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(en) UK, class war 86 - Sport

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 4 Apr 2004 09:16:17 +0200 (CEST)

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Webb of Boredom
At football matches in the 1970s, one of the loudest boos of the
day was always reserved for the tannoy announcement about the
referee. For some reason a disproportionate number of refs were
always either police officers or school teachers, and the terraces,
having seen enough of such people during the week, always made
their views clear.
Fast forward to the era of professional referees, and who do we
spot but South Yorkshire police sargeat Howard Webb, who is
combining his ?service? as a police officer with referring in the
Premiership. Webb has certainly brought something to the games
he has been in charge of, but it is certainly not entertainment. His
first four games in charge were:
Fulham 0 Wolves 0
Bolton 0 Southampton 0
Middlesborough 0 Charlton 0
Southampton 0 Leicester 0.
The chances of Webb being selected to referee the FA Cup final
must be about as high as him ever being cheered from the terraces
? in other words less than zero!

Olympic Flames
Greek pride at hosting the 2004 Olympics in August is beginning
to waiver. Seven countries have been declared as ?security
partners? for the event ? the USA, Britain, Spain, Germany,
France, Israel and Australia. These countries are then supposed to
partner the Greeks in decision making. American of course has no
intention of partnering anyone, especially on security matters.
The changes being demanded of Greek society to make the
country ?safe for visitors? during the games are immense. CCTV,
virtually unknown in Athens, is being introduced for the first time.
Virtually everywhere. The US security company SAIC has been
awarded a &185m surveillance and security contract to cover the
games. They will also control Athens airport and the sea port of
Pireaus for the duration of the games.
45,000 armed security guards will be on duty ? three times the
number deployed at Sydney 2000. The Greek government, once
largely indifferent to US protests about the November 17 Marxist
terrorist group, has now jailed much, possibly all, of its

From 1967-73, Greece was governed by a fascist junta, known as
the ?Colonels Regime?. This regime was instigated and backed up
by the CIA. The Americans may have forgotten how unpopular
they are in Greece, but even with a budget of &350 million set
aside for security, they are likely to be reminded at some stage this
summer that the Greek people have not forgiven them.

Rio Ferdinand is not the only drugs in sport story. Sprinter Dwain
Chambers was caught out using the steroid THG (which was
previously untestable) whilst three of the biggest sporting nations
have failed to pay their annual fee to the World Anti-Doping

The fight against drugs in sport is supposed to be led by the
WADA. Italy, the Ukraine and the USA have all developed a
severe case of short arms long pockets. Is this an oversight, or a
case of being worried what might be uncovered if more testing is

The First Olympic Betrayal
January saw the launch of London?s Olympic bid, for 2012.
Amidst much razzmatazz, the people of the east end also
uncovered the first ? blatant ? lie from the organisers.
Hackney Marshes is regarded as the spiritual home of English
football. Each Sunday thousands of working class people play
football there, whilst its status as being the ?heart? of the game
ensures that a succession of adverts have been filmed there. Eric
Cantona and Ian Wright, amongst others, felt the need to be seen
there if the products they were selling were to be credible.
Within a stone?s throw of the proposed main Olympic site,
Hackney Marshes was quickly declared ?safe? from any
development. David Luckes, deputy head of London 2012, told
local people categorically that the Olympics ?would not impinge
on Hackney Marshes?.

People in Hackney are used to being lied to by politicians of all
shades. It is fair to say that many of those running the London
2012 bid have never been to the borough in their lives, and will
only do so to pass hurriedly, through it.
No surprise then that London 2012 Chairwoman Barbara Cassani
now reveals that part of East Marsh will be a coach and car park
for the duration of the games. It can expect to be put back to its
former use as football pitches ?in probably less than 12 months?.
But given that their commitment not to build on, or concrete over
pitches at all lasted less than 7 months ? why should anyone
believe them now?

As a local Sunday football official put it ? ?We?ve been playing
football here for years ? we?d rather lose the Olympic bid than
have this done?.

The problem with London 2012, and the Olympics in general, is
not the sport or the athletes ? both are welcome in London, it is
the politicians, the business people, the people like Barbara
Cassani, and the fact they can ride roughshod over working class
people?s lives . Worse, they can ride roughshod over our football.

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