Another week goes by and we come closer towards the end of 2020 but the chaotic year has left us a lot to talk about in this week’s edition of ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’. From Marcus Rashford and his fight for good, to a European Super League to crowds at the MCG but the world keeps spinning.
Marcus Rashford becomes a force for good off the field
First, he went and put in a ninety-minute shift against Chelsea in a languid 0-0 draw last weekend before going and working his second job. This is where his real influence came into play as the Manchester United forward fought back the government via social media and the fact that humans simply cared about other human beings. His Twitter timeline was a thing of beauty as restaurants, cafes, bakeries and so on all promised free food to those that needed it the most; the poorest children in society.
It was more or less a one-man fight as Rashford took on the British government, after they voted against food aid to the vulnerable families, with even Leeds United fans applauding him. That’s about as rare as the world falling to pieces but it also proved, and showcased, that football can be a force for good alongside a force to unite the world. And all before his 23rd birthday.
Crowds all but guaranteed for the Boxing Day Test at MCG
Despite rumours that crowds might not be allowed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the Boxing day Test between Australia and India, things have now changed. The head of the government of Victoria has confirmed that he is “confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test.” This comes as a massive boost for fans as it means that the Boxing Day MCG tradition will carry on and that too with crowds.
Especially a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the Boxing Day Test could be moved out of the MCG over the prevailing Coronavirus situation but that is no longer the case. And to make things even better, it will oversee a crowd of upto 25,000 people which will be the largest a cricket game has had since COVID-19.
Bundesliga to go back to playing behind closed doors
It was truly a great thing to watch that the Bundesliga season resumed with stadiums filled upto a 20% capacity and that effectively put an end to the terrible crowd noises. The Signal Iduna Park was bouncing once again with Borussia Dortmund hosting 11,000 plus for a game at the start of this month and things have been flowing smoothly ever since. Not only that, the Bundesliga were one of two out of Europe’s big five leagues to allow fans back into stadiums but that is set to change.
Football, in Germany, is set to go back behind closed doors from November 2nd as the country looks to combat the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It did see the weekend’s games played out normally with fans for what might be the last time in a really long time. This doesn’t bode well for the rest of Europe especially with English clubs fighting to change their situations.
No transparency about the extent of Rohit Sharma’s injury
Cricket may be a game but it seems that some teams take it to another level as Rohit Sharma’s injury saga has proven over the last week. The Mumbai Indians’ captain has been missing in action since October 18th although no-one knows whether he is fit or not again. All hell broke loose when Mumbai Indians posted a video of their captain training in the nets less than a day after Sharma was overlooked from India's squads for Australia owing to injury.
After the training video, social media has been abuzz with a plethora of questions on Rohit's fitness. It has seen many screams for transparency about the batsman’s injury especially since no-one knows exactly what is wrong with the Mumbai Indians’ captain but then BCCI being BCCI, expecting transparency from them is like banging your head against the wall.
Josep Maria Bartomeu all but confirms the European Super League
While many Cules are overjoyed at the fact that Josep Maria Bartomeu is no longer the President of Barcelona, the Spaniard decided to go out all guns blazing as he dropped a bomb in his exit speech. It was barely thirty seconds into his exit speech when the outgoing Barca President confirmed that the La Liga giants have agreed to join a future European Super League. In one fell swoop, Bartomeu confirmed the existence of the Super League, and the fact that Barcelona are set to join and confirmed the fact that it is a project led by Europe’s biggest clubs.
While there have been many rumours and reports since, including FIFA saying there is no such league, the fact of the matter is that this was inevitable. And the fact that it comes on the back of Bartomeu’s exit from Barcelona, is just him lighting the match, closing the door and walking away as football burns down.
The Marlon Samuels - Shane Warne - Ben Stokes fight
It started as simple banter between Ben Stokes and Marlon Samuels when Stokes quipped and said that not even his worst enemy, aka Marlon Samuels, should go through quarantine. That started the dominoes falling and it ended up with Marlon Samuels making nasty and derogatory comments about Stokes and his wife. Unnecessary from the West Indian all-rounder but that wasn’t where it ended as Samuels attacked Shane Warner after the Aussie cricketer commented on the incident.
That sparked another battle with Samuels although this isn’t the first time the pair has clashed with a major incident between the two taking place in 2013 during the Big Bash League, where Warne had crossed the line and had even grabbed Samuels' collars, drawing a hefty fine. This trio just can't seem to get over themselves and not engage in a cringe-fest.