Friday, March 09, 2007

More Foreign Connections

Much international sport, in its current form, originates from Great Britain largely as a result of their colonising ways in the Victorian era. The days of early 20th century cartographers colour-coding the imperial possessions of France, King Leopold's Belgium and notably the pink coloured atlas of the British Empire are long over. Perhaps more than any other coloniser the legacy of the British Empire lives on in the sports played to this day in those countries. Most notably cricket.

The truly global game of football has crossed every boundary and is no longer limited by historic geography but now falls under the almost imperious control of FIFA, as our own 2010 world cup preparations are revealing. As much as we'd like to believe that we control the game through our national sporting bodies, these bodies are mere puppets in the hands of FIFA.

The intervention of FIFA in Kenya being a classic case in point.

This week we have an announcement that South Africa's "Premier Soccer League's (PSL) search for a new CEO came to an end when Norwegian Kjetil Siem was announced as incumbent Trevor Phillips' replacement."

Why do sports codes seem so bent on having foreign coaches and administrators? Particularly those of developing nations. This is particularly evident in Asian cricket coaches. Take the following. India (Greg Chappel - Australia), Pakistan (Bob Woolmer - England), Bangladesh (Dav Whatmore - Australia), Sri Lanka (Tom Moody - Australia).

I just find it odd that when it comes to sports administration the grass is always greener from the other side. Foreign coaches play up to the media and generally come off well when they are thrust under the glare of camera flashes and behind a bouquet of microphones. Our new football coach is a classic case in point where he is making all the right noises at this stage but has yet to deliver.

I am not sure that in general foreign coaches deliver anything particularly special on the pitch. Quite frankly, as far as results go, foreign cricket coaches are not doing a great job at all. As this article points out.

I cannot believe that with a population of 1.1 billion people (and counting) and a growing contingent of talented former players that India cannot find an able local coach. The same applies for South Africa.

1 comment:

vincent said...

Hi Atw im a South African blogger aswell and i would like to know if we could exchange links.Please leave a comment on my blog.