Monday, June 19, 2006
What a load of rubbish
Controversy surrounds the Aussie squad at the moment concerning two of our three national pastimes.
Harry Kewell might be banned for the game against Croatia for telling the overbearing authorities who seek to reinforce the continuing hedgemony of football's ruling classes to "give us a go ya mug", or words to that effect.
Then we have the English tabloid The News of the World, failing to take the enormous piece of lumber out its own eyes, attacking Tim Cahill saying Australia could get kicked out because Cahill had contravened Fifa rules by having a bet with fellow teammates that he would score Australia's first-ever World Cup goal, which he did, against Japan.
Sticking our noses up to authority is a requirement for all Australians, as is betting. The third national pastime is, of course, drinking beer, but thankfully none of our players have been doing that in the last week or so, unlike a certain Croatian player.
The Kewell thing first. Markus Merk's performance on Sunday night was a joke. Australia did not play dirty (although I admit that sometimes we do seem to do so) and there was no way that we deserved to be on the receiving end of a foul count of something like 25 to 9.
Not only that but according to Australia's assistant coach Graham Arnold both Brazil's goals came from offside positions.
Is it little wonder then that Kewell told Markus Merk at the end of the match: "you were f-----g s--t".
Good old Anglo-Saxon words there. Grow up Markus, this ain't a cricket match.
Then we have the betting controversy. Before the Japan match Cahill had a friendly bet with his teammates that he would score first. A bet that he won and that he jokingly boasted about to an Australian paper.
Googling around in search of gossip The News of the World saw the story and decided to blow the whole thing up to make it sound like that Australia actually didn't want to score until Cahill came on.
I'm not sure of the logic there, as his teammates would surely have wanted to score earlier so as to win the bet, but Fifa ended up investigating anyway and, in an amazing piece of level-headedness not seen before by Fifa, decided against any sanctions.
PHOTOCAPTION: Harry Kewell gives the Man some quality feedback (photo nicked from the SMH as always).
EDIT (Tuesday morning) News just in that Kewell has been cleared. Watch out for great advice for the refs at the rest of the tournament.
By Oz Kanka - June 19, 2006