Yesterday was a big day in the world of soccer. FC Barcelona took the UEFA Champions League title in decisive fashion, and Bin Hamman decided to quit the race for FIFA President. I will begin by talking about the Champions League final. Taking nothing away from Barcelona, I was very disappointed by the quality of play of Manchester United’s middle and defensive thirds. The precision and ease with which Barcelona attackers managed to penetrate the United defense time and time again was almost disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, I was rooting for Barcelona the entire time, but I was really expecting the United players to put up a better defense. It seemed as if the entire game was just a waiting session for Barca to score their next goal. Evra pinched in too far for an outside back and was caught off guard multiple times by whatever player chose to attack down that side, whether it was David Villa, Messi, or whomever else. Nearly all of Barca’s attacking initiatives, including the ones which resulted in a goal, began with pressure down the side Evra was defending. Barcelona’s penetrating passes caught the United defense ball watching over and over again. All credit to the Barca players, however, for finding and exploiting a major hole in their opponent’s defense. Overall, the game was fun to watch, but far too one-sided to be a real Champions League final. Also, my condolences to Sir Alex Ferguson for not managing his record tying 3 championships; maybe next year ol’ chap.
On to Bin Hamman’s decision to quit the race for FIFA President. For those of you who are unaware, the recent FIFA presidential race has led to what can only be described as a civil war in the organization. Mud slinging has been rampant in an organization that is supposed to stand for integrity and unity. Qatar’s Bin Hamman was thought to be the only person who could dethrone the dominant Blatter before a fourth term on the seat. Bin Hamman, however, has decided to resign amidst investigations of bribery, claiming that he does not want to see the organization’s reputation tarnished anymore as a result of this emotionally violent race. I sincerely doubt if these are actually Bin Hamman’s motivations. Sincerity has not been a strong point of any major FIFA official in the past decade, let alone a FIFA president. Blatter himself isn’t the cleanest of individuals and is under investigation himself. Either way, I am sad to see Bin Hamman resign because, amidst the modern political climate, an Arab Muslim in such a position would have been a great thing. Alas, the reputation of Muslims is further damaged as a result of these recent events.