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Idiots of the year awards

Following on from earlier in the week....

Corrupt Bastard of the Year: It can only go to Sepp Blatter.

When faced with allegations of corruption, what do you do?
1. Get the accuser, and main rival, kicked out of FIFA because he is either as rotten to the core, or the only one who isn't, so therefore he must be removed.

2. Sacrifice an entire region (CONMEBOL) because they hold little power and blood must be shed, despite them only following the examples of their peers. CONCACAF is seemingly several times more corrupt but they hold far more power in FIFA voting ranks.

3. Hold an election where the ballot paper has only one name on it. Not even Kim Jong-Il (RIP) was vain enough to do that.

4. Go to the most corrupt country in the world, Zimbabwe, and lecture players about the evils of match-fixing and how any players caught being involved in corruption should be severely punished.

5. Blame every allegation against you on being a fabrication of the British media, who bear a heavy grudge against losing the bid for WC2018.

6. Make a big song and dance about bringing in a corruption investigator...then not allow him to investigate anything in the past.

And then there's the ludicrous 'shake hands and it will all be better' response to racism.

Clueless Sports Body of the Year:

The ICC, for their quest against spot-fixing making headlines around the world with the gaol sentences for Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Amir and the fixer himself, Mazher Majeed. The only problem was, the ICC had virtually nothing to do with the detection and capture of evidence, it was all done by a now-defunct newspaper! The ICC's response to the verdicts - schedule more meaningless international matches and let the BCCI run the show as usual.

The Hypocratic Oafs:

The English FA. Always trying to take the moral high ground with FIFA and UEFA over issues such as corruption and racism, yet they allow John Terry to play on and keep the captaincy. In any other job, he'd be suspended immediately while under investigation. Destroys their moral arguments vs FIFA and UEFA.

What award do you give British/Irish racing - so many good stories, so many blunders.

The case for good:
- Frankel, Long Run, Kauto Star....
- Mickael Barzalona showboating before the finish line in the Derby
- The stiffness of the race-fixing penalties
- Increased exposure via Willie Carson on I'm A Celebrity and Wayne Rooney buying a horse with Tom Dascombe. Some might class the exposure bit as pointless wank but it gives vital positive exposure to the sport in the non-racing press which has had to endure, and will naturally highlight the section below.

The case for bad:
- The whip rule - the timing of the announcement (days before the new showpiece, QIPCO Champions Day), the severity of the penalties at the minor infringement levels and the refusal to accept that horses/riders which don't cheat are still penalised (winner should be thrown out every time otherwise you are encouraging cheating to win - the rule is inconsistent and toothless without that addition). I'm not against the concept of the change, but the implementation was appalling.
- The BHA wasting yet more hefty legal fees on challenging the ruling on Betfair customers not being bookmakers (pay a lawyer a lot of money and they will happily tell you they can prove the Moon is made of cheese)
- Continued resistance by course managers to use traffic cones/barriers etc to stop jockeys taking the wrong course, Willie Mullins giving a firm 'screw you' to punters by refusing to give news on status on Hurricane Fly for the Istabraq Hurdle (if a horse is nominated, the trainer should be compelled to make all information relating to health of animal public, if penalised if found to be duping the public)
- The inadequate penalty giving to Sam Waley-Cohen for pulling up a horse a lap early then lying through his teeth rather than admitting he fucked up, followed by his penalty only applying to amateur races which he doesn't need to ride in any more given he rides Long Run, is loaded and is far better than anyone else in amateur ranks - Obsession with fixing the SP system when there is one bad race a year against what is a solid system overall while at the same time horses with a run of duck eggs next to their name can miraculously have a major form reversal on the same day as a huge betting plunge but that apparently doesn't cast a bad light on the industry.

- And Paul Roy, most to blame for the top-level incompetence, is still in charge.

Head in the Sand award

The WTA for, like the ATP and ITF, being in denial about how big tennis betting actually is. Betting is evil, we can't be seen to promote it.... Just this week, they have announced a great new broadcast deal with the Perform Group - whose client base is predominantly online bookmakers!

Have I missed any? I haven't got any international names there. Feel free to nominate them in the comments....


  1. Perth Stewards for the Railway fiasco.

  2. Richard Hannon jnr showing why he and his dad have had so few winners outside Europe. Turned up in America and complained at the always fast ground which was palpably untrue the previous year. Complained at having to use the dirt track instead of being allowed to churn a wet turf track up (TBF Gosden's complaint was more ridiculous as he once work in the US) and then claiming he was misquoted by Geoff Lester when slamming Americans in general.

    Not to mention the mysterious pronouncements after Canford Cliffs suddenly developed an injury that was not an injury after being handed a pasting.

  3. Bit harsh there Bedfont I reckon - the number of horses he has ever taken outside Europe must be slim?

  4. Being Zimbabwean I take exception to Zimbabwe being labelled as "the most corrupt country in the world". May I ask you a few questions:
    1) Have you actually visited Zimbabwe or is your statement based on what the media have written about Zimbabwe.
    2) Have you ever met any Zimbabweans and what exactly was it about their nature that led you conclude that they must come from "the most corrupt country in the world"?
    3) Can you cite actual incidences of corruption perpetrated by Zimbabwe or it's people.
    I always find it curious that with access so much information and tools to get information people in the west always seem take media reports unquestioningly at face value and then regurgitate them verbatim without any critical thinking or doing any independent research . On the major issues that affected Zimbabwe this decade have you taken the time to do any research about the other side of the story. For example on the land issue in Zimbabwe did you know that 1 to 2% of the population (i.e. Farmers of British ancestry) owned 90% of the land and natural resources in the country (due colonial historic reasons). I guess that inequitable distribution is immaterial to westerners. I guess you also think that Britain reneging on it's commitments (under the Lancaster House Agreement) to compensate any farmers for redistributed land is also immaterial (I suggest you search on Google for "Clare Short letter" I guess you also probably agree with the "targeted" trade and financial sanctions currently imposed on Zimbabwe which are causing untold suffering to ordinary people and which led to a balance of payment crunch in 2007 culminating in the government of Zimbabwe having to print money to meet it's internal obligations which then lead to hyperinflation.
    Finally, as an author I think you have the responsibility to ensure that your statements are accurate and fair. In this case they are not and they perpetuate the tarnishing of Zimbabwe's image which in turn makes economic recovery for the country harder thereby prolonging the suffering of the Zimbabwean people. The Zimbabwean people are a peace-loving people. May I suggest you visit Zimbabwe for yourself and see that there are two sides to every story.

  5. 2 - shared a house with several of them. This is a sports blog so I won't go into the details of why they would wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

  6. Thanks for publishing my comment and responding to one of the points raised in it. I'm curious as to the true nationality of - the "Zimbabweans" you shared a house with. Were they holders of British passports i.e. are they "Zimbabweans" with British ancestry and in fact British nationals since one of the conditions of Zimbabwean citizenship is that one can not be a citizen of Zimbabwe and simultaneously a citizen of another country. Please don't see this as a cheap swipe at British people - it is not, I am just posing an honest question to satisfy my curiosity. I was just very surprised to hear that there are Zimbabweans who would "wholeheartedly agree" that they come from one of "the most corrupt countries in the world". As I said in my initial post - "I always find it curious that with access so much information and tools to get information people in the west always seem take reports [from people they've lived with] unquestioningly at face value and then regurgitate them verbatim without any critical thinking or doing any independent research":

    I appreciate that this is a sports blog - so this will be my last comment on the subject. Thanks for your time.

  7. They were born and raised there, then got the hell out as soon as they could. Tales of home invasions being investigated by police whose prime concern was how much was taken as they received a cut aren't a good example of society. Perhaps I could have just made the comment about Mugabe though (as he was involved in the Blatter statements) rather than the nation as a whole...


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