Anorak News | Football Faces Crisis

Football Faces Crisis

by | 8th, October 2003

‘IT is difficult to believe after the events of last week that English football could bring yet more shame on itself, but it has.

Another dark day for the game

Two Leeds United players were arrested at training yesterday over a 20-year-old woman’s claim that she was raped by one of them after a night on the town on Monday night.

One of the players was later released, but a third man (not a footballer) was also held.

As if we needed reminding, the Sun says it is the third scandal to hit the Premiership in the past 10 days, following the gang rape accusations and Rio Ferdinand’s failure to attend a drugs test.

In fact, make that four as almost unnoticed yesterday Newcastle striker Craig Bellamy was fined what the Mirror describes as a “measly” £750 for being dunk and abusive after being refused entry to a nightclub.

The only group of people who can take any satisfaction from the sad and sordid state that football has allowed itself to be dragged into are aficionados of the silhouette.

Both the Sun and the Express have silhouettes of the two Leeds players on their front pages, causing us once again to reach for our Panini stickers to identify the pair involved.

The Mirror has a silhouette of the 20-year-old who claims she was raped in a lay-by on the Leeds to Wetherby road.

And lest we forget the small matter of a gang rape at the Grosvenor Hotel, inside the family of a silhouette of the 17-year-old victim are demanding to know why it has taken police so long to quiz her alleged attackers.

At this rate it is only a matter of time before football becomes a game of 11 silhouettes a side with the media banned (for one reason or another) from showing any player’s face.

One face we won’t see as England line up against Turkey on Saturday is that of Rio Ferdinand, who was yesterday dropped from Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad after missing a drugs test.

The Manchester United centre half, who claims he forgot about the test because he was moving house, says he is absolutely devastated by the decision.

And, says the Sun, the rest of the squad are preparing to refuse to play in the vital Euro 2004 qualifier unless he is reinstated.

It is a protest that we at Anorak are happy to endorse. However, while they’re about it, perhaps they should demand the return of the Elgin Marbles, freedom for Palestine and an end to gherkins in Big Macs.’

Posted: 8th, October 2003 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink