Tag Archives: football

Euphoria Dies Down

RoyalMail2018OPEveryone who cares is already fully aware of what happened last night. And there are more than enough comments and opinions flying around to render anything extra from Grandad superfluous. So just adding our bit to the chorus of thanks for a great effort by everyone involved.

Looking forward there is still that play-off for third place but that can only be an anti-climax after the earlier rounds.

And as the football euphoria dies down we have the prospect of witnessing some dangerous games being played by politicians of all parties on both sides of the Channel. A wrong move here would mean that we will all suffer – and for well beyond the 2022 World Cup …

Sunlit Summer Continued

BudBeer2018-2It’s hard to believe but the situation for England is unchanged one week further on – continued dry, sunny weather and still being in contention at the FIFA World Cup.

With lawns around the nation baked yellow, burning moorlands, political turmoil and bumper exposure for Budweiser we face the final two games for the four teams that remain.

Clearly everyone backing England want the final match to be on Sunday – especially since the alternative is a pointless match to determine a meaningless third place on Saturday.

What more can be said but … Come On England!

Sunlit Summer

BudBeer2018-1England is enjoying that rare situation of having a football team still in the FIFA World Cup and a continuous spell of dry, sunny weather. A combination that is both exceptional and one that puts a strain on the nation’s drinks supplies. Clearly a situation that the beer and soft drinks suppliers did not allow for in their sales projections … even though closures at the carbon dioxide suppliers may have contributed to the threatened shortages.

At the football England’s progress has been made that much sweeter by a degree of schadenfreude at the early departures of Germany, Argentina and Portugal. However tonight’s game against Colombia may be too tough a barrier to England’s hopes of a quarter final place. But a win tonight – along with forecasts of continued warm weather – could clear out the remaining stocks of drinks Chez Grandad well before the weekend.

Feedback

It’s More Than A Game – Two games into the FIFA World Cup and England have already scored eight, yes eight,  goals. Even though this is already old news for millions, Grandads supporting England just had to register it here. It might never happen again in a life time!

Model Solution – After our posting about hydrogen powered trains comes the news that Cadent have speculative plans to build a hydrogen gas plant somewhere on Merseyside. Cadent have floated the £900m HyNet project – with claims it could reduce environmentally-harmful emissions and could create or secure thousands of jobs over 30 years.

However this scheme does not produce hydrogen cleanly from water and electricity but rather through breaking down natural gas into, mainly, carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen. Essentially producing much the same quantity of harmful CO2 as would burning gas in the conventional way. It is a scheme totally dependent on a method of safely storing all the CO2 produced. Cadent claim that this can be done by pumping it into the gas fields under the Irish Sea that are due to be decommissioned soon.

Many doubt that this scheme will get tax-payer funding since domestic gas heating is scheduled to be culled by 2030 – and that’s just twelve years away. However Merseyside industry may see this as a way to get around their own restrictions on burning natural gas – especially if funded by the tax-payer.

It’s More Than A Game

RoyalMail1966OPAs the 2018 football world cup competition starts in Russia many Grandads must be experiencing a mixture of hope and resignation. Coming from a generation that saw England’s only victory the intervening twelve competitions seem a long series of anti-climaxes much worse than even the annual Eurovision Song Contest put-downs.

Despite this the World Cup does provide the prospect of a national event that even extreme activists will not be able to link to Brexit or climate change. So let’s hope for a degree of success for the England team since many of us just need a break from a growing frustration with our weak and ineffective politicians. Many other sports have made big strides on the world stage – can this year be the time for British football to get back to the top?

Beers and TV remotes at the ready for 4pm today and then through the other games that build-up to England v Tunisia at 7pm on Monday.

No more mentions of Brexit here as long as England are still in with a chance! And if they win – who will be worried about a EU-free future?

More Brooms Needed?

It’s just three months since the fresh start at FIFA HQ but already the signs are not good. First came a leaked document, in the haul from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, linking New Broom President Infantino with improperly selling 2006 Champions League football broadcast rights in Ecuador. The claim being that these rights were sold to two South American front men who then immediately re-sold them for almost three times the price. A common ploy, apparently, for paying disguised bribes and kickbacks.

FIFA2016Infant2Then this month FIFA appointed its first female secretary general to replace the banned Jerome Valkcke. Good move. And who was the high-profile appointee to this critical post? The head of womens football in, say, Germany? A former international player or even a football club owner – like Norwich City’s Delia Smith?

No. It was a Ms Fatma Samoura, a UN official who has represented six different African countries during her 21 years there. But lacking any apparent experience of football or indeed any form of sports administration. Needless to say the reaction amongst football fans was one of incredulity.

Just one day later came the news that FIFA Audit and Compliance Chairman Domenico Scala had resigned in protest against a power grab by President Gianni Infantino over control of independent panels that monitor the governing body.

Then this week saw FIFA dismiss its Deputy Secretary General (Markus Kattner) with immediate effect. The reason – he is accused of paying himself bonuses totaling millions of euros during the time he was Director of Finance.

So FIFA’s tattered reputation is still on the way down – and that’s before all the court cases relating to former officials get started …

Blatter Splattered

Back in May the FIFA media machine provided us with our Website of the Day – featuring Sepp Blatter enjoying his triumphal re-election. Just six months on and FIFA’s President Blatter is suspended from office and under investigation for criminal malpractice. A dubious privilege shared by a number of FIFA vice-presidents that may have been tempted by the many millions of Swiss Francs flooding through FIFA’s hands for decades.

FifaBlatter2And in last night’s report on BBC TV retired journalist Andrew Jennings was given what may have been his final opportunity to spell out just how far the alleged bribery and corruption has spread. With thirty or more people linked to the top of FIFA already under investigation Jennings is not the only one with incriminating evidence. In fact the shocking stories reported by Jennings may turn out to be just a small fraction of the malpractice that actually occurred.

Last week this was issued by FIFA …The Executive Committee has today unanimously approved a set of proposals from the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee to pave the way for significant and much-needed changes to FIFA’s governance structure. The recommendations will be put before the Congress as proposed statutory changes for approval at its extraordinary session in Zurich on 26 February.

This meeting is where Blatter is supposed to hand over power to his successor. But knowing how long legal cases can last not much will have been resolved by February 2016 – and even more FIFA big cheeses may be unavailable by then. Meaning there may not be any eligible FIFA presidential candidates left to fill the Blatter vacancy. But with the 2018 and 2022 World Cup cash mountain already assigned it will be the build-up to 2026 before the next big football corruption opportunity comes along. So not a lot left to play for …