Kevin Naughton from the Sunday Mail
in Adelaide has landed himself in hot water with Australia’s
suddenly-vocal football community. You can read the reaction of South
Australia’s Soccernews along with the offending column here.
“I think most people missed the point,” Naughton told Crikey.
described football as “the game of hooliganism, riots and murders” that
should be played “on the moon – on the dark side, where it belongs.” If
football were played there then Naughton could be the only spectator –
his views clearly indicate he’s off the planet.
It seems I’m in good company with that observation. SBS’s Les Murray couldn’t contain his disgust in a column
published on The World Game website. Murray reminded Naughton the
rendition of Advance Australia Fair by the 83,000-strong crowd on
November 16 “was so resounding, so loud, so unified that one couldn’t
hear oneself think or breathe.”
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“Never ever before had such
thumping pride in one’s country been exhibited at a sporting event in
Australia’s history. Yet this fool thinks football is un-Australian,”
Then there were the words of former Socceroo, Adelaide
United coach John Kosmina, who wrote a column responding to Naughton in
last weekend’s Sunday Mail. “Come out of your cave … I want you
to meet the type of people you described as murderers, hooligans and
rioters at Hindmarsh Stadium during one of Adelaide United’s A-League
home matches,” Kossie wrote.
He said Naughton might instead
run into thousands of children, mothers, fathers, grandparents and
teenagers enjoying themselves. Kossie also invited Naughton to Adelaide
United’s weekly players and media barbecue. “Come along and meet us,”
Kossie said. “Kevin, I promise you that we will not vandalise your car,
murder you or have a riot.”
And Naughton didn’t only have his
high profile detractors, there were a flood of readers’ letters
published along with Kossie’s response. Among the letter-writers was
Football Federation of South Australia CEO Allison Miller. “Open the
other eye, Kevin,” she urged.