Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Quiz

I've been bemused by the Patrice Evra v Luis Suarez race hate allegations. According to Evra, Suarez directed racist obscenities at him during the Liverpool v Manchester United crunch last Saturday afternoon. Suarez, who's from Uruguay, has been denying it left right and Facebook that he did no such thing. He loves everyone, he says.

One thing is for sure Suarez would not be met by enthusiastic hordes were he to travel to Ghana. His handball on the line prevented them from scoring a goal in the dying seconds of the world cup quarter final. Asamoah Gyan, then missed the subsequent penalty and Uruguay ultimately won the penalty shoot out.

That's just the background. It suggests he is up for gamesmanship. But that does not necessarily lead to racist abuse.

But why not. If you're capable of sticking your hand up and stopping a goal - terribly bad form - what's to say that you can't string a few words together? Or as Evra suggest, the same slur 10 times.

But maybe Evra didn't hear right. Maybe Suarez uttered no such obscenities.

Evra is no goodies two shoes. He was part of the maniacal French team that entered a reality fug at the last world cup in South Africa. All had something to do with the coach Raymond Domenech, the striker Nicolas Anelka and a subsequent boycott of a training session. Classy.

Is my point that footballers are strange beasts. Yes they are. Rich, pampered and very skilful too.

Readers of the blog will know that I shuffle around a field of a Saturday morning. In the seven or eight years that I've been doing that, I've never been racially abused.

I have never racially abused anyone either. I would have to learn a whole welter of vocabulary that is not in my usual realm and I would have to learn it from people who themselves know how to be abusing towards North Africans and presumably the white French with whom I play.

It sounds like a lot of effort. But maybe Suarez has the kind of infrastructure that allows him access to racist obscenities.

But I do know one thing. If Evra has made it all up, he'll have a lot of black people calling him names too.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Law

There used to be an advert on TV about how a dog wasn't just for Christmas, it was for life. I really should try and apply the same discipline to this blog.

Neglect. Pure and simple. It's just not right. And there is so much to write about.

The football for starters. New season is up and running and two games in have brought a win and a draw. I've scored two goals (in the match we lost) and am now injured (the match we won).

As I cajoled my strained right thigh muscle towards the railway station on Saturday, I thought just how painful would this be if we had lost. I was pained the week before when we lost and I am in pain when we win. So the leitmotif?

Football is pain. Tennis doesn't seem to be produce so much agony. Perhaps just the angst of learning so many new things. But that's no bad thing.

I ought to try and get a bit more with it.

Ace journalist and writer Jonathan Wilson was in Paris last week for the France v Bosnia match. I took advantage of his presence to do an interview with him for the radio station and go out for lunch.

By the time I emailed him to alert him to the interview, he replied he'd already had the link up on his Twitter page.

I plan to take six months off travelling between Paris and London.

Forget football and tennis, I need to to embrace digitalia.