The World Game No More

Johnny Warren and Les Murray
Johnny Warren and Les Murray

The time has come to say adios to The World Game on SBS. In the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s the program was a love and hate affair for me. In those days I could only see futbol from the BBC (ABC), which was an English Premier League program and then there was SBS. Not only did you need a special antenna to watch the channel but it was also dependent on the weather. SBS were and still are a European based futbol show. I have previously sent letters, phone calls and now with social media have had my fair share of criticism of the lack of South American coverage.

I finally received a response many a year ago from SBS advising me that it’s a case of demographics (not in writing but over the phone). Australia has 1.1 million residents from the United Kingdom, half a million from New Zealand and 220 thousand from Italy. Compare that to 30 thousand from Argentina, 30 thousand from Chile and 10 thousand from Uruguay. All television programs live by their ratings and it would be in SBS’s interest to show a friendly game between England and Liechtenstein instead of a Copa America group game between Argentina and Brazil.

For this same reason The World Game was quick to get on the bandwagon of the Suarez incident and why they were very quiet when it came to the John Terry incident. Les Murray wrote a blog called Why Suarez is a Racist I wonder what Johnny Warren would have thought of that? Francis Awaritefe born in England was also quick to jump on the racist bandwagon. However when I ask any of the SBS journalists if it’s ok for Evra to say things about Suarez’s sister or to call him Sudaca (Derogatory term to South Americans) then there is silence.

SBS wants to be on the side of the 1.1 million Brits then the 80 thousand odd South Americans. I don’t see the same type of articles written about John Terry. Not only was his trial set after the Euros but then quickly ended with no action. I don’t hear Francis Awaritefe or Les Murray have much to say on that matter.

It actually feels fantastic to remove all the World Game journalist’s from my twitter and Facebook accounts. I no longer watch any of the SBS futbol programs which is quite a relief not hearing Craig Foster, especially David Zdrilic and/or Les Murray. We live in a time when I can watch the futbol and programs I want, and I choose to switch SBS off. I certainly wont be affecting their ratings but it feels great.

My last discussion on an SBS related article, was relating to the booing that Suarez got. During London 2012 the Great Britain crowd tried to boo their way to a Gold Medal as they booed Suarez at every game even booing him during the Uruguayan National Anthem. They booed South Korea when they took the penalties that eventually knocked Team Great Britain out. Amazingly they booed Neymar the next super star of World Futbol in the game between Brazil and Honduras.

Brazilian coach Mano Menezes said: “Possibly the reaction of the crowd was connected with the potential of a Team GB semi-final”. “The booing of Neymar is to do with the cultural values of the British crowd and what they expect on a pitch. Neymar needs to learn how to deal with this. The booing is normal.”

What I find interesting is that everyone is just dismissing the booing. What about FIFA Fair Play? What about the Olympic code? What about the English FA doing something about it? Instead what we have is everyone trying to resolve the issue themselves. First there were the Liverpool fans wearing T-Shirts supporting Suarez (You’ll never walk alone). Then there was Kenny Dalglish who was apparently sacked for the way he handled the Suarez incident by the Liverpool owner John W Henry. Now current coach Brendan Rogers has told Suarez to move on and put the Evra incident behind him. Well Brendan how can Suarez move on if the crowds are booing him at every game? How can he move on if Journalists continue to ask him if the booing is affecting him?

Now because of the constant questions about the booing Suarez has decided to say they must be booing me because they are afraid of me. If you believe this like Matt Price of SBS who actually believes that Suarez doesn’t realize that the booing is because of the racist tag. Typical blog entry from The World Game. Well Matt it’s actually because he doesn’t want to talk about Evra and has been asked to not talk about Evra.

The Liverpool fans have now started with signs that read:

Boo if you're scared of Suarez

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10 thoughts on “The World Game No More”

  1. BIEN AHI LOCO, AGUANTE SUAREZ! SBS have always been biased and they can hide behind their ratings but the simple truth is they are part of the herd that follows the masses and don’t have the balls to actually make opinions based on fact rather than ratings

    1. Very true, it’s always difficult to comment when your sponsors are looking behind your back. I can’t believe they are booing Neymar now!!!!! Suarez has allies 😉

  2. Nicely written and very accurate, S.B.S. (Side By Side) with pure ludicrous and very cheap and vulgar comments and rankings. That’s how eventually will put Australian football below their expectations. A very grotesque ideal for persons like Mr. Jonny Warren, whom my be turning up-end at his grave,in disgust about what is coming ahead with S.B.S. and football in this country.

    1. So true Dr Luis….. I was a fan of Johnny Warren and I would love to hear what his thoughts would be of the current show @SBS!!!!

      When I last spoke to Johnny Warren he told me that he has Recoba’s autograph in his passport. He met him at the airport and only had his passport to sign. (True Story)

  3. 10,000 people from Uruguay! that’s a lotta fuckin’ Uruguayans running around in Oz.

    But in all seriousness, isn’t Australia’s lukewarm response to soccer (football) in their best interest, to protect Australian Rules Football/Rugby? Over here in the States, Soccer only exists because Mexico has shown you can actually make a buck from it.

    But overall when US NT plays, no one cares, no one knows what channel they’re on when they do play a friendly. ESPN treats Soccer like a red-headed stepson, and they only take out the red carpet when the World Cup is on.

    I don’t think this is going to change… NFL/Baseball are still the two biggest leagues in US sports scene, NASCAR third and NBA is for morons who find Baseball/NFL rules too complicated.

    Keep plugging tho’ sooner or later all those letter writing campaigns will yield dividends… maybe Brazil vs Argentina won’t be shown, but heck, maybe they show El Salvador vs Honduras! Not the same sure, but better than nothing. 😉

  4. Yes Australia is very similar to the states when it comes to soccer. The mainstream press here is all about AFL, Rugby League and Cricket and then you have a multicultural TV station like SBS that is more European then “The World Game” tag they give themselves. I have asked them on numerous occasions to change their name to “The English/European Football Show”.

    The way they get out of it is by providing some footage (usually the last minute of the show) of the other continents in the world and occasionally showing some games from other countries. It’s a 80% Europe and 20% the rest of the world. I always said that South America needs more coverage due to there history and achievements in world futbol.

    It’s only the South Americans and Europeans that have won the World Cup. It’s always the South Americans and Europeans that make World Club Championship finals previously known as the Toyota Cup which only featured the best from South America and Europe.

    Now it doesn’t matter as I can watch all the games I want and all the shows I want from all around South America, thanks to the internet. I no longer need SBS as I can now hear expert commentary, hear professional discussions on sports shows. Discussing not only South America but Europe and the rest of the world.

    I have missed out a lot living in a non futbol country but now I’m catching up and there is no stopping me!!!! LOL

    Saludos

  5. Over here, it’s battle of the cable providers… will give you an example, you have this new channel, called BeIN sports… owned by Arabs. They bought the US rights to every fucking Sports league except the EPL. This means, no more Spanish Liga, No Serie-A and they also bought the rights to all of South America’s Qualifiers. This all means I’m SCREWED! Have no idea if they’ll even make any of the games available on PPV (I saw last two on PPV) but now they want you to subscribe to channel, but first you have to beg your cable provider to carry channel.

    Internet is fine, but I hate having to watch something about the size of a postage stamp. Maybe I’m old school but I like to at least make out the faces on the players.

    With non of those leagues; I’ll be alternating between Bundesliga, Dutch League, Mexican League and Argentina League…. there’s quality football in all them. Right now I’m following Atlante (Ricardo LaVolpe’s team); Querétaro (El equipo de Charley Good); Boca Jrs & River Plate; and Arsenal…

    By the way, Enzo’s channel “GolTV” is garbage… they don’t show anything. Maybe they’ll show 5 Uruguay league matches (spaced out!) for the entire year (If we’re lucky) —- now they won’t be able to show La Liga, wonder what they’ll show instead? But knowing them, and how Cheap they are, they’ll probably start showing Mexican 3rd Division.

    Clasico will be missed, but maybe TeleEspaña shows it. Maybe not? Shit you know what this means, I’m gonna have to start my own letter writing campaigns!

    Salu2.

    1. Yes I feel your pain. I am no longer able to see the Seria A and instead Setanta offer 2 live Argentinian Games. They also offer the Dutch and German leagues with a couple of games and maybe a highlights show. They also offer at least 1 live game from the Copa Sud Americana and Libertadores.

      Setanta also offers the South American qualifiers except the Argentina home games. Also offer some international friendlies.

      Fox offers the Premier League and some international games.

      I use VTV which now only shows the Uruguayan League and have stopped showing any games when Uruguay plays. They have some good sports shows and the news sports update.

      We live in a time when you should be able to buy to watch any league in the world or any tournament or friendly. The capability is there. I would buy the Seria A, the South American qualifiers etc but no one offers this service.

      You end up having to pay all these other companies for leagues they might not always have.

      Now I have Fox, Setanta and VTV and I still don’t get everything I want. I would also need to get RAI to watch the Seria A and all in Italian only.

      This system is madness and will need to change soon, that is why rojadirecta is so popular but like you said the quality is bad.

      With current technology you should be able to watch any game in high definition as there is no excuse.

      Money doesn’t talk it swears – Bob Dylan

      Saludos

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