At the 2012 Absa Cape Epic, on a stupidly steep hill, with a jeep track a Jeep would have baulked at, with rocks the giants may have used to fight with, the couple of hundred people pushing their bikes up the hill heard a booming voice. “Rider passing.”
We looked back and then jumped left. The rider passing was Marius Hurter, former Springbok prop and 1995 World Cup winner, powering up the hill, spitting rocks from the rear wheel of his bike. He thundered on for about 200 metres, then was forced to stop when he lost traction and stepped off. We stopped and applauded.
So, farewell, 2014. You came and went so fast I can barely remember you starting and will no doubt have much trouble remembering the end.
There are also fairly big chunks in the middle that I have trouble recollecting. Perhaps they just weren’t worth remembering to start with, or, if they were, then I’m sure they will work their way back into my head at the most unexpectedly delightful time.
Christmas is coming and the geese will stay fat, safe and uncooked around the world, and, if your name is Sepp Blatter, shocked. The muck-filled Blatterbus is shocked, shocked I tell you, that someone who he gave free and independent rein to run a free and independent investigation into how bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was far from free and fair, has |resigned from Fifa on moral and ethical grounds.
Well, Michael Garcia didn’t actually say he resigned on moral and ethical grounds, but he might as well have. “The Fifa ethics investigator who spent 18 months and £6m compiling a report into the controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding race has quit his post in disgust, departing with a broadside against the organisation’s culture and practices,” wrote Owen Gibson of The Guardian. “Michael Garcia resigned after his appeal against the decision to publish what he described as an ‘erroneous’ summary of his 430-page report was rejected on Tuesday. As he did so he criticised the ‘lack of leadership’ at world football’s governing body.”
The muck-filled Blatterbus no doubt (again, I wasn’t there and am guessing in the tradition of all gutter journalism. I wish I had done this sort of guess-alism earlier, it’s so much fun) lifted his arms, shrugged his shoulders, pursed his lips, looked to the side and said: “I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision. The work of the ethics committee will nonetheless continue.” The work of the ethics committee is and will continue to be to cloud and obfuscate, tying up any inkling of the truth with sub-clauses, points of order and bureaucracy. The ethics committee, like many other committee instituted at the behest of a sporting organisation or political party to investigate and keep an eye on itself, is made up of the love children left, I suspect, behind when the Vogons from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy got it on with the descendants of Fifa – and any other officials.
On Friday Swiss lawmakers decided they had had enough of being known as home of the sporting backhander and voted to keep a sharper eye on the bank accounts of organisations run by the likes of Fifa’s Sepp Blatter and IOC President Thomas Bach.
They are, according to a report by the Associated Press, “now classed as ‘politically exposed persons’ in wider legislation covering money-laundering”.