Fair And Foul: Myths and Pardoxes of Sports

Reply Thu 9 Oct, 2003 12:40 am
Rio Ferdinand (ManU) has been left out of England's (football/soccer) squad for their crucial Euro 2004 qualifying match in Turkey on Saturday.

To explain more on this, here's the timeline, as given by BBC at this link
23 September

An official UK Sport drug-testing team arrive at Manchester United's Carrington training ground to carry out random samples. Ferdinand is one of four players chosen, with their names picked out of a hat.

The players are allowed to shower after training before taking their tests but Ferdinand leaves before doing so and is later photographed out shopping in Manchester city centre.

The centre-back is finally contacted by his club but it is too late for him to return as the testers have left. He tells United that he forgot the test as he was in the process of moving home.

24 September

Ferdinand does eventually take an official drugs test, which he passes.

However, his failure to sit the original test carries a 'strict liability' penalty leading to a probable misconduct charge.

Late September

The FA receive official notification from Sport England and start to gather evidence for the case, while attempting to speed up the process as the England squad announcement looms.

3 October

The FA send a letter to Ferdinand, advising him that UK Sport have advised them of his failure to attend the original test.

4 October

Talks begin behind the scenes with Manchester United as the club are contacted by the FA and informed of the FA's likely course of action. United call in their lawyers.

5 October

The England squad announcement, due at 7pm, is delayed until the next day.

Publicly, it appears as though fitness concerns over Michael Owen are the issue.

The reality is considerably different.

The FA are, in fact, trying to avert a crisis. The FA's head of football, David Davies, has an informal meeting with Ferdinand in the morning, while FA officials meet to discuss the case later.

6 October

The FA's developing view that Ferdinand cannot be picked in the squad starts to harden. Efforts are made to hold the 'interview' with Ferdinand that must precede any official charge before the squad is named.

Ferdinand, however, rejects the chance to move this 'interview' forward from next Monday. The FA therefore postpone the squad announcement once again as their compliance unit fly to Manchester.

7 October

Still no meeting with Ferdinand is possible, so Sven-Goran Eriksson is told that the centre-back must be left out of the squad, with the FA deeming his call-up to have been "inappropriate".

The FA hold an early evening meeting with leading players, including the 'players' committee' of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Sol Campbell and Gary Neville, who make them fully aware of their objections.

The FA nevertheless release a statement claiming that talk of any proposed strike is wide of the mark, insisting that talks have been "amicable".

The England players nevertheless hold a meeting of the full squad, with Paul Barber, the FA's director of communications, asked to present his views.

Once Barber has left, a vote is taken and the players unanimously agree that they will threaten to strike if Ferdinand is not recalled.

8 October

Talks aimed at averting a strike start at breakfast time and continue throughout the day, even though the players do turn up for training.

At 4pm, Barber tells the media the FA will not back down and that the players are meeting later to consider whether to go ahead with their threat to boycott the game.

Five hours later, Eriksson and FA chief executive Mark Palios emerge to announce the squad will be travelling to Turkey after all.

The players do not appear but launch a bitter attack on the FA in a written statement which is handed to journalists.

The obviously great, wide-ranging over-commercialication of sports -besides the above mentioned story- gave me the idea to start this thread.

Sport should be more fun, more inclusive, more humanized and more ehtical, I think.

There have been broad changes in how sport now operates in our culture(s). It has positive and negative outcomes, both for individuals and society.

What are your ideas about it?
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the prince
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2003 05:46 am
English footballers (though I am a BIG fan) are a bunch of overpaid whiners - who play for money and personal glory, not for the glory of their country and the sport.

Would Ferdinand forget a photo shoot for an ad ? Forgot a dope test indeed !!!

And I say the same for Indian cricketrs...
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