Loathsome, leering old fools still run FIFA

How else can you explain this feature, which ran on FIFA’s website Tuesday as a preview to the USA-Germany match?

At least the FIFA writer didn't mention her cute butt. (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, 2014)

At least the FIFA writer didn’t mention her cute butt. (Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, 2014)

It’s a profile of Alex Morgan. In the opening paragraph, the author, who is anonymous, calls one of the best soccer players on the planet “easy on the eye” with “good looks to match.”

Oh, but she’s not just babelicious.

For the next five paragraphs, the article talks about … the series of popular children’s books that the “footballing wordsmith” has written.

(On top of everything else that’s awful about this story, it’s hackneyed, riddled with awkward clichés.)

Only then does the writer get around to mentioning the World Cup game that was to take place in a few hours between the two best women’s teams in the world:

For the time being, however, the intrepid Morgan has other things on her mind than her successful writing career, not least Tuesday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ semi-final against Germany in Montreal …

Jesus. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

On the one-in-a-million chance that there’s someone at FIFA who isn’t a complete oaf, someone who might possibly grasp, once it’s pointed out, that this “feature” is insulting, offensive, sophomoric, grotesque, and, if FIFA were capable of embarrassment, embarrassing — on the chance, in other words, that the story gets taken down — I made a screen grab. It’s below.

Sepp Blatter carries FIFA's message about women to the world at an appearance in June with Brazilian model and TV,personality Fernanda Lima. (Sebastiao Moriera)

Sepp Blatter, the unindicted president of FIFA, with Brazilian model Fernanda Lima in June 2014.. (Sebastiao Moriera)

Morgan looking for a fairytale finish

30 Jun 2015

Alex Morgan is one of the most popular players in USA women’s football. A talented goalscorer with a style that is very easy on the eye and good looks to match, she is nothing short of a media phenomenon.

There is more to Morgan than meets the eye, however. A successful children’s writer, she has just published Hat Trick, the fourth book in her series The Kicks.

The saga follows the adventures of Devin, a 13-year-old girl who moves from Connecticut to California and
discovers in football a way to make friends and experience new adventures.

“I never imagined that I’d enjoy doing this so much,” the footballing wordsmith tells FIFA.com. “The opportunity came up in 2012 and I didn’t want to pass it up. I’m very happy with how popular it’s proved with young girls. It’s children’s literature and it’s easy to read.”

Not content with that, she has also written a book about her experiences at the London 2012 Olympic Games,
where she won gold with her country, while a pilot episode of the cartoon version of The Kicks has just aired on TV.

“If it’s a success, they might show the whole season, which is based on the first of the three books I wrote, called Saving The Team,” said the Portland Thorns forward, clearly excited at the prospect of her stories potentially becoming the female version of the hugely successful Captain Tsubasa series.

For the time being, however, the intrepid Morgan has other things on her mind than her successful writing career, not least Tuesday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ semi-final against Germany in Montreal, a game in which she will be hoping to add to the one goal she has scored in the tournament so far.

“The two best teams in the world are coming face to face,” said the striker, who turns 26 on Tuesday. “It’s virtually a final. Germany are a great side. We’ve watched nearly all of their games, and they’re very strong in defence and dangerous in the air and with the ball at their feet.

“We need to watch out for the knockdowns too and for Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag, who are both a big threat up front.”

It was seven years ago that Morgan burst on to the international scene at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008, which USA won, after beating Germany in the semis. As well as a winner’s medal, the forward also walked away with the adidas Silver Ball and the adidas Bronze Boot, and scored the goal of the tournament in the final.

“A lot has changed since then,” she said, casting her mind back. “I’ve matured as a person, a player and a teammate, and it’s been a great journey.

“That was my first tournament in front of more than 500 people and I’ve learned to deal with the difference at this level.”

The crowd at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium will be a good deal bigger than that. And with the US border lying so close, Jill Ellis’ side can expect plenty of support in the stands.

“It’s a World Cup with a little bit of a difference,” explained Morgan. “There have been so many USA fans at the last few games that it’s felt like we’ve been playing at home, even though we’re in Canada. We have a lot of support and our families come to see us more often.”

One person close to Morgan’s heart who has not been around, however, is her husband, Sporting Kansas City
midfielder Servando Carrasco, who is on duty with his team in MLS.

“We’ve hardly seen each other lately,” she explained. “We’re obviously both very busy right now, though the fact that we’re both soccer players means we understand each other better. We understand the commitment involved and we support one another.”

Touching her wedding ring, she added: “We have to make a lot of sacrifices for our work and our marriage, though it’s just a question of finding a balance and helping each other to keep pushing on.”

As busy as they are, Morgan and her husband are determined to see each other on Sunday, when the Final of
Canada 2015 takes place.

“We’re taking it one game at a time,” said Morgan, a member of the USA side that finished runners-up to Japan at Germany 2011. “We’ve been playing better and better as the tournament has gone on and obviously our goal is to take that trophy back home again.”

The last time the Stars and Stripes did that was in 1999. Sixteen years on, Morgan has the chance to fashion
another happy ending for American women’s football.


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