In a fable form, Goal assesses whether Fifa is justified in approving Cairo as a venue safe enough for the World Cup play-off second leg between Ghana and EgyptALLEGORY
By Sammie Frimpong
The mighty cub has just suffered a wholly unexpected yet very fair bruising at the hand of the unfancied antelope and desperately seeks to restore a badly wounded ego during the return duel.
A few days later, the cub informs the young antelope of where the crunch encounter would take place: right within the lions' den, almost solely in the presence of the remainder of the pride [of lions].
The frightened antelope, alarmed and sensing potentially fatal foul-play, appeals to the king of the jungle/forest, stating his worries and requesting a change of venue. Should the fight be permitted to take place at the cub's preferred venue, the antelope might as well go alone, as the safety of its spectatoring and cheering relatives would hardly be assured, given the reputation of the hosts. And, besides, what guarantee is there that he himself would be physically up against just the cub?
The king, however, declares the venue quite 'safe' and with little or no risk involved for the visiting party. The basis for his decision? Hear him: "Well, I consulted the pride in question, and they have assured me beyond doubt of your safety."
"In fact, they have your security guaranteed, to be provided by a select group of lions," he continues. "Besides, the grounds have already been okayed for another huge battle against opposition your own size and might for one of their other cubs just days before yours so... No cause for alarm. Just go ahead, waltz straight in, even with your whole family. Dare beating them, make all the noise you want, and you'd still emerge unscathed. All the best, eh."
Over to you, Blatter.