Harty on . . . FIFA, England’s cricket team and AFC George

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ON winning an Oscar, film director Michael Moore when talking about former US president George W Bush commented “If you’ve got the Pope and The Dixie Chicks (a country music combo) against you, you’re in trouble.”

The same could now probably be said about FIFA president Sepp Blatter. It was probably all well and good that, despite the various allegations, he seemed to constantly ride it all out, almost constantly cocking a snook at all the good honest people in football.

That was until the FBI got involved. Once one of the biggest criminal organsations got involved, even Blatter must have known his number was up.

His resignation is a victory for the beautiful game. Make no mistake, the Feds didn’t start work on this last week and will have an extensive case built up against the accused.

The Swiss authorities, after an FBI-led investigation, wouldn’t have carried out dawn raids on members of one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world, without being fairly confident of a conviction.

President Putin’s input about this all being an American plot intensifies the situation to the point where, while Russia 2018 is only three years away, if something wasn’t right with that particular voting process, don’t rule out the all-new, clean FIFA, looking round for a nation that’s “World Cup Ready”

I still think we could yet see the best of Greg Dyke as an ace negotiator.

After a cracking result at the Lord’s Test, it was as you were for the England cricket team up at Headingley with an emphatic 199-run defeat to New Zealand, leaving the series finishing as a draw.

With the all-powerful Aussies arriving next month, there’s no way of dressing it up but England could be on the cusp of a disaster, with possibly part of the crisis being of their own making.

Anyone who thinks the Kevin Pietersen saga is done and dusted is clearly deluded.

It’s all well and good that Andrew Strauss shut the door citing trust issues but that still doesn’t sit right with everybody.

I’ve been at Test matches against the Aussies on both sides of the world and seen England both win and lose – no prizes for guessing which is the better experience.

As much as I, and millions of others, want England to regain the Ashes, I would be content with it at least being a competitive series.

The England squad don’t become bad cricketers over night but clearly something’s not right. I’m not saying that bringing Pietersen back would make things any better, but that’s not a view shared up and down the country.

The whole issue has polarised opinion and, unless England perform against the Aussies, which at the moment looks unlikely, this will rumble on, with Piers Morgan, at the forefront, extremely vocal.

And, finally, one of the greatest Sunday league teams Worthing has ever produced, AFC George, are having a reunion on Friday (tomorrow).

Given that the legendary boozer in Goring has now turned into a carvery, former AFC George player and now landlord, Pete Wilson, has opened the doors of his pub, The Hare and Hounds, in Portland Road, Worthing, for the event.

It starts at 8pm and all former players and officials are invited to attend.

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