Thursday, 15 March 2012

Head in the sand, foot in the mouth

Various British newspapers here, here, here, here and here are reporting some interesting comments from Sir Dave Richards, the chairman of the Premier League in England, who was speaking his mind at a post-sports security conference in Qatar. To round this off, it was reported that this fella tumbled flat-faced and fully-clothed into either a hotel swimming pool or a fountain.

Here is a choice excerpt: "England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game. For 50 years we owned the game. We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else. Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said: 'You're liars,' and they actually stole it. It was called Fifa. Fifty years later another gang came along called Uefa and stole a bit more."

And another one: "(Football) started in Sheffield 150 years ago. We started the game and wrote the rules and took it to the world. The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world."

He also told his Qatari hosts they had their "heads in the sand" over limiting the sale of alcohol to five-star hotels at the 2022 World Cup: "In our country and in Germany we have a culture. We call it 'we would like to go for a pint and that pint is a pint of beer'. It is our culture as much as your culture is not drinking. There has to be a happy medium. If you don't do something about it, you are starting to bury your head in the sand a little bit because it needs addressing. You might be better off saying 'don't come'. But a World Cup without England, Germany, the Dutch, Danes and Scandinavians – it's unthinkable."

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