Two spoiling acts

▪️ Two spoiling acts ▪️ What are they doing to the beautiful game?

While everyone around the world is concerned over the two major wars raging in Ukraine and Gaza at the moment – there are several others developing in the Congo, Sudan, and Nigeria – here in Europe we have the top brass of the European Union talking war for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Acting like puppets to the deft, manipulative strings tied to the fingers of nuclear arms devotee Manfred Weber, both Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, have been making dour statements about the need for European states to dig into their pockets, most of them already depleted, and contribute to bigger defence expenditures in readiness for Putin’s war schemes. They want a European army which, in truth, is another NATO army minus several bigger assets such as the US, the UK, Canada, and Türkiye.

They are fully aware bigger defence expenditures would inevitably lead to austerity measures based solely on speculation and an innate hatred of differing views, methods, and people’s choices. For Europe, there is this death wish to get the continent back into a pre-World War II mode when the colonial powers dictated to everyone everywhere, to the ironic extreme of fighting among themselves. The two world wars humanity has had to suffer so tragically were never started by the occupied colonial nations or by bigger nations outside Europe. As a recent revelation showed, most of today’s EU power holders within its institutions, dominated by one economic giant, are the direct descendants of ex-Nazi officials and Wehrmacht appeasers.  It runs in the blood, one would say.

I am sure, however, it is not the case with our girl Metsola. The Maltese were genuine victims of war, which is why it is confounding and distressing to watch the President of the European Parliament, to whom Weber and Co. want to grant a second term, mouthing pathetic, war-mongering words instead of talking peace on which her country has, historically, always thriven.

It is her pathetic attempt to play up the possibility of war with Russia in all the capitals and cities she has been visiting as part of an obvious propaganda platform for her 8th June candidacy on behalf of her party – which still sports the blackness of fascism on its emblem – that is more infuriating. At least that is what she has been saying all along in front of EPP friends running countries on centre-right policies that smell a lot more of rightist penchants.

Then she visits her little island-home, that is doing ever so well and topping most EU lists in such fields as economic growth, job creation, and LGBTIQ and women’s rights, and becomes even more pathetic. She first called “ridiculous and dangerous” members of the Maltese media who disagree with her views and, especially, with her pro-Israel bias despite the ongoing Gaza genocide, and then talked absolute nonsense to Maltese ears about why and how the European army could be useful.

Across Europe, she hypes up Putin and the threat to the whole of Europe. Here, on this blob of land, she sings about – not missiles and weapons to send to Ukraine, aware the Maltese are not exactly a war-mongering nation – our hard-working fishermen. With almost a tear in her eyes, Metsola insisted a European army would be useful to use against non-EU fishermen breaching European territorial waters. One can’t help imagining a nuclear-armed EU frontier defence threatening to not only annihilate poor Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan, and other fishermen, but also the rest of the populations on the Mediterranean coastline, north and south, including the marginal seas.

If she thought this piece of idiocy could in any way win her some approval domestically, she was completely off the mark. Both those who support her and those who don’t knew she was talking bullocks for local consumption. While she was ready to talk about the need to militarily save our fishermen from the crafty Tunisians, she wasn’t that ready to do so about governance and the rule of law against the background of her party’s continued stalling in submitting, as it is legally bound to do, its financial reports after no less than five demands by the Electoral Commission in the past two years. Can’t she find an EU accountant to help out?

That was spoiling act 1.

What are they doing to the beautiful game?

For many of us who have always enjoyed the beautiful game, as football has always been known since its inception well over a century ago, the current state of the sport is saddening. There have been so many changes to the rules, so many somersaults, and as many u-turns that followers, players, coaches, and referees have been left wondering what the future could be for the game – especially at a time when other popular sports, including American events we know hardly anything about, are gaining ground and exploiting TV and other contracts, vying for bigger audiences at its cost.

Photo: Norm Hall/Getty Images

The worst to be caught in this boiling cauldron are the referees. They get the first stick. Technology has not helped them, it has just exasperated them and the fans on the terraces of stadia all over the globe. So much that, when it is just a simple human error referees are sometimes prone to commit and of which they used to be quickly, albeit reluctantly, absolved, today it is hard to distinguish and to understand between technology and the flesh-and-blood.

Our simple game of football has been rendered an enigmatic exercise during which even celebrating a goal has been reduced to silly encores. Football needs to switch back to its simplistic, entertaining mode before it eats itself out from within.

Spoiling act 2.

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