Australian football: With friends like Blatter, who needs AFL?
EDITORIAL: For Australian football, forget AFL, NRL or cricket: with friends like Sepp Blatter, who needs enemies? With one line, the FIFA president has effectively pulled the rug from under the feet of all those attempting to convince rival codes, skeptics, any and all opposition, that hosting the World Cup would be great for Australia.
There was major push-back against the bids' opposition, which had appeared to have peaked before Christmas. But Blatter's irresponsible throw-away line has only opened the door to them again.
Kevin Rudd, the Australian PM, has committed over $45 million to the bid campaign for 2018 and 2022 - and in an election year, how is it going to read that a significant portion of that money has been completely wasted trying for a World Cup in 2018 that was never available to us?
Australian football relies too much on public money, there's no doubt about that. And I'm sure there would be greater support if we saw some private sponsors aligning themselves with the bid.
It will only take some individual journalists to tally the money spent on the 2018 bid alone for another round of World Cup bashing to appear in the local media.
Blatter's comments were barely hours old when Queensland Premier Anna Bligh admitted the FIFA president had done her State a favour as they chase public financial support for their Commonwealth Games bid.
Why should the public be supporting a doomed World Cup bid when there is a more realistic chance to bring the Commonwealth Games to Queensland? Why should the public support the World Cup bid - even in 2022 - when someone like Blatter can effectively write off the country with one line?
In an election year, coming out of a major depression, is this the right way public money should be spent?
These are all legitimate questions that could be raised in the wake of Blatter's comments. Football Federation Australia have already scrambled to claim the 2018 bid will proceed, with even the PM dismissing Blatter's comments.
But in such a codes battle, perception is reality - and with the opposition having a bigger megaphone, it will take a lot for Australian football to win back credibility after the work of our 'friend', Sepp Blatter.
Are the PFA serious?
Talk about dialing it in.
Problem was, in December Vidosic never actually played for Nurnberg! Not a minute. So why was he selected by the PFA for Player of the Month ahead of legitimate rivals? A pretty nice haircut?
Maybe the PFA should focus more on bringing to public attention cases like that of Reece Caira rather than awards that don't appear to being taken seriously.