The Lead

First, this:

So Suarez’s agent’s damage control was all for naught. This is happening. Remember kids: any less than 40 million pounds and LFC don’t know what they’re doing. And yes, it does seem the press did play a role:

Anyhoo, tis the season for friendlies! And while they don’t exactly lend themselves to white hot preview action as well as their competitive counterparts, there is always some grandiose theme to extrapolate out of the otherwise meaningless proceedings.

Over in Brazil for example, a judge called off a friendly that was to be held at Rio’s newly-renovated Maracana stadium. That is until her ruling was reversed:

However a statement on the Rio state government confirms the stadium complies with “all safety rules”.

The statement also confirmed the safety certificate was granted.

“All safety requirements for the friendly between Brazil and England have been complied with and, because of a bureaucratic failure, the appraisal from the public ministry that proves the compliance with the rules on safety at the Maracana have not been sent to Suderj,” the statement read.

Suderj is a division of the Rio de Janeiro state authority that holds responsibility for administrative issues with major sports venues.

Apparently these safety guarantees didn’t make it to the office responsible for approving sporting venues because of a “bureaucratic mistake.” And, make no mistake, this and the first person testimonials we’ll be seeing on Monday about the shoddy state of the place from England fans will be used to push an “Is Brazil Really Ready?” line.

As for the game itself, a bit of pish, a reason to look at Neymar, and whinge about two banks of four.

A little further north, Toronto’s slightly sturdier BMO Field will be the site of another, potentially more fiery rematch between the Canadian and American national women’s teams. They haven’t met since the epic 4-3 Olympic semifinal match in London, a game that still draws a bitter divides otherwise friendly soccer nations.

Equally bitter: fans of the Canadian mens team over the lavish attention paid to their more successful female counterparts? Perhaps, and there is some grumbling about a smaller pool of talented nations in women’s soccer flattering Canada. But fans of the program should put any sniping aside; Canadian soccer rarely enjoys this kind of attention, and the Canadian Soccer Association is milking it well.

The trick, as Duane Rollins wrote yesterday, would be to view this match as another opportunity to spur on a national development program, rather than a glorified back-slap. Attendant media would do well to ask Canada’s technical director and president what movements have been made to implement the recommendations for a division three national league.

Comments (21)

  1. Not surprised about Suarez, rather disappointed though. He’s such fun to watch… well, except when he’s infuriating.

    Key thing for Liverpool is that they invest the money for him a bit better than they did the money from Torres (which went mainly to Carroll, but also to Suarez himself). With the way Coutinho played late in the season, they might very well be okay without Suarez…. something that couldn’t be said early last season.

    • What about someone like Loic Remy who should be keen to flee the collapsed QPR? He showed he can score in the prem, sure he has some scandal about him but that is nothing to a team that dealt with the Suarez circus. Also QPR should be in a mood to deal to reduce it’s wage bill.

  2. Where has any OFFICAL transfer request been reported? All i see is a quote from a twitter account. Seriously, he may leave, but to report this as a done deal is a terrible peice of journalism on this blog.

    • Liverpool confirmed he’d submitted a request. Awaiting offers. I await your apology John :)

      • Could you please provide a link for me to where the club have officially announced the transfer request. Not tryin to start with you Richard, would just like to see an official announcement thats all.

          • Thanks for that Richard. I appreciate you writing me back. The issue i had was that originally the article only had someone’s twitter account as the only “source” and i think we all know how reliable those can be.

            No hard feelings i hope.

          • Totally understand. Usually have more in the way of links but sometimes I forget I’m stuck in hivemind.

          • From the link:
            A club spokesperson said: “Luis Suárez is not for sale. Neither Luis or his representatives have communicated these feelings directly to Liverpool football club.”

            I’m still looking for the ‘Liverpool confirmed he’d submitted a request.”

            Also, not looking to start anything, I just haven’t seen the Liverpool confirmation. I have heard the interview and nothing sounded too formal.

      • I’d much rather see the Liverpool confirmation than a journalist, reporting on a journalist. But what I am saying, I’d rather not see this news at all. I did listen to the Suarez interview this morning. He sounded sincere in his disappointment on how he has been vilified. He also said he has not talked to any clubs and no clubs have approached him. He also said clearly, I have a contract with Liverpool and I do not know when I am leaving, or how long I will stay, and that people would understand if he did leave though. When (small if) it happens it will be a huge loss for the EPL.

      • LFC have admitted no such thing. Besides which you’ve written this up as if the transfer request was made on Uruguayan tv. At best, this is sloppy.

  3. It is too bad the Italians didn’t get on the oil money bandwagon for the sake of Suaréz; not sure if the ‘style’ of play necessarily would be the best for him but I think Italians would be more amused and less righteous than the English with his antics. I agree with him that the English press uses him in particular to moralize about football – it is not an excuse but it does make their relationship more difficult – in a way which is to demonstrate English moral superiority. In part the improved docility and control over ‘bad players’ through discipline and hard work (a narrative that no doubt has its counter-narrative). There is a long standing history of this narrative that goes back to the first international tours of English club teams and like various parts of the culture of “British Empire” there are remnants today. I think in part this is what has made the Premier league ready for such great international interest, television watchers and financially. But it also needs its ‘stories’ of disciplining, which Suaréz found himself a target of and in the end the press in England will feel righteous when he leaves… maybe not if he finds himself destroying their defences once again but this time at a champions league match…

  4. I’m sure he’d be cool with staying if the team was any good. But they aren’t.

  5. this isn’t the media’s fault. They didn’t make him into a petulant, diving, racist cannibalistic bastard. that’s his own doing or if he really needs someone to blame he should look at his paternal and maternal DNA donors.

    dude needs some serious mental health help. in this age of talking about it they should really get him into a psych ward. a grown person just does not bite another person when they know there are television cameras all over them.

  6. Off to France! Big money being thrown around those parts.

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