Growing into your sense of defeat

For long enough – 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, oh how they trip off the tongue – I have comforted myself with the notion that my sense of defeat about football is entirely in keeping with my nation’s performance on the field. But I am getting older now, and Scotland are not getting any better; being a Scottish person means growing into your sense of defeat, and like every other square-shoed man trying to get a bit closer to the bar, I find myself now occasionally looking towards football to offer a sense of nation-sized glory at least once before I pack up my pistols and grow a moustache.
– Andrew O’Hagan, from Hating Football, published in the London Review of Books, 27 June 2002.
Responses to England’s and Wales departure from the World Cup in Qatar, as well as the triumphs of Morocco and Croatia have been wildly divergent, expressing very different levels of national aspiration and expectation. For Scottish fans, as expressed by O’Hagan, this has become a sort of nadir, a pit of hopelessness offset only by pathetic schadenfreude and gallows humour. This is also about shifting baseline syndrome – where once you expected to qualify and compete, now you would be more than content with qualifying (and then being humiliated on a global stage). But what’s interesting is how and why some nations ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ is to aspire to win and some nations ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ is to expect to lose.
For Wales, a team misshapenly dependent on two-star players who, if they had been groceries would have been placed in the reduced/past their Sell By Date section of the store, qualification itself was success. Having not qualified since 1958 the Welsh arrival was on a swell of nationalistic passion, but ultimately came to nothing.

But if Gareth Bale looked past-it – the 37 year old Croatian Luka Modrić (four years Bale’s senior) looked anything but. Modrić’s life story is like something out of Roy of the Rovers (or maybe Tiger and Scorcher). When he was wee his family became refugees in a war-zone. He grew up to the sound of grenades exploding. As with Messi, in early years coaches said he was too weak and too shy to play football. But Modrić was to lead Croatia to its first-ever World Cup final, won the Ballon d’Or, five Champions League titles with Real Madrid and many more trophies. Now he has led Croatia (population 4 million) to the semi-finals of World Cup 2022.

But if this bizarre winter world cup has intensified the idea of each team having some talismanic world-class player, it also means that there is a single-point of failure. This phenomena of the single mega player (worth hundreds of millions) stands uneasily alongside the idea of ‘national aspiration’.

If Neal Stewart has asked the perennial question of why Scotland can’t emulate such success as similarly small-sized countries here, Croatia’s success does raise the question of yearning, nation-building through symbolic acts and moments. In this sense Scotland and Scottish football is a strange beast. At our (apparent) height of the 1970s, the Tartan Army would descend and take-over London, a sea of flags (then Lion Rampant) would reflect what you would imagine to be a huge nationalistic fervour. Yet at this time, nationalism, in the sense of any serious movement for independence was a marginal affair.

I suppose national identity has different outlets now, and with the demise of the Home Championships, the annual fixture with the Auld Enemy is gone. In some senses, the roles are reversed and the English national team is now the bearer of the (repressed? misdirected?) aspirations of national identity. England doesn’t get to be England a lot.

This is all about expectation. For large European countries like France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, or countries with a success-pedigree, like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay or others the expectation is to reach quarter, semi and finals. England is a bit of an anomaly, a large European country with a football history and culture, but no real track record of winning anything. This contributes to the difference in approaches to the national game, north and south of the border. If England have a fear of failure, Scotland have a fear of success. What would it look like for us to change the narrative from glorious (and often heroic) failure to workaday functioning-level ‘success’?

This conversation about expectation – what do we want? – has kicked-off in England as post-Qatar soul-searching mixed with pride and the ever-present rage. The sportswriter Jonathan Liew has written:

“England ticked all the boxes here, and in so doing generated about as palatable a tournament defeat as it is possible to conceive. But of course these expectations and judgments do not occur in a vacuum. They create the emotional weather around a team, who can sense on some deep subconscious level what the reaction to success or failure will be. England players of the past have talked of playing in tournament games and being able to envision the public and media uproar even before it happened.”

“And so is it possible that on some deeply unconscious level, the very concept of a palatable defeat can somehow self-prophesy it? Or, put more bluntly: did England’s players and Gareth Southgate need to win this World Cup enough? Did they need to win it like Lionel Messi so clearly needs to win it? Wanting it, striving for it, trying your hardest, is one thing. But should England be more than simply proud and disappointed?”

But the problem is not wanting to win, the problem for England is expecting to win.

Liew again: “If you are a five-time champion such as Brazil or a smaller nation such as Wales, perhaps this is an easier call to make. But for England, whose self-image is wrapped up in all sorts of contradictory motifs – colonial heritage and postcolonial angst, nationalism and internationalism, Premier League wealth and local tribalism – it has often been the very source of their confusion.”

This is where the post-Qatar debate meets the wider political culture.

Strangely, the current English team and management do not reflect a post-Brexit nation characterised by xenophobia and separatism but a contemporary multi-cultural one that stands in opposition to many of the ideals and values associated with England’s ascendant right. Gary Lineker, Gareth Southgate, Marcus Rashford and Alex Scott have become a sort of lightning-rod for regressive culture, they have become unlikely cultural warriors. Now the footballing debate about England and Southgate is less about tactics and selection issues and more about what kind of England they represent. From the debate about taking the knee, to defending the young black players abused after the Euros final, to raising £396 million for school-meals, to speaking out on LGBTQ rights in Qatar, the manager, the players and the pundits have become symbols of a different football culture and a different national culture, one that is more contemporary, liberal, multicultural and progressive.

But the limits to the liberal media front have also been exposed. Despite a lot of froth about LGBTQ rights and migrant workers conditions, the FA, or the squad did nothing at all in Qatar, not even the performative German photo. Alex Scott wore an armband.

Part of this shift is the feminisation of football that has developed rapidly with the massive breakthrough of women’s football in the last few years. ITV featured an all-female lineup for their coverage of Poland–Saudi Arabia last Saturday, with Karen Carney and Eni Aluko joined by host Seema Jaswal.  ITV has three female pundits – Aluko, Nadia Nadim and Carney – the BBC has presenters Gabby Logan, and Kelly Cates, and female pundits Alex Scott and Laura Georges plus four female commentators. This is mirrored on the pitch. Last week the first all-female officiating team at a men’s World Cup took to the pitch for the match between Costa Rica and Germany, with French referee Stéphanie Frappart the first woman to referee a match in the men’s World Cup.

This is a long way from Vinnie Jones and Gazza, or a football dominated by lads culture or casuals, but it’s catnip to those for whom England’s imagined Greatness is a totemic idea – undermined by the imagined liberal hegemony, the terribly woke BBC and ‘bloody women!’

But if the shift to greater inclusivity is to be applauded there is something odd also about the emphasis. It is estimated that more than 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka died in Qatar since it won the right to host the World Cup 10 years ago, primarily in the building of stadia, roads and construction. Very little was said about this brutal fact during the tourament. In the light of this the focus on whether you could wear a rainbow bucket hat or that there was another woman pundit seems strange.

But there’s another aspect brought up by Liew’s analysis, that English football culture gets confused by the Premier League, with its vast pools of money sloshing about. If the SPL and wider Scottish football is impoverished and arguably distorted by the duopoly of Rangers and Celtic, and its useless governing authority, English football culture’s own expectations get distorted not just by nationalist jingoism but by the idea that surely they must deserve greatness being the home of such a lucrative corporate beast.
The amount of money poured into the bloated English game has a wider impact. During the pandemic it was revealed that clubs in the Premiership didn’t require actual fans. Most of their income was brought-in from the lucrative tv deals, advertising, merchandise and corporate plans. Fans were now redundant. In this sense, Scottish football has something of an advantage in that clubs are still dependent on the gate money to support them. That slim tendril of connection is still there, just.
The Qatar world cup has been the pinnacle of corporate football, characterised by deep corruption; a game wholly disassociated from the supporters (even to the extent of creating ‘fake fans’) and piped chants; a competition staged in a country with no footballing culture nor legacy. With its air-conditioned stadia and its (failed) attempts at Sport-washing, Qatar was the epitome of late capitalist football, a pitifully soulless spectacle.
As we watch the brilliant Morocco and Croatia how can we change from expected failure to an aspiration to success? As we watch English football culture morphing and changing into something completely different, can we change Scottish football into being something beyond a reality that ‘being a Scottish person means growing into your sense of defeat’?

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  1. Sandy Watson says:

    Football, like many modern versions of ‘sport’, has little or nothing to do with sport. Professional sport is now only about business and money. Even among those practitioners with a social and apparently altruistic approach (to their wealth), the whole thing is only about money, whether they like that or not. And like in many mass movements, the supporters/followers are spectacularly gullible.

    If we need heroes, people to look up to, people who set good examples for others to follow, let’s look to those who do real good in communities, societies and the wider world. People who make our world a better place. People who make others’ lives more worth living.

    They’re out there, shouldn’t be hard to find. And not many of them are on half a million quid a week.

    1. Niemand says:

      I agree and feel much the same having watched football change so much from when I fell in love with it in the early 70s.

      Except it is a mistake to say it is ‘just’ about money. Fans do not think it is just about money, though they talk about the money far more than they ever did, demanding more is spent to achieve success. But they still have a deep loyalty to the team they support, often lifelong so do not act like normal consumers. This loyalty is exploited by the money men.

      And it is worth remembering professional football is about far more than the top leagues and clubs and in many cases, it is still quite a lot about community once you venture down those leagues since it is mostly locals who support the teams.

    2. dave. says:

      Hullo, Sandy Watson. Great post. There is a definite tie-in between anything Scottish and our colonial status. The negative brainwashing we have experienced for over the last 300 years, directed by the British aristocrats, is on its way out following the English branch of the Labour party at Holyrood did to itself, nevertheless still has around 50% of Scots accepting that they are inferior. We do need Scottish heroes but since 1707 Scottish history was gradually replaced by English history and statues erected to mythical British heroes. e.g. In the case of the defeat of Napoleon’s French navy, The English Admiral Lord Nelson was given the credit for defeating Napoleon. That is an outright LIE. The Admiral who defeated Napoleon was Admiral Thomas Cochrane a Scot who came from a town nearby Edinburgh. This man was a genius and has streets named after him in Chile, Peru’ and Brazil but none in Scotland. It is a must-read for any Scot but 90% or so of us have never even heard of him. This is just a small sample of the British blackout and de-nationalization of Scotland which is still in full force. Football, Invented by the Scots, has heroes such as Alex Ferguson and before him Mat Busby. We invented golf, curling, and the Highland games which cover just about all Olympic games. Inventors? well, we all know one or two but there are dozens of others whose inventions have given fantastic benefits to the world like refrigerators, and a list of others which are blacked out or classified as British. In accordance with your second paragraph, Sandy, all inventors should be recognized continually in Scotland. Those responsible for the blackout are the British aristocrats with a few Scottish or would-be Scottish ones and the English-owned media up here (95%) including the National. However, the S.G. F.M. Sturgeon is 90% responsible and has blacked out not only the above but Just how Scotland really is along with our huge resources. If a country is not proud of itself then why would our football team be any different? They are human beings just like the rest of us. All brought up under an educational system which tells us how stupid and useless we are. With the current S.G. unionist F.M. Sturgeon always begging to London and never standing up for Scotland, using English law to keep us as a colony while blacking out Scottish law it is obvious that Independence will never occur until she is kicked out of office. Until 50% or so more Scots and people living here are proud of their country our football team will not do much better than now because deep down inside they do feel inferior.

  2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    I love football I played, I coached it, I spectate (even kickabouts in the park) and I support Partick Thistle and Scotland.

    However, football is a just a game, like hockey, netball, squash, rugby, etc. When it comes to being a supporter, as I said, I support Partick Thistle and, if you press me, I will add, ‘and whoever is playing Celtic and Rangers on that particular day. Similarly, I support Scotland and whoever is playing England. And I can engage good humouredly with Tims and Bluenoses as with England fans.

    Sadly, for some people, it is not only a game and for some people their supported team becomes an embodiment of what they think they are and that is when things can get nasty. And, of course politicians and the media have latched on to football as a way of getting money, popularity and political power. The fact that the World Cup is in Qatar is evidence of that.

    The relative lack of ‘success’ of the Scotland mens’ teams is portrayed by some as a sign of the inferiority of Scots. This ignores the fact that at the club level outside of the big five of Germany, Italy, Spain, England and France, Scottish clubs over the 70 years of European football are just about the best of the rest. It has been pretty dismal recently, but over the longer term it is creditable.

    In other sports there have always been Scots who are amongst the best in the world at any particular time. So, Scotland is no better and no worse than other countries.

    The lack of success of the mens’ international team is to a fair extent attributable to the attitudes adopted by the SFA over the years and the undue influence on that body by Celtic and Rangers for their own selfish interests.

    You are right to highlight the growth of womens’ football and we in Scotland have as assertive and articulate women players as those from England whom you named. I am optimistic that women will have a transformative effect on football and get rid of the penis waving posturing which has been so evident in the mens’ game across the world.

    I welcome the fact that the Scottish womens’ team is taking legal action against the SFA to be given equal remuneration. It is barely two years since they were allowed to play at Hampden. And remember, there is one Scottish World Cup Winner – the redoubtable Rose Reilly ( for Italy!)

  3. SleepingDog says:

    I have watched virtually every game (except concurrent group-end matches) in the men’s and women’s World Cup and Euros tournament for many years, and I especially enjoy the ones Scotland aren’t playing in. Sure, the matches become a blur, but the benefit is that you see the bigger patterns.

    By setting up Qatar 2022 as the ‘human rights World Cup’ sections of the media are ratching up the hypocrisy to new levels. What will they do when the 2026 one is hosted in North America? There is a deeply telling story to be told about the European colonialist/neocolonialist teams who tried to disrupt the official FIFA/UN agency on-armband campaigns with their corporate-backed ‘OneLove’ armband. Why would German national team sponsors and emissions-cheats Volkswagen not want their captain wearing a #SaveThePlanet armband? Yet the OneLove campaign did seem to achieve its objective of distracting compliant media coverage from the UN campaigns.
    Any criticism of the OneLove campaign is of course extremely triggering for some online stormtroopers, even though #NoDiscrimination is the official WHO tie-in with Human Rights Day. You would be forgiven for thinking that some Guardian sports writers (not the more thoughtful Jonathan Liew) invented human rights themselves, and not, you know, the United Nations who gave us the Universal Declaration.

    The Guardian’s much-quoted figure for migrant worker deaths seems rather dubious when analysed, fact-checked, disaggregated and put into context. We don’t know how this death and injury rate compares with the pre-Health-and-Safety construction carnage era of England’s last hosting of the World Cup, for example, and independent bodies have agreed that improvements were made in World Cup sites, leading to better conditions there than in the rest of Qatar’s building industry, and in many countries where the migrant workers came from.

    But the major problem is that Qatar is a royalist autocracy, essentially created and supported by the British Empire, who sell its rulers eye-watering amounts of arms, and are joint belligerents in the war on Yemen, where UNICEF has this week announced that more than 11,000 children have been killed or injured there. A lot of children in Britain will be getting presents from parents working in the British arms trade or associated sectors, bought with blood money. But perhaps the British corporate media don’t want to dwell on that. There is little point in trying to effect socil change through Qatari public opinion, you would be better targeting the British and USAmerican Empires who sustain its regime.

    My view is that the corruption in FIFA is a microscopic crime compared with the wars and planetary destruction inflicted by major powers and transnational corporations, and Qatar (who have fewer domestic nationals than the population of Fife and would all fit into their stadiums with room to spare) is no worse than many countries (some Christian) in the British Commonwealth on the specific accusations levelled at it. This should bring people’s attention to the British Commonwealth, to neocolonialism (and the British authorities are the worst in the world at owning up to colonial crimes), and the forces opposing them. FIFA are essentially an anti-colonial organisation. Anti-colonialism has been a theme at many of the matches of this World Cup. And incidentally, although tiny Qatar do not have a strong culture of club football, they do have a long and recently-successful history in the men’s national game.

    1. JP58 says:

      Qatar are the first ever country to be awarded the World Cup that have never previously qualified for the Finals. There are plenty of African countries who have previously qualified who would have been good candidates to host the finals. I give you Morocco as an example who have previously qualified. To understand why Qatar are hosting the World Cup you just need to follow the money.
      FIFA is by any measure a pretty corrupt organisation. To start trying to justify corruption within FIFA by bringing other non football organistions corruption into discussion is classic whitabootery.
      Please watch David Conn’s investigative documentary on Netflix about FIFA corruption. That is the same David Conn who has investigated Michelle Mones Covid contracts scandal. Just because he works for Guardian and you disagree with Giardian attitude to Scotland does not mean that he is not a good investigative journalist.
      How do you know that figures for migrant workers deaths have been overestimated. One is too many and I doubt there will be one in Canada or US for 2026 World Cup.
      I have enjoyed watching World Cup and am looking forward to final. I enjoy watching Man City, Newcastle & PSG but this doesn’t stop me from understanding the sportswashing that is taking place.
      I am speaking as someone who has watched Scotland on terraces at Hampden and at a World Cup finals and doesn’t support either of Old Firm in Scotland.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @JP58, I am not denying that some practices in FIFA are corrupt, but they do deliver on the football side. Compare that with the corrupt government at Westminster who typically fail to deliver, to see the difference. Comparisons are valid when you are talking about hypocrisy and scale.

        As far as I know, the official statement is still:
        “Qatar’s World Cup chief said that 400-500 migrant workers died while working on construction since the tournament was awarded to the emirate in 2010.”
        with suspicions of undercounting. Poor, abusive and atrocious labour conditions exist worldwide, and people in the Global North tend to benefit a lot from this although it is usually more hidden than the World Cup labour force in Qatar which was regularly inspected. The start of a solution seems simple: stop supporting the Qatar royalist regime (but in the UK, our foreign policy is tied to our own royals).

        I don’t know what you mean about the Guardian’s attitude to Scotland, but it doesn’t take a degree in political science to see some of paper’s biases. Here is a comment I posted elsewhere which fell foul of the moderator for some reason:

        At the Men’s football World Cup going on in Qatar, there has been debate about allowable and unallowable flags. The British corporate media have focused on the confiscations of rainbow flags and hats, as potential expressions of LGBT+ issues or potential offences to hosts. I have noticed in earlier games not featuring England or Wales, large British union flags with Loyalist lettering (like Lochgilphead Loyal) placed at strategic points in the stadium where cameras can easily pick them up. FIFA has successfully deterred six European colonialists and their banker friend from ousting UN-agreed armbands with their own OneLove brand. The Qatari authorities are being assisted by detachments of security specialists from the UK.

        2022-11-24 it is reported that FIFA orders a relaxation of rainbow flag bans.
        2022-11-28 someone carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a T-shirt, in English, reading something like respect for Iranian women and save Ukraine, is allowed to run on to the pitch during the Portugal vs Uruguay game. This hardly causes any disruption, but remarkably the camera shots of the pitch invader are broadcast in real time, something I don’t remember happening at recent World Cups.
        2022-11-29 The England vs Wales game takes place. Apparently, now Qatari security are inspecting and measuring all flags carried by fans, some of whom report unspecified flags being confiscated for the first time. There are no large British union/loyalist flags at strategic camera positions as far as I can see.

        I have not found a single comment in the British corporate media about the presence of British union / loyalist flags at this World Cup, although a great many on the rainbow flag controversy. One interpretation of these flags would be a call for disbanding separate Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish (possibly Gibraltese etc) national teams and replacing them with a British team, as in the Olympics. Should those flags appear at any FIFA fixture, then? If they did, and the British corporate media were forced to report on them, what problems might that cause them?

        Later, I was aware of at least one other pitch invader whose pictures (in contrast) were not broadcast on live television. I did see the odd union flag but without loyalist lettering. I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility that such a protest was staged or allowed to take place in order to give a pretext for more extensive searching and restricting of fan flags (maybe of a wide variety of ‘problem’ types).

        England, with their crusader flags, stolen lions, dreadful anthem, seemed the most backward nation at the tournament, which is presumably why they engage in distraction activities like Taking the Knee. From a foreign perspective, there are a lot of popular blockbuster movies made in places like Indian and China where the British (flying either the East India Company flag or the union jack) are quite reasonably the most abhorrent kinds of villains. The articles notes that the Tartan Army stopped using the Bruce lion flags. Perhaps if Scotland rebranded its flag to indicate a post-Christian society, the clear blue water between the imperial Anglo-Brits would be appreciated on a world stage.

        1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

          I agree with your opening statement with regard to FIFA. The UK media have operated for as long as I can remember from a default perspective: “FIFA is wrong in everything it does and is run by corrupt foreigners” (except when Sir Stanley Rous was president when it was a noble body that awarded England the World Cup – and I actually mean, ensured it won the competition!)

          When listening to the commentators and pundits on the programmes there is a continual drip-drip of anti-FIFA remarks, often asides. There is a presumption that any decision by FIFA is wrong and indeed, incomprehensibly so.

          I am not saying FIFA is simon pure because, in the world of international politics and diplomacy grubby deals often have to be done to get much needed improvements in other areas. I would that it were otherwise.

          I remember reading several biographies of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who is generally remembered by many ‘liberals’ with loathing which goes beyond the culpability in the continued pursuit of the Vietnam War. Apart from Franklin Roosevelt, no other president has passed as much social legislation which had a transformative effect on the lives of millions of Americans. The Civil Rights legislation, health care provisions and educational policies like Headstart are almost entirely the outcome of his presidency. And much of this was passed as a result of his ability to ‘nickel and dime’ his way through the procedures of Congress. He was not called ‘The Master of the Senate’ for nothing.

          1. JP58 says:

            My take from documentary was that it would be impossible to deny that there was significant corruption in FIFA going to very top.
            It appears to have mushroomed from an amateurish old boys operation to a large multimillion dollar one with little transparency, internal auditing structures and virtually no external, independent review of processes or procedures. It is therefore little surprise that it has a problem with corruption as any large organisation would have (and many do) without such oversight as we can see elsewhere. I would defy anyone to state that this is incorrect.
            This corruption manifested itself in many ways and the allocation of 2022 World Cup was one such manifestation. I reiterate from a football point of view to give the World Cup to a country that have never previously qualified and no real football pedigree was ridiculous and strongly influenced by money. FIFA should be praised for how they have tried to make football a worldwide game but there are plenty of other African countries who were far more appropriate hosts. Australia also bid for 2022 competition and personally I think this would have been a better decision as the continent of Australasia has never hosted it.
            Lastly if people died in the construction of stadia for a FIFA tournament in a country selected by FIFA a lot of the blame for this inevitably lands at FIFAs door.
            Football is the people’s game the world over and has shown it’s potential to bring people together and inspire them and no one has a bigger responsibility in doing this than FIFA. They have implemented plans and actions that have helped with this but choosing Qatar for the World Cup was undoubtedly not one of them.

          2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

            I am not starry-eyed or self-deluding about FIFA nor deny the points you make. My comment was really about the moral relativism and double (mutiple?) standards many people in the media choose. They remind me of Groucho Marx: “these are my principles and if you do not like them I have others.”

            I suppose a description of some bodies like FIFA is “not wholly bad”.

  4. dave. says:


    Hullo, Mike Small. I just received, from Alba HQ, an update from this week’s Westminster sessions. In particular Kenny MacAskill’s brilliant ‘stand up for Scotland’s Sovereignty’ Speech. It was strong, passionate, dynamic, and powerful to say the least. An S.N.P. Robertson meekly interrupted just once trying to make out the 56% vote was caused by the S.N.P. basically trying to put down Kenny It had the reverse effect leaving Mr. Robertson looking like a weak version of Sturgeon. Of course, the S.N.P. MPs did NOT stand up with Kenny nor applaud his speech for Scotland. All Scots: Yes, No, and Undecided should watch this fantastic effort by Alba for all Scottish inhabitants. Sturgeon’s S.N.P. has reneged on their ‘promise’ to hold a referendum in 2023 and 2024. As several of we independistas have said all along Sturgeon will never deliver independence as she herself is a unionist. She has never stated that Scotland is a sovereign country while at the same time imposing English law on Scotland.

  5. SleepingDog says:

    I forgot to add that the Guardian’s coverage of the Qatar World Cup appears to be tainted by their feud with the Qatar-government-backed rival media outlet Al Jazeera, who recently published The Labour Files (only two mentions of which Google finds in the Guardian to date) which at least by implication paints the Guardian coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in a very unflattering light.
    Veteran journalist John Pilger gave an interview with Declassified UK on the state of the UK media where he offers his (low) opinion of the Guardian’s foreign coverage, as essentially an organ of state, and some quotes are provided in the latest MediaLens alert.

    1. dave. says:

      Well, SleepingDog, do you not think that we should be looking at our own S.F.A.? It may be great to criticize foreign countries and associations while deflecting from our issues. We can’t solve a problem by ignoring that it exists. However, is it not about time to wake up and stop wasting our time blaming others when Scotland’s problems are our own and not just in football?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @dave, I agree, we should look at the Scottish Football Association, which apparently supinely followed the English FA in banning women players from its grounds for fifty years. I don’t think the SFA has the same weight when it comes to FIFA, where the English FA seems to be as much of a corrupting influence as any. Both the Scottish men’s and women’s top professional football leagues seem uncompetitive by European standards. The wellbeing and protection of children and vulnerable young people seems only recently to have become a priority for the SFA:
        However, I don’t think success in international football tournaments is a good measure of the value of domestic football to Scottish society. Nor do I think that hosting such tournaments is such a ‘win’ (the Anglo-British establishment seem to be imbibing too much of their classical education in imagining themselves the heirs of ancient Greece with their xenophobic games, as well as using host status to cheat rather than welcome).

        1. dave. says:

          Quite correct SleepingDog. The home of football is Scotland and like many other Scottish endeavours we have stood humbly by and let other countries take credit for huge amounts of those endeavours. When we have a true Scottish Gov’t which will spell out our accomplishments with pride, we will be the leaders in all areas. How? The 50% +- of NO and Undecided voters under the Sturgeon blackout will then know what Scotland is and they will burst with pride. Thus their inferiority will die. Fact: It was a Scot who introduced football to Brazil.

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