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It’s an absurdly hyperbolic headline from the Roar, but their story of surveillance of fans is a little concerning, especially in the context of the long failure of the Australian football authorities to understand that heavy-handed restrictions and knuckle-headed security is not the way to grow the sport in a country with far more established sporting cultures.
In this case, the Australian Football Association have hired a firm called Hatamoto to provide “security management support.” Whilst this is not unusual, the methods being employed against Australian fans — who hardly have a history of anything that could seriously ever be considered as organised hooliganism — are causing some angst, with Hatamoto employees caught surreptiously filming fans and hanging out at supporter social events.
What’s worse than the undercover surveillance (which also happens in MLS, incidentally) is that they’ve been caught doing it by fans, many of whom will now believe — rightly or wrongly — that their own authorities are out to get them, and another wedge of distrust is placed between fans and the league.
- Money can’t buy you everything. It appears Sol Campbell’s stay at Notts County is already over — the question is whether he’ll be allowed to sign for another club before January, and even if so, if he’ll bother to get in good enough shape to play. Apparently £40,000 a week wasn’t enough for him to do so in Nottingham.
- Gabrielle Marcotti rips into the investigation into El Hadji Diouf allegedly telling a ballboy to “fuck off white boy.” Marcotti points out that “Racist abuse is based on a history of power relations between people. There is a difference between a white person calling a black person “black ****” and a black person calling a white person “white ****”. Diouf also says bananas were thrown at him. Meanwhile, a man is in custody after Blackpool striker Jason Euell was allegedly racially abused by a Stoke supporter at a Carling Cup tie last nigt.
- The Football Association’s decision not to punish Craig Bellamy or Gary Neville for their actions during the Manchester derby has Matt Hughes wondering where the consistency is just days after the FA charged Emmanuel Adebayor with improper conduct for similar action — though the latter was clearly far more provocative, and the results of his action were worse.
North American News
- EPL Talk has the latest ratings for the Premier League’s first season on ESPN2. You know, if you can get 199,380 to turn on the tv to watch Burnley versus Sunderland on a Saturday morning before 8am nationwide, this sport might just have a chance in the United States after all.
- Seattle are apparently considering expanding their capacity next season, but Adrian Hanauer also pours cold water on the idea of the club ever playing on real grass at Qwest. And nearby, the Oregonian gives us the latest on the renovations to PGE Park planned for Portland’s MLS expansion entrance.
- A World Cup final in Dallas? The $1bn 100,000 capacity stadium built by Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones just might edge out more glamorous locations if the U.S. wins its World Cup bid, simply because it’d make a lot more money than anywhere else at that size and with its corporate hospitality facilities, says Steve Davis.
- WPS is already drafting its international players for next season, and Melissa has the lowdown for you as well as a rundown of other news.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.