Ooh, we love a good excuse to demand Sepp Blatter’s head and this is an excellent one! Uefa has launched an investigation into the racist behaviour at last night’s under 21 match between England and Serbia, so while they are at it they might want to examine the logic in the decision of their mates at FIFA to order Mali to release Mahamadou Diarra and FrÃ©dÃ©ric KanoutÃ© from international duty to play for their Spanish club sides.
The duo were ordered to skip international duty to play for Real Madrid and Sevilla respectively in the La Liga title-deciding matches at the weekend. The pair missed Mali’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone as a result. Now compare that with what FIFA had to say when LA Galaxy’s Alexi Lalas opened a club v country debate over David Beckham. The spokesman said: “The same rules apply for everybody – for all national associations, for any club, for any player. Players must be released for friendly or competitive games if they are on the international calendar and the required notice is given.”
Hmm, seems a bit contradictory. Blatter himself said: “Fifa’s recognises that we made an error in our handling of the Malian case. It will not happen again. I accept that the June 17 fixture was set arbitrarily by Fifa and that when we granted this derogation in March we should have specified that only players not in league action for their clubs should be allowed to play.”
That’s OK then, because if anyone else breaks FIFA’s rules they always get way with promising never to do it again! In the end, Mali won 6-0 without their stars so there was no real harm done in that respect but it is a matter of principle. Pies certainly wouldn’t want England players being sent back to their clubs instead of playing in European Championship qualifiers, so why should Mali take it? Diarra scored one of Real’s goals as they wrapped up the title against Real Mallorca and celebrated by kissing his Mali wristband and holding it aloft.
Click here to read more on the topic from the Guardian.