them. The FIFA committee convened to consider how to deal with Louis Suarez’s Dracula moment had to adjourn overnight as they were unable to agree on an appropriate punishment. It is apparently “a complex and unprecedented situation”, despite the fact that any primary school teacher could tell you that biting should be punished by time out on the naughty step. There are even rumours that the whole thing is a plot by England and Italy to discredit Suarez, from which we may infer that when he was rolling around on the ground on Tuesday night clutching his mouth, he was actually trying to remove the robot teeth that had been cunningly implanted by Roy Hodgson. My own view is that he should be banned for at least six months with immediate effect and his return to professional football should be conditional upon him taking part in a small tableau during the World Cup closing ceremony in which he would bite Sepp Blatter very hard on the bum. I for one would pay good money to see that and I’m sure you would too. If enough people like the idea I may even get up a collection.
That was The Footballing Fact Of The Day. I thank you.