The title of this little rant (you can pretend if it is an article if you want but 90% of mine turn into rants!!!) may give the impression it is based on our CL draw but it is not (Well it is but not in its entirety!!)
I was watching Sky Sports News the other day and it got me thinking after hearing an article and comparing it to other sports.
The piece in question was regarding the High Court ruling over England’s Rugby stars being release by their respective clubs for Internationals regardless of their club commitments in the particular week of said international.
I then realised that this is a common occurrence in cricket too. So in 2 of our major 3 sports, the world does not stop simply because the National Team are playing.
So I say why not do it in football.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not mean for meaningless friendlies which all of us seem to dislike. This should be strictly for competitive internationals. After all, it is partly done in the winter when the African Nations is played and clubs lose some players. When there is any form of competitive international if a player is called up then off they go. No ifs, buts or maybes. If their club says they are injured then they cannot play in the nearest club game after / on the date of the international(s). Just imagine the top players leaving the clubs for internationals, how open this would leave the league. No more top 4 clubs as right through the league each club has internationals so they would lose some players. Also, this would then leave a few games open each year for the fringe and reserve players to get involved in the real matches that really mean something. It gives them something to strive for. How many times do younger / lesser known players get bought for their talent but never see more than a combined hour on the pitch in the premiership? In my opinion , very often. I feel for the likes of Jack Hobbs who I do not really think will get much of a chance, the same for Paul Anderson once the season starts.
Maybe, just maybe someone may not have had this idea and think, ‘œbloody hell, that Pidge is a genius!’. Ok, maybe not but hey, I think it’s a bloody good idea!!
Now moving forward, this ridiculous notion that we will be playing Maccabi Haifa in Haifa!? Firstly that is already a ‘œNo No’ from UEFA. The simple fact that since the trouble has flared up, Haifa has been hit by some 60 rockets fired by Hezbollah (Bloody hell I spelt that wrong and MS Word has the correct spelling in it’s dictionary!!! No wonder Bill Gates is minted!!). The Israeli FA think that Tel Aviv is a safe place to have the game played. Yeah right, how many suicide bombs have been done there? Well into double figures. The fact that Al Quieda have jumped on this opportunity to rally hatred towards Israel and they do not actually think much of Arabs anyway shows how unstable this situation is.
It also appears that Cyprus may well be out of the question as that is where all evacuees appear to be going. However in the past, matches have been played in Italy, Greece and Turkey. But then again looking at those 3 alternatives!!?? Hmmmmmmm, Turkey, still not the best place to be if you are a westerner. Greece, Involving the Greek FA leaves you open to their Government! Italy’¦’¦..enough said!!!!!!.
I am sure a safe and logical situation will be at the end of this but I would not expect it soon knowing the meetings about meetings UEFA seem to have!
The simple fact is that innocent people are dying and they live there, why risk bringing in foreigners to play a worthless football match (it is worthless compared to life!) and risk anything happening to them?
All that appears to be known is that the Israeli authorities want to give cast iron guarantees for safety. I do not think that from their hearts (nor heads) can give this and mean it.
Time will tell.
Postscript ‘“ Not much of a rant that was it!