Saturday, August 29, 2009

The circulation scandal

UEFA did not need that ... While, since his election in 2007 to chair the governing body of European soccer, Michel Platini loudly proclaims its desire to return to the true nature of the discipline, that's the draw for the Champions League, conducted Thursday night, took place amid scandal. In France, Olympique de Marseille have been particular victims of the dictatorship of the hearing.

Some people were probably paid attention, others do not, but the facts are proven. Thursday evening, 18 hours, the draw for the group phase of the Champions League starts and all clubs are hanging a bit anxious, these little balls of color who will decide the fate assigned to each. Fate will do the rest. Fate? Not so sure ...

The OM does not play the same day as the OL

Indeed, while most teams already know their European future, comes the turn of Olympiakos Piraeus, from the cap 3. The protocol would have wanted to be then drawn the group where the Greeks would evolve, namely the C or H. Now, teammates Didier Domi sent directly to the group H, with Arsenal and AZ Alkmaar. Olympique de Marseille, arriving behind, must be resolved to reach C, where AC Milan and Real Madrid ahead.

How to explain this? RMC has contacted Rob Faulkner, a spokesman for UEFA, who himself is openly explained. In all likelihood, there are between UEFA and the major European broadcasters, a tacit agreement whereby the two best audiences of every nation does not play the same night in the Champions League. Indeed, based on the previous year, Lyon and Marseille had attracted more viewers at the expense of Bordeaux in particular.

The OL has been invited in group E, with Fiorentina, Liverpool and Debrecen, Marseille could not be found inherently in Pools A, B, C or D. But at that moment the draw, only Group C was still available. Obviously, Lyonnais and Girondins are unrelated to this and have both been "victims" of such acts. And, needless to say that if the subject is much controversy is good for the simple reason that the drawing appears, somehow rigged.

UEFA cheated, humiliated Platini

The fact is that until now, UEFA had never dared to press on the topic, she arose officially by its Chairman in particular, the defender of "small clubs" and fighting soccer -business. D'autant plus que, au regard des adversaires proposés à Bordeaux cette saison, à savoir le Bayern Munich et la Juventus notamment, on est en droit de penser que ces rencontres feront sans doute tout autant d'audience que les matches de l'OL against Liverpool or Fiorentina. The UEFA decision appears even more arbitrary, though based on data from the previous season.

So that UEFA fait accompli ... Of course, the OM may wonder if fate would have sent or not in group H, with Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar and Standard Liege, rather than in C, but no matter. For it is the way UEFA therefore addresses these sweepstakes is a problem. Finally, real draw, there never was, which poses a serious ethical problem. How many sessions are identical in the past, have also been distorted for the purpose of television? All this seems inevitable ... Anyway, hard to deny the obvious: one way or another, even if the main actors accept the discipline (players, presidents, coaches) because they will probably find their account, the small screen and its millions of euro have influenced the name of the future winner of the Champions League in 2010. What does Michel Platini?

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