FIFA has suspended the Greek FA and its international team from any participation in competitive football due to undue interference from the Greek Government. This ban will also affect all Greek clubs meaning that at present there are no representatives from the country who are eligible to play in next seasons UEFA Cup or Champions League. This means that there is one space in Group Phases of the latter and logically speaking, it should be the next highest placed of the seeds who is given priority for this. Now obviously I have a vested interest in recommending this course of action, given that the team in question would be Arsenal, but it is hard to see how UEFA can do this without screwing up the draw for the final Qualifying Round. Should they give Arsenal the leg-up into the Group Phases, one other team would need to be given a bye to make the math work. The only other alternative is to give two teams a bye from the Qualifying Round by means of a free draw, something that would appear to contradict previous behaviour which has all but proved all that they are interested in is money.
Coming so soon on the heels of the Italian scandal, this is just the sort of publicity football does not need. For many years, Greek football has been a hotbed of rumour, innuendo and outright allegations about corruption amongst officials. It can be of little surprise that state interference in the Game is coming into play. The issues surrounding the domestic game have been known for long enough for FIFA to have no excuse for a lack of action. The fundamental problem is that the Statutes allow the Organising Body a convenient shelter when they wish to do nothing about any issue, diverting blame onto local FA’s for anything that is wrong.
If FIFA is so hellbent on independence, perhaps they would be good enough to inform us why the Italian FA, the Azurri and clubs are not suspended pending the legal investigations that are going on. Surely this is an example of the State interfering in football? Or could it simply be the case that the Greeks are a soft target, never likely to generate the money for football that the Italians do?
Todays Tunes are from REM, a concert held at the Rockpalast on 10th February 1985. The Set List is as follows:
Feeling Gravity’s Pull / Harborcoat / Sitting Still / Maps and Legends / Fall On Me / Green Grow The Rushes / Driver 8 / Hyena / So. Central Rain / Have You Ever Seen The Rain / Can’t Get There From Here / King Of The Road – 7 Chinese Brothers / Auctioneer / Old Man Kensey / Little America – Pretty Persuasion / Write A Letter / Toys In The Attic / See No Evil / Second Guessing / Ghostriders In The Sky / (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville / We Walk – Paint It Black
Download it here