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