Blatter’s foot-in-mouth problem
Joseph Blatter is no ordinary bloke; he is an immensely powerful man who runs the most popular sport on the planet.
Blatter runs a game that is bigger than any country or continent and his office comes with unbelievable power and influence.
It is only fair that part of that influence is allocated towards ridding the game of football of ugly blots such as racism. It is therefore very unfortunate for Blatter to suggest that footballers who suffer racist abuse can solve the issue with a handshake.
Africa’s best and brightest footballers have found themselves on the receiving end of racist chants and insults on too many occasions (Emmanuel Eboue barely a few days ago) and so have European players of colour and the truth is that racism remains one of the biggest impediments towards realisation of the true beauty of the game of football.
For the President of Fifa to downgrade an issue of dignity and respect as Blatter attempted, is at best ridiculous.
The problem is this is not the first of Blatter mistake nor I doubt will it be the last of his four term reign at the head of Fifa.
There have been allegations of mismanagement and corruption as well as a stubborn refusal to bring technology and only a few weeks ago it was revealed that no one knows how much Blatter earns - no one.
Blatter made a big mistake in saying what he did and he is not going to undo it by apologising or declaring the issue closed, the only way is genuine reform at Fifa.
Away from Blatter and his big mouth, Manchester City started their run of ‘nightmare’ fixtures with a rather comfortable win against Newcastle ending the latter’s unbeaten streak on Saturday. Mario Ballotelli and Micah Richards were the stars of that performance.
On Tuesday night they travelled to Italy to face Napoli and they lost 2-1 courtesy of an Edinson Cavani brace. The first goal was perhaps the most delightful headers I have seen in decades, precise and deadly.
Wait, it gets worse, Man City travel to Anfield today to play a confident Liverpool side that beat Chelsea last weekend courtesy of a well taken Glen Johnson goal. I have no idea what Ashley Cole was doing because he was not defending.
I think this Liverpool team will cause Man City problems particularly if Dalglish sticks with the Suarez, Bellamy and Kuyt combination. I think Dalglish will also be very wary of a ruthless Man City team that is more than capable of embarrassing his team and badly too.
If he finds that balance between solidity and attack, Liverpool will have a shout if he does not, they will let in goals by the bucket load.
As a result of their midweek loss, Man City now have to beat Bayern Munich and or better the result of Napoli against Villarreal and Roberto Mancini was candid in his assessment that the odds do not favour Man City.
Their neighbours Manchester United did not do too well either; after an unconvincing display against Swansea on Saturday, the Devils failed to beat Benfica at Old Trafford on Tuesday night meaning they will require at least a draw in their last game against FC Basel and what’s more, they could very well finish second in the group and end up facing a big team in the knock out phase possibly a Real Madrid or a Bayern Munich.
Speaking of Real Madrid, they are without question the form team in the Champions League, five wins out of five wins and the latest a 6-2 drubbing of Dinamo Zaghreb was accomplished without the services of one Cristiano Ronaldo.
Back to Liverpool Man City I call a draw.