This One’s for Walter

Published: July 4, 2014

By Jim Lichtman
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My friend Walter is a world class World Cup fan!

Walter used to play professional soccer for a time and whenever I talk to him lately, all I hear is strategy. “Look at this guy play a wall-pass (a give and go) just to get more time on the ball if he’s being closed down, or can play the ball and then sprint into the space to receive the ball. A midfielder and forward might exchange a few passes on the side and then a defender will break towards the goal from behind to receive the ball – almost out of nowhere.”

During a recent conversation, I asked, “Are there any ethical issues in professional soccer?

“Are you KIDDING ME!?” he laughs..

He’s not. Fox News reports (July 1), that, “Cameroon’s football federation (FECAFOOT) is to investigate allegations of match-fixing by its players at the 2014 World Cup.

“The FECAFOOT’s ethics committee will probe allegations of fraud in Cameroon’s three Group A matches, particularly the 4-0 defeat to Croatia on June 18 in Manaus. Cameroon headed home from Brazil after losing against Brazil and Mexico, as well as Croatia, to finish bottom of Group A.”

And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg of corruption in soccer.

According to Soccer Insiders, a web site devoted to the sport, a recent story (June 4), reports, “this will come as no surprise to anyone, the head of FIFA’s Ethics Committee investigation into ‘alleged’ bribes of the Ex-Co to secure the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, has decided not to review several million (that’s with an ‘m’) documents recently released by the Sunday Times of England supporting allegations of bribery.

” ‘After months of interviewing witnesses and gathering materials, we intend to complete that phase of our investigation by 9 June 2014, and to submit a report to the adjudicatory chamber approximately six weeks thereafter,’ said Garcia.

” ‘The report will consider all evidence potentially related to the bidding process, including evidence collected from prior investigations.’

“The timing couldn’t be more telling of the expected results of this ‘investigation’ of FIFA into itself. This is akin to the US Government appointing a telecom lobbyist to run the FCC and coincidentally, forward a proposal to allow telecoms to charge extra money for ‘faster internet’ access.

“It’s a sham,” the report says. “It’s immaterial whether Garcia, the head of the investigation of FIFA by FIFA, uses the recently released documents. The willful ignoring of the evidence released is going to call into question his impartiality, as if his paycheck coming from FIFA didn’t already do that.

“This is symbolic of the complete and utter corruption by FIFA,” Soccer Insiders says. “They are already tax exempt. They require tax exempt status in any country they are to hold World Cups in their contracts. To add that countries must go through a ‘bidding process’ where they openly give gifts is a farce when the back door bribes work so much better for FIFA’s Ex-Co.

“Several of the last retirements of Ex-Co members were all under clouds of bribery, with a handful of Brazilian members such as Texiera accused of lining their own pockets, Jack Warner (T&T) of openly taking and giving bribes, and bin Hammam (Qatar) of openly giving bribes. Couple that fact that many of these same people are on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which faces many of the same allegations, and it’s not hard to see the issues are coming to a head.”

Then there are the fans in many of the countries who are so fanatical that “losing World Cup teams,” Communities Digital News writes, “have been known to go home to jail time.”

In the world of furious and fanatical soccer fans, even Ann Coulter comes off as mild.

“If more ‘Americans’ are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law,” Coulter wrote. “I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time.”

“By international standards,” CDN writes, “as xenophobic, hateful diatribes go, Coulter’s was fairly ho-hum. The German paper Bild has the largest readership in Europe. Before Germany’s game with America, Bild listed the things Americans do better than Germans: wiretapping, running up debts, and being fat were among them.

“This is national trash-talk, insults all in good fun. Coulter simply joined in the fun.”

This is fun?

Welcome to the New Normal 6.0.


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