Carry On UEFA
The Exclusive Inclusives of Nyon have struck again.
Their "decision" to ensure that Borussia Dortmund played their match with AS Monaco within 24 hours of a series of three explosions intended to kill their footballers was monumental even by the standards of this set of greedy gnomes of Switzerland.
We saw their heavy-handed tactics first hand when the match between City and Moenchengladbach was post-poned due to extremely inclement weather in 2016. I`m not intending to put this on an even platform with what the Dortmund players suffered but the principles are the same.
The safety team at City were placed under unbelievable pressure to try to stage the match at either 2030hrs or even 2100hrs on the same day, with total disregard to the safety of both sets of fans many of whom were trapped in the City Centre where up to six feet of water was flooding Metrolink Stations, power stations were more or less exploding, the pitch was only fit for the Canadian Geese which have set up camp in nearby Ancoats and the areas attached to the Etihad Stadium and surrounding roads were simply unmanageable.
To map this scenario across to a team that has just suffered perhaps the most serious of debacles, indeed only the death of one or many footballers could have been worse, is simply beyond belief. UEFA never look at the "big picture". They didn`t in Manchester and certainly didn`t in Dortmund. The only picture they see is the effect that a post-ponement would have on likes of Gazprom, Pepsi and Mastercard and other stakeholders in their competitions.
Not for them the worry of secondary and tertiary devices in or close to the Stadium. Not for them the fact that in other countries the secondary attack is usually on the police force or its vehicles. No. Get the match played, we can`t upset the "UEFA family hangers-on" who might miss transport links or might have to pay for additional accommodation.
Some of the stories emerging on social media and the broadcasting media make me feel sick, but we have seen this behaviour at our own stadium. We saw the German fans soaked to the skin buying replacement clothes in a superstore across the road from the Etihad. We saw them sleeping on their coaches, we saw them hanging their wet clothes on the fences of the stadium the morning after, when the sun decided to appear.
But, hey, this was RAIN! Not a set of devices intended to maim or murder a football team. And the cuckoo-clock brigade insisted that footballers, who could quite easily have felt traumatised at finding themselves close to death and with one of their colleagues in hospital, play a match within 24 hours.
UEFA tells the world how fair it is and how to respect each other and the referee and the match in general. How is this fair to Dortmund? Indeed it isn`t even fair to Monaco who could also have found themselves in a similar situation away from their own country. What respect have they ever shown anyone in their window-dressing reign. They make the rules up so they are easily broken giving them the opportunity to make money out of fines. UEFA does not give you the impression it is about football. It is about money.
I really hope that Bartra is soon fit and able again and both teams can get on with the job of providing another footballing spectacle. The match as it turned out provided 5 goals with Monaco just about having the edge, probably as a result of Dortmund not really getting going early on.
Shades of Marc-Vivien Foe?