High kicks and high finance

THE STORM which erupted around Eric Cantona’s attack on a Crystal Palace fan after being sent off seems set to run and run.

Terry Lewis, Labour MP for Worsley, Manchester, has tabled a parliamentary motion calling for the player to be allowed to play first team football this season. He has the backing of two other Labour MPs.

Lewis’ call has more to do with business being allowed to run smoothly. Cantona is seen as a piece of machinery which must be kept working (however unsafe it may be) in order that it can carry on making money. His merit as a footballer is of only incidental importance.

There has been little mention also of the chauvinist haranguing that provoked the attack. Combatting racism in the football ground may be all very fashionable now, but national chauvinism in sport is big business.

Sport today is a slave to cash: matches are arranged to suit TV companies and sponsorship deals are made stretching to millions of pounds. Little thought is given to the real reasons for sporting activity.

We look forward instead to a world fit to live and develop ourselves in, free from the corruption, backhanders and bribes which characterise not just sport but the society it mirrors.

Roger Harper