Thursday, 28 June 2007

Que ace? estas loco? estas frio?

whoa - capello sacked. that's colder than a witch's tit. seriously. it makes my hair curl. never trust spanish royalty. re-reconquista may be imminent. kaboul beware - ferdinand, isabella and calderon approach.

Footie authoritarianism alert: Belarus

We all know Belarus for its fine babka, as well as its current crop of distinguished footballers, like Denis Kovba and the silky smooth Timofei Kalachev. But what we don't know could imperil our very lives, or, if the goons of Alexander Lukashenko are in a more forgiving mood, our flowing locks of humble hair.

HumbleFootball warns you: When attending football matches in the Belarus, don't carry anything red and white, or white-red-white, or white-and-red-all-over (like a dead baby). If you do, you'll get a beating, as happened to these kids in Homel today:

As the BelaPAN agency was told by a student Ihar Sluchak, at about 9 p.m. he and
his friends returned from the stadium. “Suddenly riot policemen came up to us
and started insulting us. They sneered at a young man, who looked as an adherent
of nonconformist youth subculture. Then they dragged us to the police bus.
Policemen were swearing, and threatened to cut long hair of one of the guys. We
haven’t been told the reason of our detention; the policemen hadn’t told their
names. They just swore and sneered at us. The most likely reason of detention
was white-red-white symbols at our clothes and bags,” Ihar Slutchak said.

Cut our nonconformist youth subculture hair! And then send it to Dalston wig-dealers!

The problem with white-red-white is that apart from being River Plate colours , it's also the old Belarussian flag, that was chucked out by our friend Lukashenko in 1995 for this beauty. So when footballing in Belarus, dress like a Christmas tree.

Evo speaks: football in the sky!

Populist Latin American leaders don't only have the ears of their people; they also seem to own the hairy, elven flaps of one Sepp Blatter. Bolivia's Evo Morales spent 40 successful minutes encouraging the Fifa president to reconsider an "altitude limit" that would prevent international matches being played in the capital La Paz. The fortunes of the people, it seems, are always on the up.

Welsh-Basque Alliance Formed - Invasion of Spain, England Considered Imminent

In related news ETA have claimed responsibility for the 1997 deaths of Diana Spencer and Dodi Al-Fayed.

Bloody Foreigners

Thaksin’s buying a bit a City, Kroenke’s after the Gunners, Carson Yeung hears Birmingham is a lovely place to spend a Saturday, and Roman ‘not a political exile from Russia’ Abramovich has long since sent Ken Bates Packing. But those paragons of fiscal virtue, the British Labour party, have seen fit to stick their beak in. Sports Minister Richard Caborn is to convene talks on foreign ownership in English football.

And he has a point – a lot of foreign money is pouring into the Premiership. Reading owner John Madjeski has predicted (in the Daily Mail no less) that by 2009 all of the premiership will be foreign owned. This raises a salient, pertinent, and obvious question - ‘so what?’. Carston Yeung is to displace porn-mogul and generally unsavoury type David Sullivan at Birmingham, Abramovich, much as he is loathed, at least got rid of Ken Bates at Chelsea. In the same week Caborn called for his talks, three Labour MPs also demanded an investigation into the very English Ken Bates and his activities at Leeds, where he deliberately declared the club bankrupt – in the process relegating them, but allowing Bates to wipe the club’s massive debts.

There is a tendency towards jingoistic sentiment when decrying Foreign Ownership. Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood banked on this when attacking American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who had just bought a significant stake in the club. Hill-Wood claimed that ‘We do not need his money and we do not need his sort’. Of course since then Arsenal have slipped into mild meltdown and the oh-so-English board’s complete disconnect from reality is becoming ever more apparent. Right now most fans would welcome an American owner of Arsenal – at least it would get rid of the current prats. And anyway what difference does nationality make – ultimately they’re all class enemies’ right? Either bring on Fan ownership of clubs, or adopt the excellent Soviet system. Otherwise quit whingeing when football ends up in the hands of a multinational squadron of robber-barons – this is global capitalism after all.

Brazil Humbled

Not for the first time in this years Copa one of the larger nations has been humbled. Thanks to dodgy (Milky?) youtube pirates for the clips.

From the Copa America - political football?

Sunday, 3 June 2007

A great day for mankind...

Welcome to HumbleFootball, your ample serving of international-focused football reportage, brought to you weekly from North London, Tehran, New York and the dark depths of Turkish secularism. As smart as Philippe Senderos, as lively as your mum.

Watch THIS space!