Don't worry Sepp, I'll get to you in a second but one of the more interesting stories coming out of Australia this weekend has been the fuss made over Adam Goodes' indigenous war cry goal celebration. Goodes did the war cry in what was the AFL's Indigenous Round, an opportunity to give dues where they're due and paying tribute to the indigenous people of Australia and their contribution to the AFL. Now, I'd say that the AFL and NRL both rely heavily on the talents of the indigenous people which makes it rather odd that some found Goodes' war cry offensive or rude or something.
Goodes was also puzzled as to why it was an issue. Some thought that because Goodes directed it at opposition fans that it wasn't great sportsmanship, to which Goodes countered with the idea of 'respect' and what not that we are accustomed to here in Aotearoa. Goodes and many others have cited the haka as an example as to why kicking up a fuss is really stupid and obviously it's great that Goodes took the opportunity to ooze pride.
Long story short, the war cry from Goodes was inspired by this one from an age group indigenous AFL team...
What to make of it all? Well unfortunately for Australia it just shows how far they have to go to find some equality. While I may be sitting on my high horse in Aotearoa (where things are slightly better), uproar over a player expressing pride in their culture and heritage, in a round specifically designed for that purpose ... it should be a non-issue.
So Sepp Blatter still holds the throne. Good on him, I'm not going to launch into a 'why I love Sepp Blatter' but you've got to give props to someone who can get re-elected while chaos swirls around him. Most of his support comes from Africa where Blatter has done a lot for the game, using the money from huge television deals to sprinkle across nations which need it; he's got many African allies who feel a sense of loyalty to him.
This is getting extremely odd, let's be honest. I would say it's worryingly looking like a political 'my dick is bigger than yours' but that goes without saying because issues as big as FIFA are going to involve worldly politics. I started out with disregard for Blatter and that has morphed into overall disregard for the whole situation. The charges have come largely from the USA and now Vladimir Putin has added his few cents...
“As for the arrests that were made, it seems strange in the very least as the arrests were conducted on the basis of corruption charges made by the American side,” Putin said ramping up the rhetoric. “Whom did they charge? International officers. It may be possible that some of them did something wrong, I do not know, but the USA definitely have nothing to do with this. These officers are not United States’ citizens, and if anything did happen, it did not happen on the territory of the United States and the USA have nothing to do with it. This is yet another obvious attempt to spread their jurisdiction to other states. I have no doubt that this is obviously an attempt to prevent Mr. Blatter’s re-election to the post of FIFA President, which is a grave violation of the principles that international organizations function on.”
We've seen over many years that politics is extremely dumb and politicians are dumb middle aged men who wish to pretend like they are 17 year old girls, so as long as this FIFA drama has those elements #cbf.
But hey, at least the footballin' leaders of Palestine and Israel shook hands at the FIFA election right?! I would tell you why, but if there's anything messier than world politics, it's the relationship between Israel and Palestine.
You may have see the Leo Messi goal and you may have seen Alexis Sanchez's strike in the FA Cup final. Who ya got? Here's Sanchez...
And here's Messi...
All you Barcelona lovers will take Messi, I'm an Arsenal lover so clearly I'm taking Sanchez. 4-1, two FA Cup Finals in a row, fuck with us.
As expected the FIFA Under 20 World Cup is going down like down pizzas and a Sprite on a wet Sunday evening on a long Queen's Birthday weekend in Aotearoa. It's been great to see the fans out and about, but it's held up by the strong football community in Aotearoa who are just eager to see some high quality footy. So consider this my first shout out to you die-hards, keep showing up to odd fixtures that only a World Cup can serve up and keep tweeting up a storm.
The kiwis had a tough draw first up, I won't steal my comrade's thunder, just go read how he thought it all went right about here, or over here, no back over here, yup click this whole blue thingy.
I will say, that while Aotearoa has big hopes in terms of hosting sporting events, we have a long way to go. Over recent years, as I've come to pay attention to these things, it's become blatantly obvious that whether it be the government, Auckland Super Dumbo Council, Auckland Transport or any other organisation (granted, it's usually us fucking Aucklanders) we seem to think that little planning and organisation is needed. Somehow, something always manages to slip up and it usual involves fans who spend their hard earned money being pissed off.
But then again, one look at Auckland and the people who run it and surprised wouldn't be the right word. Fuck, fuck, fuck, dumb politicians go away!
One sidenote to come out of the FIFA meeting was that Oceania will still need to qualify for World Cups via a crossover game. It's smart. The All Whites should qualify from Oceania every time and they need to prove that they are good enough to play in a World Cup by beating a third or fourth qualifier from another continent, not just because they beat Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
Sure, it makes the road to the World Cup harder, but if we're good enough, it won't matter.
Yes folks, it's that time of the year where we have the NHL and NBA Finals going down at the same damn time! It's a sporting dream. I've talked about the NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors up against the Cleveland Cavaliers which gets under way on Thursday, yes, we've got to wait until Thursday. The NHL Finals will be contested between the Chicago Blackhawks who have been there or there abouts in the Western Conference for a few years, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both conference finals were won 4-3 and we don't have to wait as long to see some NHL Finals as they start on Wednesday.
Spare a thought for Manu Vatuvei's cousin Andrew Vatuvei who suffered a near fatal injury in Sydney club rugby. 19 year old Andrew took a blow which ended up puncturing a lung which meant that his lung collapsed while pressure built up in his chest. An opposition doctor came to help and stuck a needle somewhere in Vatuvei's chest which relieved the pressure and pretty much saved his life. Kia ora to that.
And kia ora to the Wellington Phoenix who made it all the way to the semi finals of the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens where they lost to Atletico Madrid in golden goal. Big ups all round.
Plenty's gone down in the French Open, but my fingers can't type much more so I'll leave you with this from Nick Kygrios who went on to be defeated by Muzza.