The sanitising of football continues unabated at the World Cup. FIFA charged both Granit Xhaka and Tubs Shaqiri for their goal celebrations. Crossing their hands, evoking an image of an eagle, is bad. Mainly because it refers to the politics and history of the Balkan region, as well as their own ethnicity. That’s a step too far the gnomes.
FIFA don’t want any of the fellow finalists sensibilities offended. Which is Serbia. They are presumably not the same Serbia whose fans behaviour is subject of a FIFA investigation. Among their offences are the display of political messages which might offend the sensibilities of their fellow finalists. That includes Granit Xhaka and Tubs Shaqiri…
VAR will review the incidents, deciding whether there was a clear and obvious error on the part of the individuals which need punishing. However, given how they missed ‘spearing’ at corners and shoves by German defenders as Swedish strikers are poised to score a goal which would have knocked Germany out of the World Cup.
Instead, Toni Kroos scores an incredible goal – the strike itself, the occasion, the stage of the match – to keep the Germans in the tournament.
Once VAR finishes with Xhaka and Tubs – who sound like stars of a Swiss cop show: “Thun Vice” – they might look at the handbags after Sweden vs Germany. Did Godwin’s Law kick in during the 30-second touchline spat?
That final game overshadowed the earlier matches. Belgium wiped the floor with Tunisia while displaying a vulnerability in conceding two goals which feeds English hopes. The Three Lions bravado glosses over the five goals scored. That was always going to be England’s downfall; we lack a variety of goalscorers. If anything, today’s match against Panama will prove the law that if Harry Kane doesn’t score, nor do England.
It’s a Global Business
Somewhere in between was Mexico’s win over South Korea. There wasn’t the outright sh*thousery of other games with the Koreans earning a reputation as being snide. Leaving a stud in here and there, masking the fact that they are very poor side.
That tends to be the ‘out’ for these sides. We can’t play therefore we shall kick, scrape, and do just about everything to distract from their lack of ability. Unlike the Saudis, football’s enthusiasm has left them and cynicism rules the roost.
After England’s match finishes, Japan host Senegal and Poland face Colombia. A win will see one of the first two qualify and one of the latter two exit. Which you want to hit the road is up to you, but in truth, the World Cup won’t weep if either fails to qualify such was the poverty of the performances in the first game. At a push, Colombia has the inclination to entertain more than the Poles who were bereft of ideas against Senegal.
Away from Russia, there is pressure little going on in the Arsenal kingdom. Ever Banega’s agent apparently met with club officials and is set to be the next Unai we want in midfield. That’s courtesy of the Italian media. Just to clarify, the news that an English club met the agents of an Argentine player who is currently with a Spanish club came from the Italians. Ooookay…
That’s it for today; enjoy your football later on.