Day: January 24, 2011

Gray, Keys & The Chance Of A Clean Sweep In British Football Broadcasting

That Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been suspended from duty by Sky Sports for this evening’s Premier League match should come as no great surprise. The issue of their off-the-microphone comments regarding several different issues relating to the role of women in football has spiralled out of the control of the broadcaster and hasn’t blown over in the manner in which Sky might have hoped. They had the opportunity to apologise properly for the comments at any point during Sky’s Sunday broadcast yesterday, but this opportunity was not taken. It may, at this point, be worth asking the question of asking why this was not done and what will happen now. There is no questioning the stupidity of the comments that Gray and Keys made, and the fact that they managed to crowbar another female referee, Wendy Toms, and some disparaging comments about Karren Brady into their conversation would seem to indicate that the appointment of Massey was just one aspect of the matter of the role of women in the game that they, for whatever reason, have an issue with. That such comments still cause some degree of surprise is a reflection upon the extent to which the locker-room mentality of senior football is now kept behind closed doors, but it still exists and the fact that Gray and Keys’ comments on the role of women within...

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The Asian Cup 2011, Part Three: The Business End

The 2011 Asian Cup is Japan’s for the taking. Simply play with ten men for the last half-an-hour. And if they meet Uzbekistan, score three – as the Uzbeks appear contractually obliged to score twice in every game, regardless of the context or opposition. Apart from Group D, the deadly dull, death warmed-up, death of football Group of Death (I hope I haven’t missed anything out), the competition warmed up nicely in the last set of matches. Thanks to Jordanian spanners in the works in particular, every group was up for grabs going into round three. The canny (lucky?) scheduling of the matches between each group’s two favourites also helped, with all of them out of the way before the last round. Apart from Japan v Saudi Arabia. But by then, the Saudis place among the pre-tournament favourites was the relic of a bygone age. To be fair, until Japan eventually scored, the Saudis passed the ball neatly, moved well and looked quite confident, fashioning the odd chance in the process. Unfortunately for them and the match as a spectacle, Japan scored after six minutes. And the Saudis probably wished they’d never sacked Jose Peseiro. It came as no surprise to learn that Peseiro’s replacement, Nasser Al-Johar, now needs replacing too, with “a highly-qualified international crew and domestic aides,” according to the Saudi Soccer Federation. Perhaps something for ‘big’...

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