Where will this all end?
You just knew it, everyone in the stadium knew it, everyone watching from home knew it, everyone who has any interest in the game of football knew it, so why the hell are FIFA seemingly doing nothing about it? What am I talking about? I am talking about the goings on ahead and during the crunch World Cup encounter between Egypt and Algeria. You know, the one where a third of the Algerian team took to the pitch in bandages having come under attack the moment their team coach left the Cairo airport.
Let’s forget for a moment the fact that if such an attack had taken place for example in England then you would expect FIFA to come out fighting with angry rhetoric and more than likely a fine or some sort of ban or perhaps a bit of both, lets concentrate instead on the fact that the referee officiating the game between the two hated rivals, South African Jerome Damon, decided to add six minutes of injury time for no apparent reason.
There were no long stoppages, hardly any time wasting and yet in an act that would have made Sir Alex Ferguson wince, the fourth official held up a board that stated six minutes, but might as well have read “Keep playing until Egypt score otherwise there will be a riot”. Oh did I also mention that the goal was offside with two perhaps even three players, coming back from an offside position before the goal was scored, presumably the linesman was not to keen on waving his flag for fear of reprisal or perhaps he honestly failed to see the plethora of red shirted players clearly ahead of all Algerian defenders. If you want to see just how OFFSIDE the goal was CLICK HERE.
Quite what will happen when the two sides meet again on Wednesday, this time in Sudan and this time playing for keeps. Its sure to be a titanic struggle but you do have to wonder why nothing appears to be being done about the way in which this farce was allowed to happen. FIFA as an organization has for a long time been considered an impotent governing body who is only able to offer petty fines rather than upset any leading international football association, by the way ever wondered where those fines go? One big jolly for Sepp Blatter and his cohorts no doubt.
It’s laughable how it appears no one will be punished for the way in which the visiting Algerians were treated on arrival on Egyptian soil, almost as laughable as the attempts by some to claim that the attack on the coach was in some way fabricated. Some had rather obtusely stated that the attack on the players had actually been staged and that the rocks had been hurled from the bus itself, this of course defied modern science on about sixteen different levels for how the hell, or perhaps more importantly why, would they fling rocks within the coach and how then did they injure themselves? Oh yes, and how do you account for the hundreds of Egyptian supporters ahead, behind and to the sides of the coach who were clearly throwing rocks at the bus (as evidenced on many videos that can all be found on a little website called Youtube CLICK HERE to see just one such video).
The final indignity, although perhaps this one is purely coincidental, is the location for the tie breaking match between these two sides. Have you taken a look at a world map recently? If not, look for a nice picture of the continent of Africa. Stick a pin where Algeria is, then stick a pin where Egypt is then place one in Sudan and tell me which country will find the trek to Omdurman on the outskirts of Khartoum. Here is a world map to help you CLICK HERE.
I think you will find that whilst Sudan lies directly to the south of BORDERING Egypt the Algerians will have to make their way from Algiers a distance of 3743 Kilometers away. Now the team could decide to stay in nearby Cairo but no doubt the security implications of doing so would be horrendous so they will have had to return home and then set off once again on a trip to this crucial match which is significantly longer than a journey from London to Moscow.
One can only hope that when they arrive in Sudan the Algerians will be greeted warmly and that on this occasion the officiating will be impartial, balanced and in no way favour either team in any fashion. One too can only hope that FIFA investigates this whole mess and deals with the whole fiasco in the way a governing body should.