The Clumpany suspects that most of you will have seen THAT magnificent Tweet from Stewart ‘Shirley’ Weir of the Herald yesterday wherein he bemoaned FIFA’s decision to impose fines on the Home Nations for wearing poppies during the international fixtures which were played around Armistice Day this year.
You will doubtless remember the outrage in some quarters over FIFA’s clear position that the poppy was a political symbol and therefore not allowed to be displayed in fixtures played under their jurisdiction.
Despite clear warnings that sporting the poppy would result in sanctions, the Home Nations (who all have a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board which makes the laws of the game) decided to press on anyway.
So I am not quite sure why Mr Weir appeared so angry:
Governing body makes rules.
Member associations announce intention to break rules.
Governing body says ‘careful now, you’ll get into trouble’.
Member associations break rules anyway.
Governing body imposes sanctions.
Am I missing something here?
Personally, I would be tempted to direct my ire at the arrogance of the SFA and others who act as regulatory, rule-enforcing bodies for their domestic games and who have chosen to set a terrible example by declaring it is OK to flout the rules. If the SFA isn’t careful, it will start to get a reputation for selective application of rules, and people might end up thinking it is a complete disgrace which ought to be disbanded…
But I’m not a senior person at Herald/ Shark-Jump Towers, so what do I know?
Leaving aside the debate about politics and poppies, the real joy of Shirley’s tweet was its unique take on history, FIFA, and the great wars of our age. At first The Clumpany assumed it was a wind-up, but the subsequent deleting of the Tweet and Shirley’s irritation with many folk on his timeline has left me wondering about that. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.
However, please do take a moment to savour that Tweet again in all its crazy confusion:
It made me wonder what other tales might yet be told about how Allied forces ended The Great Siege of FIFA in neutral Switzerland during the Second World War. After all, Magna Carta (a lovely lady, by the way) hasn’t spent centuries weeping over the Declaration of Arbroath just so that the heroes of the Battle of Mount Toblerone can be forgotten.
In pursuit of further obscure truths, I have already submitted an application to the Herald for funding to undertake an archaeological excavation of sunken British submarines at the top of Swiss mountains.
But pending their decision on that I have been reading the true story of 95-year-old British agents who don’t yet know that the war is over, and who remain in disguise on Swiss mountain sides ready to spring into action and liberate FIFA from the Nazis at a moment’s notice.
I am sure you will agree that this is all fascinating stuff, and I eagerly await further breathtaking historical insights from the Herald/Shark-Jump Group.
Perhaps we might get to hear hitherto-unknown details of the Charge of the Light Brigade. Particularly the role of two of its leading figures:
The Earl of Cardigan:
And maybe – just maybe – we will read about how Henry Tudor used Lancaster Bombers to win the Wars of the Roses against Richard III who was armed only with a Yorkie Bar and whose last words were “My hearse! My hearse! My Klingons for a hearse! I hope William Shakespeare is recording this sh*t on his dictaphone”.
And what of Shirley Weir himself? Well rumours reach Clumpany Towers of an unfortunate jam-and-cream incident at Edinburgh Castle this morning when he decided to take a break and go and see the Scone of Destiny…