Posted: 12/18/2010


        When Lewis Carroll wrote his classic children's tale in 1865 he never dreamed that it would be translated into 125 languages and made into many films. His real name was Reverand Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

      It is the tale of a girl called Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world, Alice in Wonderland. There she meets may crazy characters and is guest at The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. The Dodo, The White Rabbit, Bill the Lizard, The Caterpillar smoking a hookah, A Fish Footman, The Cheshire Cat, March Hare, sleeping Doormouse, Mock Turtle, The Lobster Quadrille, Knave of Hearts, King of Hearts.

     FIFA in Switzerland is a similar modern tale and perhaps after Christmas dinner you can gather friends and family together and make a game of matching the characters from Wonderland with those from FIFA's Switzerland. OR, how about FIFA MONOPOLY, where you make loads of money and NOBODY goes to jail. PURE FANTASY !

     So, the FIFA Club World Cup this week in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Guests were given a welcome pack including instructions not to kiss or be too affectionate. Also FIFA proposed playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in January, and sharing matches with neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and maybe even Iran. THAT wasn't in the bid book or presentation was it?  SO, we might have the choice of deciding where and how we get punished, Buried up to the neck and stoned to death, Beheaded in front of the FIFA 6 Star Hotel, put in a sack with wild cats and thrown from the top of the minaret- for chewing gum or crossing the road at the wrong place!!!

     As you know, over there you can have your right hand chopped off. They eat with that hand and wipe their backsides with the left, so having to do both with one remaining hand is nasty.  THAT PUNISHMENT will be for bringing a Vuvuzela into town and blowing it! I think we would all agree that that is a fitting punishment?

     I have stated before that the event is 11 plus years away and LOTS may change in Switzerland and the Middle East and the event may be moved.  After the West withdraws from the folly in Afghanistan the first task should be to take the Saudi oil fields by force, and the offshore ones in the Emirates. These small states with their big building programmes may run out of drinking water and revert to sand dunes.

    At the 1982 World Cup in Spain I travelled all over from the Opening Match in Barcelona, Belgium v Argentina, to Bryan Robsons 27 second goal v France in Bilbao, Kuwait v France in Vallalodid, where the head of the Kuwaitis marched on the field to persuade the referee to change his mind. Later Algeria v Austria in Oviedo, the fixed West Germany v Austria in Gijon, Italy v Cameroon in VigoPoland v Peru in La Coruna, Brazil v Scotland in Seville, USSR v New Zealand in Malaga and more.... I spent one day with my friend Abraham Klein in the FIFA referees hotel in Madrid.

    In those days all referees were not required to speak English so he was the centre of conversation, being fluent in Hebrew, Romanian, Hungarian,Russian, German, English and more. He refereed Italy v Brazil in Barcelona, a televised match that the Arab countries wouldn't show, and was linesman in the final Italy v West Germany.

     I spent a week in his home with his family on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa some time ago, and his son Amit also became a FIFA referee. Israeli passport holders are banned in the Emirates, so his countrymen will not be in the middle in 2022. In fact, one of the more obnoxious FIFA Executive members, Argentina's Julio Grondona said on live TV that,  'I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee. It's hard work-and Jews don't like hard work'.

     Watch out for more fantasy.