30.6.04

Irresponsible tabloid tripe

We had all the headlines about being ruthlessly robbed of our place in Euro 2004 and the usual post mortem of the game and the injustice England had to suffer at being knocked out of the championship.

That much is fair play and fair comment but the match is over and we have to accept that as fans or as journalists we were watching a game that has certain rules as well as certain uncertainties.

So we have to ask ourselves whether launching a media campaign against the much maligned Mr Meier who refereed that fateful game is either useful or responsible.

Plastering an England flag outside his house may seem intrusive but arguably is fair cop as a picture gag for the tabloid press. However, taking matters further and publishing his e-mail address transgresses the bounds or responsible journalism. It is ironic that while the BBC is busying itself with plans to send its journalists back to school, the press can get away with fuelling the fire of those bad sports out there who consider football games to be a matter of the utmost national importance and while not necessarily prepared to fight for their country will fight for their football.

Blaming the Sun among others, Mr Meier has now been forced into hiding and is receiving police protection against the death threats he has received. Did news editors really think that the e-mail address they printed would attract the attention of people who may want to enter into civilised dialogue with Mr Meier?

Meanwhile a portrait of David Beckham has been defaced at the Fifa 100 exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.
(report HERE)

Its one thing to convey the population's disappointment over their football team losing a game but another to encourage a nation of bad losers who are only prepared to accept the score they settle by seeking to avenge the innocent actions of football players and referees.

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