Submitted by Pachamama
FIFA World Cup 2014
As we leave the round of sixteen (16) and move to the final eight (8) it is fairly clear that the homogenization of soccer culture has left the leading teams nearly equal. There has been few results with margins of more than three (3) goals. Indeed most matches, even in the preliminaries, were closer than was expected by most commentators.
As we enter the final eight, France vs Germany; Brazil vs Colombia; Argentina vs Belgium; Netherlands vs Costa Rica; we may indeed have unexpected semi-finalists and finalists. Certainly, Belgium, Colombia and Costa Rica have not threatened to go all the way in recent years or even before. While the others have more pedigree, if you will. Brazil has only shown fleeting displays of the brilliance expected. Germany has been, as usual, workmanlike and strong in defense, but unconvincing so far. They have been in this position before. Lionel Messi has shown up at critical times to secure a top quarterfinals spot for Argentina but he has not been the magician we expected and the rest of his team are just above par.
We see Belgium and the Netherlands, on their day, on par with the average displays of France, Brazil, Germany and Argentina. This normalization of standards leaves this world cup of soccer 2014 opened to, maybe, a Cinderella team. Maybe Colombia or Costa Rica if they can continue to surprise us with ball play. Colombia has drawn their last four (4) games with Brazil. The display of Costa Rica should give inspiration to small island states everywhere and may alter the algebra of control of world soccer.
Submitted by Pachamama
… favelas that housed the poor were destroyed to make room for new construction …
As the World Cup of Soccer enters the knock out phase we are closer to a declared winner, on the field. But regardless of the nation state that will hoist the trophy, FIFA will always be the real winner. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, as founded in 1904, has grown up to be a leading beneficiary of the generalized misguidance of the vast majority of human beings wanting to believe in something. For the structure of FIFA represents God-like powers which are not unlike those of the Holy See, in particular, and religion more generally.
That structure makes sure that any country hosting the games are guaranteed to do this on the backs of the poor, the dispossessed, the national treasury. These games have never, financially, benefited any country but FIFA has more than a billion dollars in the Bank and has an ability to tax nations without representation. While stadia all over the world remain underutilized, empty and decaying as a result of these very world games. Ask the South Africans! That bank balance will increase from the series of religious revivals now going on in Brazilian cities. And this business model under the rubric of a false social formation remains as persistent as ever, if not more so. Its simple, they privatize incomes and publicize the debt. This is corporate welfare.
Submitted by Pachamama
Soccer stars Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo
Every time world cup soccer (football) comes around a plurality of the peoples of the world recall the glorious Brazilian teams of 1950′s, 60′s and early 70′s. The Brazilian teams of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) and his band of magicians. Things are unlikely to be any different this year with the tournament being in what some consider the Holy See for soccer lovers with Pele as its eternal Pope. But this Brazilian team of 2014 is unlikely to repeat the dazzling brilliance of their forebears, even if they won the cup.To a large extent it was the Brazilians who led the transformation of soccer from a slow physical game to the faster, more technical, tactical, precise, flowing and the easier to watch marketing product it has become. This product is now more diffused and the sources of competition Pele’s Brazil had to counter are now more numerous, as the European leagues will show as they more and more rely on players from elsewhere.
Submitted by Pachamama
President of the West Indies Cricket Board Dave Cameron
We watch a boring cricket test match as the cultural dead-endedness of Caribbean societies is demonstrated through cricket. Cricket as a cultural expression of the British was never going to be susceptible to the radical transformation, in the Caribbean, it faced after the cultural revolution in North American, giving them baseball. For the Blacks with White masks at the WICBC and amongst the elites in the Caribbean are even more protective of this traditional British game than even the very British themselves.
Former players, administrators and newly minted Black lackeys get to trot out their knighthoods when cricket is playing. For them it is in the service of Queen and Empire that a nonsense of a rule could prevent Sunil Narine, the world’s top spinner, from playing for the West Indies but there is no problem for Corey Anderson, who was at the same IPL semi-finals, to be playing for the Black Caps. So a Black Cap can play while a West Indian player is to be sanctioned by the over-zealous plantation overseers of cricket in the West Indies. The WICB(C) will allow an Englishman to be a third empire. A man who has a personal interest in promoting English cricket. So West Indies bowlers could be outing people and all the marginal decisions go against us. All this for the love of pound and crown by Black and Indian Caribbean lackeys from Jamaica to Georgetown!
Nowhere in the world are people particularly interested in test cricket. And it must be allowed to meet its long awaited death. Nobody goes to watch it. TV audiences are never very impressive. It cannot attract pay-per-view revenues. The marketers at the WICB(C) must be infantile to allow such a strategy to take root. So much so that even when test cricket is aired free of cost only the diehards show any sustained interest.
And this is the strategic vision a backward Board can now come up with. The brains cannot be on the Board! What would it take for Caribbean peoples to run these nutters out of town, absent their heads?
Jack Warner (l) Mohamed Bin Hammam (r)
There is the saying if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former FIFA Vice President is back in the news. Unlike Caribbean media international journalists take the business of investigative reporting seriously. The Sunday Times has gone public with a report Hammam used slush funds to make dozens of payments to senior football officials which resulted in the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar – Sunday Times report: Qatar 2022 World Cup bid faces fresh corruption claims.
Many in the Caribbean in and out of government will again have to hold their collective breath at the thought, if there is smoke there must be fire. Enter Jack Warner bosom buddy of Hammam. The Sunday Times report accuses Hammam of funneling more than $1.6 million directly into bank accounts controlled by Warner, including $450,000 before the vote. Warner resigned from football duties, including his 28-year membership of FIFA’s committee, in June 2011 to avoid investigation in a bribery scandal linked to Bin Hammam’s campaign for FIFA president.
Jack Warner is no stranger to controversy and he is definitely no stranger to staving off accusations of corruption from all quarters. Many have forgotten the findings of Sir David Simmons’ CONCACAF Integrity Committee report which was damning it its conclusion that Warner engaged in nefarious activity while he was Vice President of FIFA.
Submitted by Wayne Cadogan – Social Writer, Designer, Retired Civil Servant and former National Athlete
Yet another player has been given a raw deal by the West Indies Cricket board after giving of their best and undying service to West Indies cricket. When the Caribbean was unable to fulfil the coffers of the so called mother country and the islands started to become a liability, she dumped them one by one through giving them independence. Now the West Indies Cricket Board is using the same tactics with its players after they have provided yeomen service to the West Indies cricket team throughout the years and their usefulness as a player became questionable, they were all abruptly discarded surprisingly from the team. One can go as far back as to Sir Garfield Sobers and a myriad of great players that have since followed him, with the latest being the former captain Darren Sammy.
It is not so much the dropping of a player, but the callous and meek manner that they were dispatched from the team. Darren Sammy may not have been one of the greatest cricketers to play for the West Indies, but he was a great leader and team player, always giving of his best and that is 100% at all times. A business cannot be successful unless it has a competent leader, the same goes for the West Indies cricket team. Sammy came into West Indies cricket at a time when it was on a downward slide and morale was low.
Wayne Cadogan – Social Writer, Designer, Retired Civil Servant and former National Athlete
I was happy when I first learned that Levi Cadogan was granted a contract by Adidas as one of their stars of the future. Evidently Adidas officials have seen the potential that the young athlete has to become a world class sprinter in the future and has invested in him by honouring him with a contract. I am very happy for him, his family and the country. On the other hand, I am very sad and my heart is heavy to see that he has been badly advised to stay at home and not to take up a athletic scholarship to advance his skills and further his education. Whoever his advisers are have made a terrible decision, one that will only stymie his future progress as a world class sprinter. I have been following his progress for the past three years and have watched his development to become a world class junior sprinter even with a major flaw that the coaches have not been able to iron out. Once this flaw is corrected, he will be a force to be reckoned with in the world and one who is capable of being Barbados’ next Olympic medallist along with Akila Jones; but it cannot be done by training here at home.
In order for him to be a world class sprinter he needs to compete every weekend against other world class sprinters of his class and it certainly cannot be done in Barbados, because we do not have the calibre of competitive meets, athletes or coaches that is required to take him to that next level. With the exception of one or two coaches; I am sorry that I have to say this, but if you were to put all the rest of coaches in a hat, they cannot add up to one. I heard one coach saying that they prepare athletes on a platter and send them to America for coaches there to get all the credit.
One positive coming out of the Top Gear Festival to be hosted in Barbados next weekend is the participation of 2008 Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton is following the script nicely after winning a fourth straight race in Spain today to move to the top of the drivers points tally one week before the Top Gear festival. The Barbados Tourism Authority despite the huge embarrassment committed (Call for Jeremy Clarkson to be FIRED) by host Jeremy Clarkson who uttered a racist remark, Barbados maybe able to leverage the event to boost its standing in the minds of potential travellers given the enormous negative and positive publicity generated to date.
There is little doubt in the BU household the majority of spectators visiting Bushy Park next weekend do so for one reason, the coming of LEWIS HAMILTON. It is ironic that Lewis comes from a mixed background, a Black Grenadian father and White mother and is the only Black driver on the Formula 1 circuit. Let us hope the irony of it all is not lost on Clarkson and others of his ilk.
Barbados welcomes you Lewis Hamilton!
Submitted by Wayne Cadogan
Disappointing crowd attended 2014 Senior Games
Barbados is currently going through a recession and it would appear that the 2014 Senior Games has been affected by the recession and has slip into a comatose state based on the quality of the games and number of spectators in attendance this year. Less than 1000 patrons attended the games on Saturday and less than two hundred on Sunday. When the complimentary passes are deducted from those numbers, the number of patrons would have been much less than those that were projected by the media. This is a far cry from past years where thousands of patrons flocked to the stadium to witness the games, but of course there was no entrance fee then to attend.
A number of factors could have been the reason for the rapid decline of the games such as, the games have become too competitive and the fun element has been taken out. This year the organizers wanted to have eliminations by zone and that was a disastrous decision. In the end that decision had to be scraped because the numbers just were not there to follow through on what was a very poor decision by the organizers. It is my belief that the $10.00 entrance fee was the main deterrent, a family of six would have to pay $60.00 entrance fee and would still have to purchase food and in some cases bus fares to and fro, and in these hard economic times one would have had to weigh that against their other priorities.
The decision to hold the games over a two day period was another blunder by the organizers and if it was done to make the games run smoother, it certainly did not achieve that objective.
Submitted by Pachamama
…A time when Blacks have made some progress but where the majority of peoples of colour, throughout, the world are still largely dispossessed…
The World Cup is just around the corner and as Brazil prepares for this signal event of soccer, Brazilian players, of distinctively African origins, continue to face the leading edge of racism in all of Europe. In fact, all Black or African soccer players have been facing, increasingly, incidences of overt racism in the seat of the White race. When we say racism we mean the system as scientifically defined. We are not particularly concerned about personal likes or dislikes, we are here defining racism as the recent and historic power of White people to enforce social, legal, economic; cultural systems; which are anathema to the interest of peoples of colour. It is a system, or a set of systems which attaches more value to White people based entirely on the colour of their skin. This is the vast phenomena that we are interrogating, in broad terms and as it relates to soccer. We shall use Dani Alves as a case but there are tens of thousands with similar import.
This galloping rise of racism in Europe is associated with the rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, ultra-rightism, and White nationalism. It comes at a time when the economic circumstances are getting worse for large numbers of White people. Black people are more used to these deprivations which Whites are now starting to feel, in greater numbers, for the first time in many years. It continues to appear as though White people in much of Europe see hopelessness as the order of the day. It comes out of the long pretence that we were moving towards a colourless world.