It is arguably World War I's most iconic image - Lord Kitchener’s handlebar-mustached face, with his pointing finger almost coming out of the poster, above the slogan: “Your country needs YOU.”
Now superimpose Kitchener’s face with that of England manager Roy Hodgson or Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, with their pointing fingers above the slogan: “I’m a bit short of players: Your country needs YOU.”
Long gone are the days when a manager would pick his international squad from a collection of players born in their homeland. War, ethnic conflict and the relentless march of globalization have changed all that. FULL POST
1. Politics is bigger than sport
Often this phrase is quoted in reverse given sport has proved more influential than politics on occasion; a ban on South African teams helped build momentum for the anti-Apartheid movement, for example.
However, the exposure of alleged abuse of workers in Qatar completely overshadowed the debate about moving the dates of the 2022 World Cup.
With lives on the line and international trade unions in full voice, the complaints from television rights holders and Europe's wealthy football leagues suddenly seemed petty.
An Olympics or football World Cup can be a catalyst for change but, in this instance, FIFA's Executive Committee (ExCo) needed to be reminded by the media to focus on the most serious issue of the Qatar World Cup. FULL POST
As events go, committee meetings usually engender the same level of excitement as that felt by Willy Wonka on hearing his dentist appointment has been brought forward.
“A committee is a thing which takes a week to do what one good man can do in an hour,” was the assessment of American writer Elbert Hubbard. And if the judgement of Mr Hubbard is to be valued nearly one hundred years after his unfortunate death at the hands of a German U-Boat then it’s probably fair to assume such a gathering of bureaucrats won’t make for a great spectator occasion either.
However, even if you’re a sport hack more used to the drama-drenched fare of World Cup football, the deliberations of soccer’s biggest suits at the 28th executive committee (ExCo) on Thursday and Friday just might be different.
That’s because agenda point 25.2 will see a discussion on the future of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar, an important bone of contention for a number of reasons: FULL POST