Topics:  englishman abroad, soccer, univeristy

Uni scores own goal

THERE might be some big brains at the uni.

But the decision to force a group of veteran social footballers away smacks of the worst kind of small mindedness.

These chaps have met weekly for a keep-fit kickabout on CQUniversity's floodlit sports field for many years.

And they are a lovely bunch. I know because until I finally realised that my days of pretending to be Kevin Keegan were over, I joined them frequently.

Some, like me, are the wrong side of 50. Others are not quite so wrinkly, but past serious competition. Just like countless millions around the world they keep their love for the beautiful game alive with a friendly run out.

There's one important rule that is rigorously enforced. No sliding tackles.

It's almost no-contact play because the last thing they want is time off work nursing an injury picked up on the pitch.

But that didn't stop the university insisting that the group get insurance. No insurance, no play.

The old boys respectfully pointed out that they were just a loose affiliation of casual players, rather than a properly incorporated club and therefore were unable to get insurance. So they were booted out. They also reminded the uni that they had played on university property for many years without a single incident.

But that kind of logic means nothing to numpties who are only obeying orders. One nil to the health and safety morons.

I blame lawyers for sucking the joy out of life. They see danger where none exists and believe there's no such thing as a genuine accident. If someone gets hurt, someone must be to blame and therefore there's someone to sue.

I also blame the university management for bowing to that kind of twisted logic.

Like I said, big brains but not an ounce of common sense.

Happily, the social soccer chaps have found a new location for their huffing and puffing. I might get my shin pads out of storage to celebrate.

An Englishman Abroad

with Adrian Taylor


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