The Premier League chairman and FA vice chairman, Sir Dave Richards made a thorough ass of himself at a recent symposium on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. His is a very Eurocentric view and on top of that it’s a subset (England and Germany) he uses to make his point. As if these are the only two countries that matter. Yes, we would all like to drink and enjoy the game and obviously the availability of alcohol outside of hotels is of importance. But don’t frame it as a cultural issue. Frame it as a way of attracting fans or being good for business.
Well, right after that rant, Richards stumbles into an ornamental pool and soaks himself. Talk about drowning out any message he may have carried.
There was more embarrassing stuff about how FIFA and then UEFA had “stolen football” from England. The point is FIFA is just following the money and the fewer questions it gets asked about how it makes it the better. There are too many accountability requirements here which are not necessary in new economies flush with cash.
The symposium also became a sort of debating point about the origins of football. Richards being from Sheffield believed that it started in that industrial town. But China and Italy can also stake their claim as inventors of the sport. So can the Mayan civilization. But really, if football belongs to the world (the world’s game), then the point should be moot.
Anyways, there’s been all sorts of hand wringing from the FA and the Premier League, that Richards views were entirely his and in no reflected their thinking. The reality is the FA has been thoroughly outflanked as they found out when only two other associations endorsed their call to boycott the FIFA presidential elections last year. So they need to rollover and play dead in Blatter’s gulag.