BY CLIVE TOYE
The ills of man do not always pass by the beautiful game, they sometimes stay.
Look at the totally unacceptable behaviour of Septic Blatter and his mob and others actually caught in corruption.
Look at the financial finagling during the transfer window, especially in England; bad enough for Harry Redknapp at QPR and David Gold at West Ham to refer to it as “gang warfare”.
And now a massive investigation by Europol has come up with a charge of massive match fixing in many parts of the globe.
In a sense, nothing new.
It’s been charged and proven and punished in a number of countries, some as high and mighty in the world order as Italy….and England.
It is too long ago for me to recall as the details but the ills of match fixing caused several First Division players of note to be banned from all football for life in the 1960s.
Luckily, it is not too long ago for me to recall better days and better people and to know that such days and such people are still with us.
In the days of the Cold War, friends in Russian football. In the days of apartheid, friends in South Africa, white and black.
In the days of Chairman Mao, eagerness to talk in Beijing.
In the days of the NASL, the majesty of the Cosmos and the warmth of the Blizzard.
But we have to face facts. There is much that is rotten with the human race and no people, no government, no nation and no sport has found a barrier or a cure.
Clive Toye will be forever linked with the signing of Pele in 1975 as president of the New York Cosmos and the subsequent growth of soccer in North America. He was head of the New York 1994 FIFA World Cup committee, brought the FIFA Museum Collection into being, had 128 countries celebrate the United Nations’ 50th birthday with ‘The Day The World Played Football’, then Senior Consultant for CONCACAF for 14 years, and wrote ‘Kick in the Grass’ the history of the North American Soccer League in 2007. He laments he is now awaiting the day, in 2014, when his club, Exeter City will have its “moment of global glory (just wait and see)” and trying to find someone to put up 1.5 million to finance a brilliant documentary idea of mine.