Archive for the ‘sport’ Category

Athens Marathon

November 13, 2022

The marathon, not a road race of the same length.

Finish line inside the Olympic Stadium.

In the morning, strategic view of the Olympic Stadium but I could not see the runners.

Cannon fired from the wooded hillside overlooking the Olympic Stadium as the winner crossed the finish line.

I later walked to the Olympic Stadium. Many exhausted runners, some looking the worse for wear.

Inside the Olympic Stadium, an amazing atmosphere.

Athens Marathon street party

November 12, 2022

Athens Marathon any excuse for a party.

A cloudy very cold day.

A day for Benake  Museum, then maybe Samba for coffee.  I never made it.

Detracted by street party, unable to exit National Garden, I headed for Warehouse Assemblage for a coffee.

#AthensMarathon #Athens

Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics

November 14, 2019

Wednesday three weeks ago in Athens, trip up Lycabettas Hill as the sun was setting, a descent in the dark, I was lost, not a clue where I was.

I ended up at Ohh Boy, asked to use their wifi.

It was only when passing Olympic Stadium of the First Modern Olympics I realised where I was.

Panathenaic Stadium, the Old Olympic Stadium in Athens Greece, hosted the first modern games in 1896.

it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble.

A stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games.

It was rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, by 144 AD and had a capacity of 50,000 seats.

After the rise of Christianity in the 4th century it was largely abandoned.

The stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports. It was used for various purposes in the 20th century and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004.

It is the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.

Banks money launder for Fifa

May 29, 2015

Is anyone suprised HSBC and Barclays caught money laundering for Fifa?

One bunch of criminals aiding and abetting another bunch of criminals.

Something rotten with football

April 18, 2015

Premier Pigs

Premier Pigs

Blackpool fans outside a game

Blackpool fans outside a game

I have never been a fan of football, though as kids we created or own football pitch in the field at the bottom of the garden.

Yes, I can understand people supporting their local football club (though not for me), what I cannot understand, is like mugs being ripped off on ticket prices, buy football kit from overseas sweatshops, or cheering on what are little more than Big Businesses.

Would people be cheering on Coca-Cola or Pepsi of KFC or McDonald’s? As that is effectively what they are doing.

People who turn up to a game, do not do for love of the game, they engage in tribal support for one side or the other.

We have obscene salaries paid to the players. Obscene amounts of money are poured in by the media. Very little of this money trickles down to grass roots level. Where is the money in Hackney Marshes?

Grounds if nothing else for a windfall tax on football.

Not content with their obscene salaries, endorsement of products from sweatshops for yet more money.

Not content with their obscene salaries, widespread tax-dodging.

Foreign ownership of football clubs located in tax havens.

The referee is judge and jury. In a split second, in a highly fuelled atmosphere, has to decide:

  • did he do it
  • was it with intent
  • what is the penalty

TV may beg to differ, those watching who are all self-appointed experts may beg to differ, the manager will always beg to differ.

I can take a picture from one angle and tell one story, I can take a picture from a different angle and tell an entirely different story.

TV is showing one version of what is claimed to be the truth. Do they show it from the viewpoint of the referee?

A top referee, earns less in a year than a mediocre player in a week.

Referees are abused, subject to violent attacks, receive death threats.

Four thousand referees a year are leaving football.

Any player, manager, or fan, who abuses a referee should be banned for a year.

Any player, manager, or fan, who physically attacks a referee should receive a lifetime ban.

Widespread corruption, match-fixing, rigged World Cup locations.

It is time football walked away from Fifa.

At the top, obscene amount of money floating around, nice if you get it, the agents, the managers, the players. Those who do the graft, do not even get paid a living wage.  Some clubs even force their staff to pay for their uniforms.

Frank Knight is a lifelong football supporter, sued by his club owners for defamation of character for questioning the way Blackpool FC is run, ordered to pay £20,00 or be bled to death through the courts.

Frank Knight is not the only fan to be threatened and intimidated.

What happened to free speech?

Former Blackpool FC fans turn up outside the grounds with their protest banners, then go off to support another club.

Fans who walked away from Manchester United, showed another world is possible. Working from scratch, they built their own football club, a genuine local club, not a foreign-owned business operating out of a tax haven.

Maybe one day, fans will realise they are being treated as mugs and taken for a ride, and will follow the example of Blackpool FC and Manchester United, and walk away.

Blackpool FC now plays to empty stands.

There is now a move in football, to cross the tribal boundaries, even to go as far as mass boycotts.

Pause and think, televised matches with empty stands.

It is time for fans to unite and reclaim football.


October 4, 2014

XS Water Sports

XS Water Sports

Stavros Water Sports

Stavros Water Sports

Stephanos Water Sports

Stephanos Water Sports

XS Water Sports and Stephanos Water Sports on main beach in Protaras, Stavros Water Sports in Fig Tree Bay.

Jet ski, parasailing, water skiing, boat hire …

Kite surfing

September 29, 2014

Kite surfing

Kite surfing

Rough sea, yellow, then later red, flag flying, beach taped off.

One of the guys from Stephanos Water Sports kite surfing.

Cup for the rich, scraps for the poor

May 27, 2014

Cup for the rich, scraps for the poor

Cup for the rich, scraps for the poor

The money Brazil has squandered on the Word Cup could have gone on infrastructure to benefit everyone, especially the poor.

Painting by Paul Ito.

Serbian lineswoman

November 1, 2013

Whoever was filming the match appears to have forgotten the match and been distracted by Aleksandra Milojevic.

The match, in case the cameraman missed it, was Novi Pazar and Mapredak 1-1 draw.

Newcastle United sponsored by Wonga

August 14, 2013

Wonga: Sinking their teeth into the North East

Wonga: Sinking their teeth into the North East

Payday loan companies are the scourge of modern society. They are a the flip side of the ConDem government imposed austerity measures, the cuts to benefits. As people on low and shrinking incomes get ever more desperate, they are forced into the hands of payday loan companies.

The other scourge of modern society gambling.

Both are being heavily advertised on TV.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was right to declare war on payday loan companies and to say he wished to see these companies driven out of business.

Wonga is a payday loan company. It charges an annual interest rate of in excess of 5000% APR. And no, that is not a typo.

Wonga donates to the Tory Party so do not expect government action any day soon on payday loan companies.

Wonga sponsor Newcastle United. The team shirts, that sucker fans buy, will be emblazoned with Wonga, thus turning them into walking billboards for a payday loan shark company.

For Newcastle United to accept sponsorship from Wonga is to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

No one though should be surprised. Newcastle United is owned by Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Sports Direct, the company that employs 9 out of 10 of its staff on zero hours contacts, the very people who will be desperate for payday loans.

For Wonga, the sponsorship deal is a good deal, as it will mean walking billboards in the deprived North East, a fertile breeding ground for payday loans companies.

And it is not only out of desperation people turn to payday loan companies. No ready cash for getting pissed out of ones brain on the weekend, well ready cash is easily available from payday loan companies.

Want to be a mug and wear a Wonga team shirt. Why not buy on loan with a couple of clicks, get Wonga to loan you the money.

Need a season ticket, starting prices for adults a mere £530. Well no worries if cannot afford it, Wonga will come to the rescue. And just too make it easy, the Wonga logo is there for you to click on.

Shame on the players who wear the Wonga shirts, shame on the fans who wear the Wonga shirts.

Shame too the local rag, not a bleat of criticism. And why not? Because they too are in a cheap sordid deal with Wonga.

Sponsorship of Newcastle United by Wonga takes football and its exploitation of fans to a new low.

%d bloggers like this: