Fraudulent footballers, and darker deceptions
This week it has been revealed that Bahrain played a fake Togo team, and Egypt’s state newspaper ‘photoshopped’ an image of world leaders. Kipp loves a good fraud.
September 16, 2010 1:52 by shafeer
Kipp, like most people, is a sucker for a good tale of fraud and deception, especially when no one gets hurt or robbed. So it was with some glee that we stumbled upon a couple of stories today featuring unashamed deception in the Middle East.
First, a British newspaper reports that Bahrain’s national football team may have been duped by a bunch of guys pretending to be the Togo national squad. To the extent that they completed a full friendly match with them. Bahrain strolled to an easy 3-0 win, but were struck at the “total lack of quality” in the Togo team.
“They were not fit enough to play 90 minutes – the match was very boring,” said the Gulf state’s coach Josef Hickersberger.
And no wonder. The Togolese football federation had no knowledge of the game, and the country’s Sport Minister Christophe Tchao told the Jeune Afrique magazine nobody in Togo had “ever been informed of such a game. We will conduct investigations to uncover all those involved in this case.”
This is all highly embarrassing for Bahrain’s national football association of course, but aside from that, there doesn’t seem to have been much harm done. Kipp suggests they just laugh it off, people will respect them for having a sense of humour about it. The whole thing would have been a lot worse if they hadn’t won.
The second story is also fun, but with darker forces at work. The Al-Ahram newspaper in Egypt has been massively embarrassed after it “photoshopped” an image from the Mideast peace process to make it look as if President Hosni Mubarak was leading Barack Obama, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. In reality, President Mubarak was lagging behind (see above, the top is the fake).
The ridiculous duplicity has to be seen to be believed. Really, Kipp laughed out loud. But when you think about it, it’s not all the funny: One of Egypt’s biggest papers, run by the state, doctored a photo in the interests of the President. Such political mischief is harder to laugh at.