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Five-Ring Foolishness

Everyone seems to be having their say on the Danny Vukovic reprieve. I’ll join the crowd.

Suffice to say that the appeals committee in question has made itself look very foolish, and the precedent is a poor one. The punishment handed down was excessive, but the convenient splitting of the ban into pre- and post-Olympic periods is laughable.

It is, however, consistent with the massive and undue importance afforded the Olympics by Australia at large. The Olympic obsession is fuelled largely by the media, but governing bodies are not immune…and have a tendency to make bad law out of hard cases as a result.

What, after all, has been behind the extraordinary and misguided sympathy expressed for Nick D’Arcy? None other than the idée fixe that not appearing at the Olympic Games is a life-destroying blow for an athlete.

With the steady growth of public interest in football in Australia, more attention will probably be paid to the fortunes of the Olyroos than at previous Games. Pleasing in a way, but of course Graham Arnold’s charges will find it extremely hard to emerge with a medal…unlike many other Australian competitors, who enjoy such generous government funding in sports which few other nations take particularly seriously.

The availability of Vukovic will no doubt help, but it frankly defies both logic and common sense.

Written by Mike Salter

Read more of his thoughts at The Football Tragic

Written by
Real Football

Published on April 28, 2008

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