Whatever happened to losing with honour?

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

 , , , ,

90 Have your say

    If there’s one thing we learnt from Jeff Horn’s world title win, it’s that sports administrators everywhere will never let a fair result get in the way of undermining their own integrity.

    The World Boxing Organisation’s decision to re-score Horn’s Welterweight title win is entirely pointless and utterly predictable.

    Under pressure from sometime Filipino senator Manny Pacquiao – who waited until he was safely back in General Santos City before complaining about the result – the WBO has announced it will enlist five independent judges to re-score a fight that Horn was unanimously adjudged to have won.

    Why? Two reasons.

    Pacquiao might be a big-time boxer, but he’s an even bigger celebrity – one with millions of fans across the globe, particularly in the Philippines and the United States.

    And when the Battle of Brisbane was beamed into millions of American households in primetime on ESPN, the troubled network managed to plumb new depths with its abysmal coverage.

    Having told anyone who would listen that Horn had no chance of beating Pacquiao, a stupefied ESPN – lead by cartoonish ringside commentator Teddy Atlas – then deployed an increasingly common tactic when supposed experts get something wrong. They blamed someone else.

    “It’s either incompetence or corruption,” raged Atlas – who conspicuously failed to his blame his own ignorance of Horn’s ability as the real reason he was stunned by the result.

    Having been made to look stupid, ESPN then set about deflecting the blame for their own lack of knowledge by implying the result must have been rigged.

    And Pacquiao’s legion of passionate fans – some of whom seemed to spend more time posting comments on the internet than they did watching the fight – fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    Of course, re-scoring the fight won’t make one iota of difference.

    Horn will keep his belt regardless, and the WBO will have engaged in that most David Brent of activities beloved by all sports administrators – being seen to act, while accomplishing nothing.

    Jeff Horn Boxing 2017

    It’s an artform some would argue Football Federation Australia has perfected – typified by the truly bizarre announcement that the final nine rounds of the A-League season will henceforth be known as ‘The Chase.’

    While FFA is busy conjuring some marketing guff around the revolutionary concept of not forcing the same teams to play twice within a matter of weeks, FIFA has made it clear that unless changes are made to the way the game is governed in Australia, they will step in and make changes themselves.

    Yet as much as reform is necessary – and a broad range of stakeholders are legitimately entitled to a bigger say – it’s a strange notion to have to take management advice from an organisation whose reputation is the most corrupt in world sport.

    Still, if it prompts some debate around what a viable national second division would look like, it’s a decent starting point.

    Much as the Association of Australian Football Clubs – composed of almost one hundred National Premier League clubs – would like to see a second division launched sooner rather than later, there has still been precious little discussion around how it would actually be funded.

    It’s far more likely the FFA will announce two expansion teams, one in Sydney and the other in Brisbane, before any moves to create a second division are made.

    Who knows – by the time the A-League institutes promotion and relegation, the rest of the world may well be on the way to ditching it.

    That seems to be the way sport is headed these days, where the notion of a fair contest means nothing and the biggest clubs can always threaten to form a breakaway league based on the size of their Twitter following and a desire to never again be embarrassed by Leicester City.

    You’d think if Manny Pacquiao wanted to win a fight, he’d simply knock the other bloke out.

    But failing that, whatever happened to the concept of losing with honour?

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (90)

    • July 10th 2017 @ 7:42am
      Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      I had a discussion over lunch yesterday that sport in Australia is being badly let down by the people hired to administer it; Cricket and NRL are in similar strife to football and the ARU are doing the impossible – making the FFA look better. And now add Boxing to that list (although we can’t blame Australian sports administrators there).

      I would say this blame culture extends to fans as well, when we’re not happy about a result we often pick on the one minute when the referee made a supposed mistake and ignore the other 89 when our side wasn’t good enough. I’ve been following the Lions tour of NZ these last few weeks and the whinging coming out of the kiwis over supposed refereeing decisions is getting so loud it presents a threat to the entire eastern seaboard of Australia ?

      • July 10th 2017 @ 7:54am
        League table speaks said | July 10th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        Well in football’s case they sorta dig their own hole by opting for a centralised model over the more open leagues across the world game.

        Something more basic or cell based is better at being self correcting and sustainable. Clubs moving up and down the tiers as a natural order of things.

        A low bar for entry …seamless mix of pro ranks through to semi pro via australia’s enviable and extensive grassroots structure. Open competition at the top and ambition from the base. No need for models, formulas or balancing…

        Its all there and just waiting to be plugged together by someone who understands football.

        • July 10th 2017 @ 8:01am
          Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

          I don’t disagree it’s solvable and I’d guess fans of the other codes might say the same too. I was struck by an article in the Australian discussing the CA stand-off and the language/reasoning/excuses being used by the CA boss was remarkably similar to that used by Gallop – it’s almost as if they’ve been on the same training course lol

          • July 10th 2017 @ 8:21am
            League table speaks said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

            They are all from the same insider sports admin technocrat class it seems! Frustrated nerds? 😀

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:42pm
          Mark said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:42pm | ! Report

          The biggest barrier to a ‘low bar for entry’ to the A-League and the creation of a second division is the PFA, who insist on minimum salaries for individual players and salary floors for all teams that are up to around 80-90% of the full salary cap. Just look at their comments on how much it would cost to run a second division club – they have factored in fully professional and generously paid players.

          For all people bang on about the salary cap harming the growth of the A-League, I think the floor does as much, if not more damage.

      • July 10th 2017 @ 12:56pm
        Greg said | July 10th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        A sports administrator really wouldn’t be the easiest job in the world. It is a job of trying to balance a pretty diverse range of stakeholders who want a lot but have little to no knowledge or interest in long term planning or short term finances.

        If anything, the current situation of competing stakeholders/interest indicates to me the importance of a strong FFA running the game on a centralised model. I don’t agree with the HAL being independent to the FFA, and the situation with Adelaide not wanting to release players for the Youth camp in Yangon is a prime example of such risks.

        Expanding the congress is reasonable in my opinion, but the FFA can’t do much when 8 of the current 9 federations are not willing to give up more power than the current 3 extra seats. Good luck to FIFA in reforming it, but the FFA management/board report to the Congress and the vast majority of the Congress have taken their stance. They quite literally have their hands tied behind their back on this.

        • July 10th 2017 @ 2:13pm
          Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          I agree on the challenges facing a sports administrator but when they’re being paid seven figure salaries stakeholders have a right to expect more.

          I disagree with the centralised model, it can work but I think one organisation trying to run everything is where the problems sit and the HAL is in a bit of a mess, grassroots is struggling with growth, and the semi-pro layer are on the warpath. By the FFAs own admission, the model is broken – well it’s been their model so guess what?

          The HAL Administration needs to be separated from the FFA, and the clubs seperated from the said administration. The same holds true for a Div 2 if we ever get one. Follow something similar to the German structure and we don’t go too far wrong.

          Congress and the HAL are two seperate topics though, you can’t run a professional competition via a congress so it’s a red-herring that only confuses the debate. Football needs a broader representation but that does not mean congress should run everything from beach football to futsall to grassroots to women’s to youth to internationals to NPL to Div2 to HAL to FFA Cup to referees to a dozen other things that need doing. Even if they met everyday they would struggle with that and they only meet a handful of times every year.

          The logic is to do what must sensible countries do and devolve power down to various bodies that have a fair amount of autonomy to run their “bit” with oversight from FFA and congress.

    • July 10th 2017 @ 7:59am
      Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | July 10th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      “The chase” what’s this another FFA/FOX initiative to deflect the expansion process?

      • July 10th 2017 @ 8:03am
        Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Well, Fox want expansion and are growing increasingly impatient it’s not happening so that leaves the ffa in deflection mode ..

        • July 10th 2017 @ 8:26am
          League table speaks said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          Fox would err toward a less open structure. Gallop was their guy so its more of the same, no? They want boxes ticked as far as fish and catchments and what not.

          “Expansion” is a carrot dangled to add more teams to a cartel. Not really an open league which would not require gate keeping.

          • July 10th 2017 @ 8:40am
            Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            Agreed. As been discussed before Fox will decide where the next two teams go most likely Brisbane and Sydney. Given the state of the game I have no problem with that providing it happens sooner rather than later.

            Beyond that is how should further expansion then occur, what’s our target number of teams for the HAL, how do we set up a national division 2, and eventually get pro/rel. I’m sure if we searched these pages for the last five winters we’d see these very same questions coming up again and again. The lack of vision and forward planning by the ffa is astonishing.

            • July 10th 2017 @ 9:33am
              League table speaks said | July 10th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

              The league table needs to decide where the next teams go.

              Forward planning isnt really the issue. That’s just another potential delay tactic for ffa… Break glass in case of emergency only;)

              • July 10th 2017 @ 2:17pm
                Waz said | July 10th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                It’s noble to say that the league table should decide the next two teams but it’s not that simple; Redlands Utd could win the NPL league but don’t have a stadium nor the ability to sustain losses of $2-3m the first year they’re in the HAL.

    • July 10th 2017 @ 8:04am
      RBBAnonymous said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      Truly embarrassing and cringeworthy when the FFA comes out with “The chase”. I can just imagine them all sitting behind the boardroom table patting themselves on the back for a such an innovative concept. The mind boggles.

    • Roar Guru

      July 10th 2017 @ 8:05am
      Kaks said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      Agreed with everything you wrote Mike.

      This concept of ‘the Chase’ is so childish, I can’t believe there were enough people who thought it was a good idea.

    • Roar Guru

      July 10th 2017 @ 8:23am
      Ben of Phnom Penh said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:23am | ! Report

      If the final 9 rounds are to be called “The Chase”, then clearly we need a term for the preceding trimesters of football.

      I suggest the first 9 rounds be termed “The Hand-Shake” and the middle 9 “The Jostle”.

      • July 10th 2017 @ 8:53am
        Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | July 10th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        It kind of reminds me of the movie “The Fugitive”: we have the one arm suspect, Sykes, chased by Dr. Richard Kimble (the fugitive), chased by Inspector Samuel Gerard, NYPD. 🙂

        • July 10th 2017 @ 9:39am
          Colin Tindall said | July 10th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

          Dog and tail comes to mind!

          • Roar Guru

            July 10th 2017 @ 11:29am
            Ben of Phnom Penh said | July 10th 2017 @ 11:29am | ! Report

            “The Open-Gate”, “The Cat”, “The Chase”.

            It has merit.

        • July 10th 2017 @ 10:07am
          Lionheart said | July 10th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

          Max Smart is a closer analogy
          ‘would ya’ believe – the chase’

      • July 10th 2017 @ 9:05am
        AR said | July 10th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Launching a marketing gimmick called “The Chase” isn’t just tone deaf, or oddly timed…it’s flat-out bizarre.

        I await the announcement of “The Handshake” and “The Jostle” in the coming weeks weeks.

        Cue the staunch defence of this well-thought strategy with some upper caps’d:

        We Are Football!

    • July 10th 2017 @ 9:42am
      Nemesis said | July 10th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      “Summer of Football”, “The Chase”… who cares about the marketing slogan. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t bother with it.

      Why do people on this forum work themselves into permanent outrage over such irrelevant stuff?

      I don’t know any football fan who bothers with such marketing slogans to get them interested in ALeague.

      But, I also don’t know any football fans who don’t know when their ALeague team is playing, in the way that many people on The Roar seem to be unaware of kick-off times & TV scheduling unless there is blanket media advertising by FFA.

      The FFA released its 2017/18 fixture a couple of weeks ago. I merged my team’s fixture with my online diary. There is no excuse for anyone with basic intelligence to not know when their team is playing.

      • July 10th 2017 @ 9:58am
        AR said | July 10th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report


        Why do football fans express an opinion about what is happening in football when it’s announced by the FFA..?


      • July 10th 2017 @ 10:04am
        Caltex Ten & SBS support Australian Football said | July 10th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        I just want to know now; by the end of the chase—-will it be Dr. Richard Kimble crowned Champion, or the one armed man, or will it be Inspector Samuel Gerard NYPD… ? I am thinking it will be Samuel Gerard NYPD taking out the Premiership and the Championship double—what do you reckon?

        • July 10th 2017 @ 10:37am
          Nemesis said | July 10th 2017 @ 10:37am | ! Report

          Ha! I remember that film, very nice. But, I think “The Chase” now refers to the UK Game Show.

      • July 12th 2017 @ 12:10am
        Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:10am | ! Report

        100% disagree nemesis

    , , , ,