The round leather game is one beautiful game of the sport that is widely accepted and followed all over the world by many nations of diverse races and continents; as a result, the biggest sport in the world.
Football has enjoyed tremendous love from all the continents of the planet with more than 500 football Leagues all over the world. However, the round leather game has witnessed many series of controversies and atrocious happenings over the years.
One of them is the issue of Racism which has grown gradually to become a Frankenstein and some set of people have at one time or the other been racially abused in Europe.
Racism started as early as the 1970s and 1980s as many professional black players faced massive racist chants from large sections of the crowd and banana skins were thrown onto the pitch.
But after many decades, racism is still a fly in the ointment for football lovers and authorities. Many racist cases marred football in the year 2019 with most of them coming from one European country to another and on social media.
The year 2019 alone witnessed 33 incidents of racial abuse across Europe made the news and sadly, most of them were handled with levity. One of the incidents which were handled ideally has to be the Bulgarian National team that was asked to play two matches behind closed doors and fined £65,000 for racially abusing England players in a EURO 2020 qualifier match on October 14.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister further sacked every member of the Bulgarian Football Association after the manager of the team and the chairman of the FA Association had earlier resigned to ensure that racism does not raise it’s ugly head again in Bulgaria.
The same cannot be said in Italy as 6 incidents of racist abuse were recorded (perhaps it might be more than 6 – Some didn’t make the headlines). Italy has increasingly grown to become a center of racial abuse and one saddening thing is how silent the handlers of the Italian Serie A have been with their “fight” against racism.
So far this season, racism has been a problem all season in Italy with offensive chants aimed at Romelu Lukaku, Franck Kessie, Dalbert Henrique, Miralem Pjanic, Ronaldo Vieira and Kalidou Koulibaly as well as Balotelli. All of the players targeted — except for Pjanic, who is Bosnian — are black, and many of the incidents have gone unpunished.
Meanwhile, Serie A says it intends to deliver “a comprehensive and robust” anti-racism policy with new, stricter laws and regulations:
“No individual should ever be subjected to racist abuse – inside or outside of football – and we can no longer stay silent on this issue or wait for it to magically disappear.
“We don’t have any more time to waste.
“We must now act with speed, with purpose and with unity and we call on you, the fans, to support us in this vitally important endeavour.”
The game of football has no doubt endured tepid times as per racism and the time for a positive change is now or never; hence the need for some moves to be taken towards making racism a thing of the past in football. How do we do that?
Banning For a Year
In as much as the three-step procedure is instilled into the anti-racial campaign, banning teams found culpable of racism sounds juicy.
If this had been thought about by football authorities, the menace called racism would’ve reduced in football to some level or gone down totally.
Referees and Managers Should Be Empowered To Take Players Off The Pitch
Once it becomes clear to every being at match venues that racial abuse is/has been dished out of the stands at a player or anyone, officials too must be aware.
There have been occasions in the past when referees have led players off the pitch. UEFA should authorize referees as well as managers to take the players off the pitch even if it’s one player that has been abused racially, especially if it is accompanied by missiles being thrown.
FIFA Should Stop Tergiversating With Various National Football Federations
Sadly, FIFA, as constituted, hasn’t covered itself in glory with the way it has dealt with racism issues, an emphatic action is needed from the football governing body if it’s truly serious with fighting this human ritual practice.
This is not the time to be gentle with these national football federations. Italy has become the main center of racism recently and FIFA President (Gianni Infantino) needs to take his eyes off his affiliation with Italy and do the needful.
I feel despair at each new case of racism, as the tide of hate far and wide becomes stronger, frail to do anything besides continuous preaching and campaigning against racism with the expectation that football authorities will make a genuine move to handle it.
The beautiful game is a part of a huge number of things that make up what our society looks, so it needs to show greater obligation and actions towards making the wisest decision. It may not be in the hands of football to roll out the fight against racism and discrimination all over the world, however, football can absolutely influence the fight against racism.
Fifa needs to prove that its stance on racism and discrimination is something other than a gimmick. How long are we going to keep chanting “SAY NO TO RACISM” while allowing the menace to spread like a wildfire before we really plan something to change what’s going on?
Football should be enjoyed the way it is. Nobody wants to talk about any other misdeeds happening to the game any longer.
FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™
Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.
Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.
Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.
As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.
The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.
International match calendar and release of players.
The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.
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The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.
2020 financials and 2022 budget
The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.
The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.
FIFA Arab Cup 2021™
The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency
Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?
The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.
Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.
Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.
The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.
However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.
It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.
The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.
READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut
Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.
Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.
In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.
Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.
Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.
Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.
Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.
However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.