By Kevin Rooney
“IF tomorrow, we go watch a game already knowing the outcome, football is dead,”
The words of UEFA President Michel Platini last month.
And this week has seen revelations that over 280 matches across the world have been targeted by match fixers based in Singapore.
This includes the 2009 Champions League tie between Liverpool and Debrecan.
The Debrecan goalkeeper has since come out and pleaded his innocence.
This after he was banned and fined for not reporting to authorities that he had been approached to throw another match.
This is all very murky stuff.
Soccer will need to be careful it does not find the sport likened to cricket and the very serious match-fixing allegations which beset it.
The already congested soccer calendar did not this week’s international friendlies.
Much as it was great to see the boys in green win v Poland in Dublin it comes at a very pressing time for clubs with league, cup and European matches aplenty.
This blogger is of the firm view that all international friendlies and qualifiers should be played in the summer and then we wouldn’t have the domestic season broken up the way it is.
Every other summer is free anyway what with the World Cup and Euros being every four years.
I’m sure club managers would be eager to see this happen. The Premier League etc could finish in April.
The players could then have the months of May and June divvied up between international duties and their hols.
Everyone’s a winner!!
Malcolm Brodie was the doyen of sports journalists having covered some eight World Cups and European Championships.
He was on match duty when Northern Ireland beat Spain at the’82 World Cup.
Brodie set up the sports’ department at the Belfast Telegraph and was firm friend of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Malcolm passed away last week at the age of 83.
Such was his work ethic, he was still penning reports for the Irish editions of the Sun only last month.
RIP Malcolm Brodie.