Away from the telly I spent Sunday afternoon way up in Upper Wharefedale in the charming cobblestoned Yorkshire Dales village of Grassington, for the annual www.grassingtondickensian.co.uk. festival over 4 days and two weekends.where there are lots of dogs, people, Dickensian figures, food, drink, local crafts and brass bands...and much more.
Back home I switched on the highlights of The FA Cup 2nd Round and the EPL. Some exciting contests, big and small. The intriguing encounter at The Emirates between Arsenal and Spurs had it all with a 4-2 win for the Gunners and their Gooner fans. What struck me as interesting was the promo on the jersey sleeves, on the billboards surrounding the pitch, and on the background board to post match interviews. VISIT RWANDA.
Many would wonder why a small, deperately poor landlocked African dictatorship would spend £30 million...YES £30 million... to promote tourism for well heeled North London fans to pay big bucks to look at mountain gorillas..and I can't think what else, when you have cheaper flights to South Africa's many game parks, of which I have visited a few.
Paul Kagame is the president for a third term (he poled over 96% of the votes). He is a big Arsenal fan, who goes on line to make comments and line-up suggestions while his country receives millions in foreign aid. Couldn't the money be spent to further causes, such as hunger and education and even sport at home with the Amavubi (The Wasps). www.ferwafa.rw. 139th in the FIFA rankings. Amahoro Stadium in Kigali was used by United Nations peacekeepers to protect Tutis during the genocide that killed over 100,000 in the mid 1990's.
One aspect of the economy doing well is tourism, and the president thinks that the strange publicity that his country received world wide through the promotion seen by milions world wide could increase tourism income to £800 million annually. It certainly got my curious attention.
Changes are coming from FIFA which will affect a number of English clubs. They have announced that on loan players must be restrincted to between 6 and 8 AT THE MOST by 2020 Did you realise that Chelsea have ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN players signed up including 30 out on loan. . Their names are stockpiled at their Cobham training site. Mancheste City, Wolves, Brighton and Watford are also serial stockpilers. They hoover up players, put them out on loan and then sell at large profits. Meanwhile their many up and coming home products find it difficult to get playing time at The Bridge.
Manchester City have players on loan as far away as Melbourne City and Giron near Barcelona, clubs that they control. Why do Chelsea have FOURTEEN goalkeepers??