Corporate Social Negligence!

Where are the playgrounds?

Posted in Football, India, Indian Football, Kerala, soccer, sports by clash on August 11, 2010

Asks the Kerala football team coach – M.M Jacob, who was in helm for the recently concluded Santosh Trophy.

Sorry, if you mistake this as a ritual, I kindly request you not to consider this as one. Even though most of my posts have that quintessential cynical streak in them, I need to make it clear that I don’t really intend to constantly churn out pessimistic articles about Kerala football. The problem is that it keeps coming most often than expected because, that is the state of kerala football right  now.

The irony of  our football is well explained at this moment. We have a Kerala footballer in Denson Devdas, who scored a brace to take West Bengal to Santosh Trophy title after a long wait for 11 years. On the contrary we have the  Kerala team which crashed out in a quarterfinal match against Mizoram. While the state still produces players like Denson, there is something seriously lacking in our football as M.M. Jacob explains in this interview report to Stan Rayan of The Hindu.

The interview needs no in-depth analysis  as Jacob is quite candid about our footballing situation, but he points out a very important factor that is contributing to the decline of  Kerala football. The availability of play grounds , an issue which has skipped the attention of many in Kerala. He says : “Children these days don’t have a ground where they can run and play freely. There is so much restriction everywhere. I think, if we get the Ambedkar Stadium (in Kochi), develop it nicely, it will help football in a big way,” And it can’t get anymore clearer. There is a massive shortage of open spaces, leave alone play grounds in Kerala. The chaotic urban and rural planning hardly leaves any space for public utilities like a park or a play ground, what so ever happened to the current government’s policy of identifying 10,000 play grounds.

Kerala has not won the inter-state tourney after 2002 and has been crashing out of the tournament in the earlier stages of the competition, thanks to humiliating defeats at the hands of other states. The situation is quite bleak with the once super star I.M. Vijayan admitting that the talent coming forth is substandard. Academies and nurturing talent right from young age is the way forward, but all those will only come in to place unless we realize the importance of play grounds and start planning towards creating more space for children to play.

Talking about playgrounds and stadiums, the latest news is that Viva Kerala, the team representing Kerala in i-league is on the run to find a ground where they can play their home matches. If Viva has to hunt a ground, imagine the plight of a  kid wanting to play some football.

A short note on Eduardo Da Silva’s departure

Posted in Arsenal, English Premier League, Football by clash on July 24, 2010

courtesy: uk.eurosport.yahoo.com

Eduardo or dudu as he was fondly known has left Arsenal for  Shakhtar donetsk .

I came to know of him through the comments section of a blog. The records stated there genuinely prompted me to check  Youtube for his videos, such were the records. The irony was that the  poster of the comment suggested him as a replacement as for the mercurial Theirry Henry who left for Barcelona and the supporters were mired in a striker conundrum. His signing was a pleasant surprise and it would be thoroughly unjustifiable to say, he did not live up to his past hype at Arsenal.

He was gradually eased in to the team after playing some early Champions League qualifying  matches and cup matches where he scored some beauties. I remember a super goal he scored in the Carling Cup against Sheffield United. He then went on to score an array of goals, the one against Manchester City being my personal favorite.

The affable character soon became a favorite among the Arsenal faithful.  As his career was cruising in the Arsenal garb, misfortune struck him and that was a fateful blow for his blossoming Arsenal career. In Martin Taylor came his nemesis as a barbaric hack from the Birmingham player crushed Eduardo’s leg bones.

It took him considerable time to recover from that horror tackle and return to normal playing. He made a stunning come back in the FA Cup scoring 2 goals against Cardiff, and then another peach of a goal,  an audacious lithe kick in another match and asserted his class a supreme forward. He then suffered a series of niggles, the aftermath of that horrendous tackle and the subsequent recovery from it. A diving controversy which ensued after the match against Celtic also did not help his return back to normalcy.

The Wikipedia entry shows his tally for 2009-2010 season, he has scored 7 and  has 7 assists. if you compare that with the numbers Nicklas Bendtner has notched up for the last season,they stand equal at the number of assists even though the Dane has scored 12 goals. His quality is undeniable but with the arrival of  Marouane Chamakh Eduardo’s opportunities would be less and if the Ukrainian league is a bit more sophisticated than the barbaric EPL, he would be a success for Shakthar.

This note should not be ending here. Eduardo is sort of a martyr,  a victim of English thuggery that stages week in and week out in the English Premier League. The same mediocrity which finds out the English national team in international arena. To quote  A Cultured left foot, the same arsenal blog which i  strongly suspect introduced me  to Eduardo.

His departure is a signal to the apologists of Taylor, Shawcross and their ilk. Here was a natural predator, a relative unknown on these shores who should have been lauded for his goalscoring feats. Instead the neanderthal mentality which blights the national team has robbed us of a chance of witnessing Eduardo’s growth into that player. Sadly he will not be the last until the apologists change their views and condemn actions, and more importantly, the authorities come up with a suitably severe punishment for transgressors.

Well,that sums it all. I am deeply moved by his departure but that doesn’t stop me from wishing Dudu – “All the Best”. This has turned out to be a long note about Eduardo rather than a short ones as the title misleads. But then, a few extra words for an excellent player and great human being is never a waste.

The most cynical preamble for WC 2010


Media, English and the vernacular is awash with news about football fever in kerala.  Extensive and in-depth coverage of the football fever in fact.

While the World Cup build up is happening, Kerala is currently participating in the Dr. B.C. Roy Trophy – Junior NFC.  The results are a contrast to the euphoria that media is trying to push down our throats. In this junior national tournament, Kerala is in a tough cluster but that is no excuse for the failure.

Here is what we have managed so far.

score card courtesy : the-aiff.com

score card courtesy : the-aiff.com

Thorough thumping in both the matches played. The score line is indeed a matter of worry. It shows that we were not even a match against both these teams.

Chandigarh is home to a very decent football academy and its a government run one.  North eastern states are innately very good at football and some of them are the beneficiaries of effectively implemented Vision India programme, a junior footballing programme conducted with the help of AFC. I am not sure if  Mizoram is part of this programme yet.

Kerala, for being a football loving state, does not have a single government run football academy. A lot private short term football coaching camps happen and there are considerably successful ventures like SEPT ,but these are not helping our football in a desired manner.   I also tried tracking the Vision India programme that was implemented in Kerala, but hardly any news came up of it.

This is not new, last time around we crashed out of this age group tournament in good fashion.  I carried out my usual cynical work here.

When everyone is eagerly awaiting the world cup football, it is probably not a right moment to contemplate about Kerala football . It would be nice if  the Malayalam journos who are waxing lyrical about the world cup fever stand up and take notice of  our football’s decline.

Thejas online has two different stories about the World Cup football fever, here and here.

Before blasting them for not having enough attention to our own backyard, i have to say that Thejas carries the best football news in Malayalam on any day.

For a week or more, i have been trying to jot down something about my world cup memories but that never happened. The draft happened, shelved, dusted again and then again shelved.

Memories would remain memories, it looks like.

All these while i was getting treated to variety of news articles from various sources over the internet about the football madness that is slowly creeping in Malabar. A coincidence that the  Dr. B.C. Roy Trophy – Junior NFC is also currently underway.  I couldn’t stop myself, here i am with a post that could the most cynical preamble written  for this world cup.

I have a contender here : Who’s losing at the World Cup?

I am happy that i managed to conjure something up about football before the world cup started.

My bets for this world cup  :

1. Argentina (Eternal favorites!)

2.Netherlands (Van Persie, Top Scorer)

3.Spain (Fabregas, have a good tournament and stay with us for another year or so.)

4.Cameroon (African teams are supposed to do good in this cup and my pick is Cameroon. They have an imbalanced team not anywhere close to Milla and co, still i would vouch for them)

And that is it. Enjoy the footballing month ahead.

Theorizing a Collapse

Posted in America, dream, Globalisation, politics, republican, System, War by clash on May 26, 2010

Is there something called a Collapse Theory? After all why do we need a theory for collapse?

Now, it looks like there is something called a Collapse Theory and Dmitry Orlov is one who theorizes a collapse. It doesn’t seem to be a very nice job, he himself admits it but his ideas are too interesting to avoid them.

I came across an article written about Orlov a month ago. I was immediately impressed by his ideas and thoughts. Probably the articles could strike a note with the streak of eternal pessimism in me.

It has to be said that it is not all gloom and doom. Orlov’s remark about WSJ is too funny to ignore :

My grandfather had a donkey while he was living in Tashkent in Central Asia during World War II. There was nothing much for the donkey to eat, but, as a member of the Communist Party, my grandfather had a subscription to Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, and so that’s what the donkey ate. Apparently, donkeys can digest any kind of cellulose, even when it’s loaded with communist propaganda. If I had a donkey, I would feed it the Wall Street Journal.

I have not had time to read up a lot of his entries on his blog yet, but i have bookmarked it and occasionally visits the blog to see if any new entries come up.

The latest of the entries comparing the BP oil spill and Chernobyl is very interesting. His take on best practices for social collapse is further more interesting.

It has to be said that post soviet theorists/philosophers have a charm, they connect to the masses much more easier than the straight jacketed European intelligentsia or that is what i feel. I am not exactly the one to comment on this as my knowledge on this is fairly terrible. Be it Zizek or Orlov, i feel they are less intense in the way they put forth their ideas and draw parallels from the popular culture to explain their ideas, which i find to be very interesting.

Read more of Orlov here : ClubOrlov

Posted in Uncategorized by clash on May 25, 2010

Its been a long long time.

A severe cold has struck me.

A lot of issues and things to write about.

Hardly any time to write and think.

I feel i should shift to a micro blogging platform. Sorry, no twitter.  I have found that to be a very juvenile and time consuming activity. Above all it is a distraction.

anyways.

IPL comes to Kerala

Posted in Football, Indian Football, Kerala, sports by clash on March 30, 2010

In 2002 0r something when Tinu Yohannan  made it in to the Indian team from Kerala, renowned writer/cricket historian Ramachandra Guha wrote in his column that, this is it. Cricket has vanquished football and athletics as a sport in kerala.  Tinu was never  a successful cricketer and played only very few matches for the nation.

Guha seemed to have comfortably omitted the fact that Tinu was a superior athlete than a cricketer. I always felt he simply switched over to cricket because cricket is the only sport in India in which you can cut a career. Well, Tinu is the son of an Asian Games  Long Jump gold medalist, T.C. Yohannan.

Guha, the cricketing elitist that he is, was more interested in painting a suave picture of some Balan Pandit, who always used to top the score cards for Kerala in Ranji Trophy with the runs he scored.  Guha imagined him in his blue blazers driving down the Wayanad hills in his Willys Jeep and then scoring all those runs for the Kerala cricket team.

The fact is that Balan Pandit fails to kindle my imagination. I am not overwhelmed by the blue blazers and Willys Jeep. Instead, i would take the urchin who sold soda bottles in Thrissur municipal stadium, who later went on to don Indian colors in football – I.M. Vijayan as my hero.  I am sure there are quite a few thousands like me.

After Tinu, Sreesanth happened, ODI matches came to Kaloor International stadium and sorts. Cricket has not yet got a foothold in Kerala. Can IPL sustain itself in a place where cricket doesn’t occupy the sensibilities of the crowd? If they have to make a mark, i feel the team has to be successful on the field. Will this consortium pump in money to get real good cricketers who can earn the results? Will this 5 company consortium roll on? Will this open door for Kerala cricketers? Will the team be called Cochin Coconuts? There are so many questions.

Being an IPL city might be good for Kochi, its tourism and sorts.  If am to be very frank, i really dont want this to take off. I am not really bothered about Kerala cricket.

so is it the End of the road for future Vijayans, Pappachans?

We will have to wait and see.

I am off for Golden Threads FC Vs BEML, i-league 2nd div matches are happening in Bangalore. Well, i am trying to sneak out of office.



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The curios case of Emmanuel Eboue

Posted in Arsenal by clash on March 10, 2010

So Arsenal blanked Porto 5-0 at Emirates.

Nikki B and Samir Nasri are very much the talk of the day for their exploits. While both of them did play vital role in the 5-0 mauling of Porto, there is a player who has skipped the attention of many – Emmanuel Eboue.

Eboue came in as a substitute for Rosicky in the 60th minute or so and slotted in a fine goal. Yes, this is the same Eboue who got booed by Arsenal supporters last season. After that night mare spell, Eboue has turned corners.

He has been brilliant in all the matches he appeared this season and this goal is a mere icing on the cake.

His introduction in the team opens up a plethora of options when we go forward, sadly we lack the same penetrative power when we play Sagna as the right back.

Arshavin’s brilliant counter attacking run resulted in Eboue’s goal yeaterday. He slotted in the goal with aplomb, any centre forward would love to score such a goal.

Most of us had written off Eboue last season. Couple of dismal performances and we all beleived that he cannot get a starting place in this present starting 11. Now it looks like, if he is going continue his hot streak, he will grab some matches from Sagna and replace him or will slot in as a right sided player in the team.

His remarkable turn around as a player is a typical example of patience paying off for the manager. The manager had his faith in the player and he is repaying it with stellar performances these days. He started his career with Arsenal as a right back and now he has played in almost all the positions on the pitch. There is no doubt that he has the ability to pull of this constant change in positions. This season, no matter where ever he was placed in the line up, he has managed to put up fine performances.

Eboue is an asset to this team. An absolute team player, who can pitch in for anyone at any moment. He can defend, he can carry out searing attacks through the flanks, can produce some flashy moments and on top of that he can score goals too.

Eboue staying fit will be very important for our premiership run in. With Walcott slowly getting back to fine form, that right hand side looks to be lethal.

All hail, EMMANUEL EBOUE!!

An inevitbale implosion

Posted in sports by clash on January 21, 2010

The Commonwealth games is fast approaching and it looks like sports persons in India are taking this as a wonderful opportunity to bargain for their dues. Most of the sporting bodies are thoroughly mismanaged to an extent that some of the don’t even pay the players.

Recently, men’s hockey team stalled their national camp and told the office bearers of Hockey India to pay them up so that they would continue their camp. It raked up quite a furor in the media, with eyes moist and all, lot of news readers lamented about the plight of our national sport and the pathetic state the sport is in.

Then came the riff between the Abhinav Bindra, the ace shooter and the Shooting association. He even threatened to withdraw from world championship and sorts.

Suresh Kalmadi seems to be the power broker in all the cases. He stepped in to solve the men’s Hockey fiasco. The irony is that Kalmadi himself is the ultimate personification of what stinks in our sports and athletics. He is actively involving all these stop-gap measures so as to make sure that, there is no embarrassment, while his flag ship project – Commonwealth games unfold in India.

Wont it be great to see our hockey team taking to the ground in CW games 2010 wearing black arm bands because they are not paid their dues?

Yes, that is what the ladies hockey team have decided to do. They have started practicing in the national camp wearing black arm bands protesting against the non-payment of their dues.

Skipper Surinder Kaur and her team mates says that many of their team members have financial woes and they are not being helped adequately.

It has reached a point where the team members have opened a joint bank account, so that wellwishers and interested parties can help them directly.

It is terribly sad to hear this. It almost amounts to begging.

Then again, this is the best occasion to earn your best bargain from the nonchalant sporting bodies. World championships and CW games are on the anvil and these kind of drastic measures can only provide a rude jolt for the sports administrators in our nation.

This kind of implosion was waiting to happen in our sports.

I would say, it took some time for our sports persons to assert themselves to garner a better deal, but i am happy it is happening now.

Stop-gap measures and patchy manoeuvrings cannot fix this. It is sad that our authorities are not still realizing this.

Time and again our sports persons will revolt and it will be common theme in our sports in the coming years, if we don’t plan out a strategy to develop and give the right dues to our sports persons.

Anyway the omnipotence of sporting associations have been quashed by a recent Delhi high court ruling. It is a breather for well wishers of sports in our country.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the organising committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Indian Olympic Association comes within the ambit of the RTI Act

This is seriously some great news. So far our sports associations got away saying that they are “Independent, autonomous” bodies that need not divulge any information pertaining to their work under the RTI act.

If this rule is extrapolated, all our sporting bodies will come under the purview of RTI act and that could bring about serious changes in the way these organisations function. Most of these bodies have been personal fiefdoms of different politicians who used to head these organization for decades and more.

While the implosion was something that was bound to happen, the new court ruling provides sports aficionados of this nation something to cheer about. (here “sports” doesn’t take into account cricket!)


To Beef or not.

Posted in India by clash on January 18, 2010

The upcoming Commonwealth games seems to be garnering attention for all the wrong reasons.

The latest of it all is the controversy involved in including beef as a food item for the athletes.

We all know, Cow is holy animal here and some people have set out their whole life to the development of cow urine cola and cow dung cosmetic items. Looks like things are going to take a ugly turn with some of these cow fellas calling the games organizing committee to chuck beef from the menu for athletes.

It is indeed news for me that, the sale of beef or even possession of it is illegal in Delhi since from 1993. Dont know, if it is a non-bailable offense though. Looks like beef belongs to the class of Cocaine, BS and Heroin. Sheesh!

Just a thought, doesn’t the star hotels there serve beef?

So, no beef, but could be served with some hot Cow urine cola, beware!

Athletes can probably take some Cow dung facial kits as souvenirs from India. It could be a serious novelty.

I have a suggestion to the athletes and visitors for Commonwealth Games.

One hour flight from the capital and you are in Kerala.

A plate of Beef Fry comes around for 30 to 50 bucks in decent hotels. ( With this kind of inflation, it is a better bargain!)

Add to that some Kerala Porottas for Rs.5 each, a sumptuous meal is not alone that Kerala can offer.

There could be much more, but no Cow Cola and Cow Fellas.

Enjoy a good beef meal here.

Welcome.

Musli Power and Irish Newspapers….

Posted in Football, India, Indian Football, Kerala, sports by clash on January 11, 2010

Sleaze has no boundaries. It sells. Be it Bamaku or Dublin, it has takers.

Indian Football achieved quite a lot in 2009. In fact it has been a steady progress, even 2008 was good enough.

We retained Nehru Cup, the U-23 team brought back the SAFF cup , a Federation Cup where rookies from the North East gave the premier teams a run for their money and so much more.

Unlike the usual trend our footballers appeared all over news, be it Baichung Bhutia for his sizzling win in the Reality TV dance show and the controversy that ensued or the launch of Football Players Association of India (FPAI) where footballers danced their hearts out, as if all of them wanted a direct call up from  Reality Dance shows.

So much for football in India? Yes, it was quite happening to say.

All these did  not  really make  the  International Media stand up and get notice our football, except for some blogs from the wilderness mentioning our football ,the improvements and achievements that was unfolding here.

Recently though, International media is picking up news about our football. Leading the way is the Irish Media.

Two articles have appeared in 2 Irish different media sources about Musli Power Churchill Brothers team, whose team members were accused of molesting an air-hostess mid air.

It is funny, it took words like molestation, Musli Power – an aphrodisiac and these concoction of spurious words spurred the attention of the world to stand up and take notice of our football.

While the first article was a news piece they picked up from some where in Irish Independent, today they have gone a bit further. Some one seems to have seriously done some research in whipping up this article.

It is pathetic and sad to see this kind of Journalism. We had a decent year, when it comes to football and no one bothered.

Suddenly we have a Musli Powered team being accused of molestation and they are all over.

Suddenly i felt, Indian Footballers are all molesters. Indian Clubs dont play football, they play molestation. Such pathetic has been the media response. The foreign and the Indian, alike Stink.

Simple.

Sleaze sells.

Kunnath Pharma, though came out saying that they will withdraw the sponsorship for the team, they should be happy with the Impact their “Musli Power” made. There is no better marketing strategy for an aphrodisiac than getting dragged in to a molestation scandal. The name is pasted all over the media.

Wonder this will lead to a libido over charge in our country. Beware, Musli Power could be coming to Ireland too. The media has built up the platform with right articles, just that Kunnath needs to cater to the demands overseas.

Ideal.

Newzealand herald :

clipped from www.nzherald.co.nz

Perhaps having sampled the sponsor’s product, three players were involved in an in-flight “molesting” incident involving a stewardess.
Unfortunate sponsorship alert! One of South Asia’s biggest soccer clubs, Churchill Brothers, could lose their major sponsor, aphrodisiac manufacturer Musli Power Xtra.

But it wasn’t their fault, according to club management: “It was very cramped,” said Churchill Alemao, patron of the club.

“We have written to the Civil Aviation Minister to call for more space. It is not sensible otherwise.” Quite right – airlines can’t be too careful in this day and age.
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and, oh..yes guardian.co.uk :

clipped from www.guardian.co.uk
Indian side Musli Power Churchill Brothers say an in-flight “molesting” incident involving three players and a stewardess was the fault of the plane’s layout. “It was very cramped. We have written to the Civil Aviation Minister to call for more space. It is not sensible otherwise.” Club sponsors, aphrodisiac brand Musli Power Xtra, are “considering their position”.
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