Leisure Leagues Choose Not To Affiliate To The F A As F A's Commitment To Discipline Is Not Strong Enough.

Friday, July 25, 2014

When FA Chairman Greg Dyke arrived at Westminster for a grilling by MP's this week he said some pretty explosive stuff. Dyke is usually good for a quote, and his TV background means he is good in front of a camera, but even those who have followed Dyke's career may have been a touch surprised at just how forthcoming he was on the subject of FIFA in general and Sepp Blatter in particular, launching into what might be termed as a barrage of outspoken comments.

On Blatter he said the way power was exercised was reminiscent of a Dictatorship: "It reminded me of something out of North Korea at times," he told the Commons culture and sport committee. "It was "hail to the leader" Furthermore he said that the FA would not be bidding for any FIFA sanctioned events while Blatter was in charge: ""We've taken a decision that we will not bid for FIFA tournaments while Mr Blatter is there," Mr Dyke said. "We wouldn't win. We will concentrate in the years ahead on trying to host UEFA tournaments." Finally he said that Blatter thought he was above the law, opining that: "No action taken by the British Parliament would help, unfortunately." There is no doubt that FIFA does appear to be out of touch, but then, if Dyke wants to look at something that needs modernising, he would do well to look at his own organisation.

When he speaks of "dictatorships" and so forth, you wonder if he does know of the actions of some of his own employees on the ground, because fining common sense in some of the local FA's around the country would be as rare as finding a unicorn enjoying a game in one of our leagues this weekend.

At Leisure Leagues we choose not to affiliate to the FA. We have gone on record as saying this on numerous occasions, and the simple reason is that we do not feel that their commitment to discipline is strong enough.

This stance is not unreasonable but on countless occasions we have been subjected to harassment from local FA men, and even worse they have tried to scare our refs into not working for us - all because we won't give them money. That might not be a dictatorship, but it is rather like something off the Sopranos or The Godfather when you put it in those terms. We have never backed down and we never will, that's what the confidence of having the largest network in Europe does for you.

There are many FA's in the country that we work with on a very amicable basis. Each year we proudly supply the trophies for an FA tournament in Birmingham, for example. It is inconceivable that Dyke knows what every person who works for the FA does, but if he really wants to see what happens when an organisation acts like a law unto itself on occasions, possibly he should stop fighting a battle against FIFA that he cannot win (Sepp Blatter has enough support in other Federations to not have to care what Europe thinks) and have a look at the problems closer to home.

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