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Author Archive for Marina Hyde

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Let’s hope no one uses the Games to defect from the US to a freer society | Marina Hyde

Mike Pence’s very presence in Pyeongchang is having a debilitating effect on everyone and everything enduring his contactIt is, perhaps, a question as old as athletic competition itself: who is sport’s worst spectator? Of all the absolute arses, w…

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PR stunts of F1 and gambling industry are hardly sharp end of feminism | Marina Hyde

Chucking out press releases about ending the practices of grid girls and swimsuit-wearing promotions workers to claim some sort of moral high ground should ring a few alarm bellsTo the list of Great Woke?ings of our time, we must formally add the gambl…

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A transfer window for managers? It will happen but for the wrong reasons | Marina Hyde

The deadline day drama is flagging and football’s content era is desperately in need of new characters“In Argentina we say that the job is the electric chair,” Mauricio Pellegrino explained last week of the manager’s gig. “It is not easy to stay in the…

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Stand up for Aly Raisman in fight to purge the horrors of Larry Nassar | Marina Hyde

The US gymnast, who gave an electrifying victim statement face to face with her abuser in court, is now is now taking on the US Olympic CommitteeLast Friday, the multiple gold-medal winning US gymnast Aly Raisman delivered an electrifyingly powerful vi…

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Never managed and didn’t apply: how the FA made Phil Neville its No 1 | Marina Hyde

Surprising frontrunner for the job of England women’s manager sums up the FA’s continuing bumbling approachWhat an amusing inevitability to learn that Phil Neville is the frontrunner for the job of managing the England women’s side. I very much enjoyed…

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North and South Korea are talking but let’s not give the IOC all the credit | Marina Hyde

The idea that Kim Jong-un’s heart has been melted because North Korea has been permitted to send a figure skating pair across the DMZ to compete in Pyeongchang next month feels a bit of a stretchFor an event that claims to exist in the rarefied air far…

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The Froome affair proves it: Team Sky is champion of misunderstandings | Marina Hyde

Claim follows claim and now Chris Froome fails a drugs test. Fate is unkind to our premier cyclistsIt’s always exciting when something goes right down to the wire. And for many of us, the race to re-edit Chris Froome’s Sports Personality of the Year se…

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There is too much irritating respect in football – and here are 10 reasons why | Marina Hyde

The fracas at Manchester United was supposedly all about José Mourinho demanding respect but upstartery is a lot of what makes sport greatIs there a more elastic concept in modern football than “respect”? There certainly isn’t a more self-regardingly i…

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Revealed: why Match of the Day is biased against [insert your club’s name here] | Marina Hyde

For the first time the massive newspaper, website and TV conspiracy against whichever club you happen to support can finally be exposedThere’s a hugely culturally important scene in the movie So I Married An Axe Murderer, where Mike Myers (playing his …

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Fifa’s new broom Gianni Infantino exhibiting signs of limited shelf life

World game’s president has already wrecked his flagship event and with the World Cup draw due on Friday still has only one of 20 local sponsors in place and has yet to agree terms for the TV rights with Russian broadcastersGood news and bad news once m…

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BT and Sky battle to keep England’s Ashes Unnameables anonymous | Marina Hyde

Joe Root is light years away from the visibility David Gower enjoyed and, away from terrestrial TV, some team-mates in Australia might as well be in a witness protection programmeAt the risk of making myself a hostage to fortune, it is very possible th…

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Lewis Hamilton’s failure to pay tax on his air miles may backfire spectacularly | Marina Hyde

Four-time F1 world champion’s hopes of a knighthood may have taken a hit after the Paradise Papers but he still has BBC sports personality of the year to aim forLike everyone who wells up when he towels champagne off himself with the union jack, I was …

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Keys, Gray and Allardyce talk football, or are they talking about something else? | Marina Hyde

There are those who talk about sport to avoid the weightier issues of the day, and then there are those who magically manage to combine the two without you even realising itThe nights draw in, November is upon us, and it is time to gather round for ano…

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FA relies on its traditional approach to crisis – ‘If we lie low, this will go away’ | Marina Hyde

After their Dunning-Kruger kabuki performance in front of the culture media and sport select committee, the FA’s top brass are now keeping their heads downTry not to allow yourself to be encouraged by the fact that former FA board member Heather Rabbat…

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ESPN kneels before advertisers by silencing Jemele Hill for doing her job | Marina Hyde

ESPN asked Jemele Hill to ‘discuss sports topics, news, culture, and social issues’ and to tweet on ‘a current issue impacting sports’ – then suspended her for doing exactly thatMore than a week into her suspension for some highly anodyne tweets relate…

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Fifa’s World Cup money-grabbing may be running into the sand in Qatar | Marina Hyde

Our heroes’ formula of leaving with all the cash and paying no tax could be coming awry in the Middle East as a Dubai official suggests Qatar should give up the World Cup

Exciting territory for the Middle East ingenues at Fifa, as the Qatar World Cup is elevated to the status of geopolitical bargaining chip. I know! It’ll be hard to know whether to qualify for it or sign a triple entente in the hope it’ll see us through the group stage.

But first, a recap. Back in June, several countries in the region – including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt – instituted a blockade of Qatar, severing diplomatic relations and cutting off trade routes and so on. This, they said, was a response to the country’s support for terrorism and closeness to Iran. Among their various demands was that Qatar shut down the Doha‑based al-Jazeera and align itself far more tightly with other Gulf countries. Eye‑catchingly, Dubai’s high-profile security chief has now upped the stakes and claimed the blockade would end if Qatar gave up the World Cup. “If the World Cup leaves Qatar,” reasoned Lt Gen Dhahi Khalfan last Sunday, “Qatar’s crisis will be over … because the crisis is created to get away from it.”

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George Foreman fighting Steven Seagal in Vegas? It’s the least we deserve

The noted countertop-grill retailer and ex-heavyweight champion has issued a challenge to Vladimir Putin’s best friend. If it ever happens, it will be a cultural event worthy of our troubled times

It has become a cliche of the era to say we are getting what we deserve. We get the politicians we deserve, we get the presidents we deserve, we get the world we deserve. Without getting overly L’Oreal advert about it all, surely we deserve a respite from these just deserts? Can’t something hilarious and magical come along that we can all welcome with open arms, realising that we are, without question, getting the thing that we deserve – and that it is good?

Yes. Yes it can. George Foreman has challenged Steven Seagal to a proper fight. This is the cultural event that should have you telling yourself “because I’m worth it”. Clearly, the best time to enjoy it is at this dare-to-dream stage because I sense that one of the parties may ultimately decide the bout can’t go ahead. Maybe because he’s too good. Maybe because he’s afraid of hurting the other guy. Maybe because he was demoted to chef after a bungled special forces operation to take out General Noriega.

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Attention (some) Manchester United fans: all racial stereotyping is racist | Marina Hyde

The song about Romelu Lukaku’s penis is not just ‘banter’ because the trouble with supposedly positive stereotypes is that they tend to be accompanied in the minds of those who hold them by distinctly less complimentary ones

Why is it racist to say Jews are careful with their money? Why is it racist to say Asians are good at maths? Why is it racist to say black men have 24-inch penises? Guys, these are compliments! Your lot are never satisfied, are they?

And so to some Manchester United fans’ chants about their striker Romelu Lukaku, which a totally encouraging number of people simply cannot see are racist. To be super-clear (and apologies to those who realised this in 1964 or whenever): any assumption about someone made solely on the basis of that person’s race is racist. It may also be banter – but it is racist banter. And if anyone’s still struggling with the logical underpinnings of that incredibly simple rule of thumb, we’ll be diving deeper into why in a minute.

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LA has signed up but rapacious IOC is running out of conquests | Marina Hyde

The outrageous demands that the International Olympic Committee places on hosts means fewer cities in the democratic world are interested in the Games

There’s a scene in When Harry Met Sally where the two principals run into each other on a plane, some years after their first abrasive encounter. The previously relentlessly cynical Harry tells Sally he’s getting married. She lets out an involuntary peal of laughter. “What’s so funny about that?” he demands. “Well,” titters Sally, “it’s just … it’s just so OPTIMISTIC of you, Harry.”

I confess a similar reaction to the news that Los Angeles have come to a deal with the IOC, to host the 2028 Olympics. For this guarantee – and a cash advance and youth sports investment sweetener – they will stand aside to let Paris run unopposed for the 2024 Games. Congratulations and everything … but it’s just so optimistic of them.

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Fifa lets Qatar 2022 sail on, its moral lines in the sand still on the horizon | Marina Hyde

War fears, deaths, slavery … the main lesson of the Garcia report appears to be that there is no conceivable dealbreaker that could derail Qatar’s World Cup

Thanks to the long overdue publication of the Garcia report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, we now know that England’s efforts to secure the 2018 tournament amounted to “a form of bribery”. Obviously, the only thing less surprising than the fact that England break the rules is how bad they are at it. If an England bid team ever gets within 30 sniffs of actually winning a World Cup bid again, no effort should be spared in investigating how they do business. They are, in the words of pursed-lips grandmas, no better than they should be.

For now, however, England remain as likely to win a World Cup bid as they do to win a World Cup, and we must turn our thoughts to more pressing questions raised by the report by Fifa’s then chief ethics investigator. Namely – and I don’t mean any disrespect to the emir and his accidental vagina stadium – is the Qatar World Cup a thought experiment?

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