Play the Muratti even if Jersey can’t

PROSPECTS of any inter-insular football this season still remain remote even though Jersey’s Covid health crisis appears to be easing – thankfully.

Semi-final Muratti action between Guernsey and Alderney at Mount Hale. Could they meet in the final this year if Jersey cannot compete?(29115149)
Semi-final Muratti action between Guernsey and Alderney at Mount Hale. Could they meet in the final this year if Jersey cannot compete?(29115149)

But, here’s the question, and one stemming from what was not much more than a throwaway comment despatched in my ear on the KGV touchline last weekend: ‘Why not simply play a straight Alderney v. Guernsey final?’

I scoffed at the thought, but over the week the idea has got more traction inside my old brain to the extent that, yes, why shouldn’t we consider it? After all, there is precedent.

In 1947, Alderney couldn’t compete. The Occupation years had been harder on the Ridunians than either the Guernsey or Jersey communities and they were short on numbers.

But the Muratti Vase competition went ahead with a straight final between the two big boys.

So, working off the same principle, why not consider a similar solution in 2021 if, as it seems likely, Jersey are unable to compete?

As a one-off, why not play the final over a home and away basis with Alderney getting first crack?

Jersey might go bananas at the very thought of playing on without them, and the Inter-Insular Committee will worry themselves over costs, but when you consider that in any normal cup competition walkovers are part and parcel of the rules, you find yourself asking more and more: ‘Why not?’

Indeed, Alderney contesting its first Muratti final since 1938 would be a selling point in itself.

. AS INTRIGUING and ever-developing the chase for the 2020-21 FNB Priaulx League title chase is – and surely few have been better – there is one bug-bear with it all I need to get off my chest.

Shut the noise, please!

The game has become riddled – often painfully – by excruciating whining, argument, gamesmanship and dissent.

And it’s getting worse.

Much of it is boxed up under the heading ‘gamesmanship’ but boy it is annoying and to be a referee it certainly would help to be deaf.

Thankfully, it doesn’t add up to disrespect of officials and the Guernsey game is streets ahead of our Jersey counterparts on that score, but the unnecessary noise associated with this subtle form of cheating is getting worse.

Greater use of the sin-bin might help in silencing some of the worst culprits but it won’t eradicate it until coaches make a conscious effort to dissuade players from claiming free-kicks when they know it is not theirs and likewise throw-ins, corners and handballs.

But as football, at all senior levels, seems as much about notching up these little marginal wins in search of the greater goal – victory – I’m pessimistic about it going away.

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