(Intersociety, Onitsha Nigeria: 25th May 2017)-The leadership of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) gladly congratulate the entire management, players and teeming global fans of the Manchester United Football Club of England for winning yesterday (24th May 2017) the 2017 EUROPA League Championship trophy and securing automatic qualification for the next UEFA Championship Competition. The Chelsea Football Club of England is also congratulated for winning the 2017 English Premier League trophy; likewise its counterparts in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, etc.
We also wish to console the families of 22 innocent citizens that lost their lives in the 22nd May 2017 suicide bombing at the Manchester City Arena during a grand concert performed by an American singer, Ariana Grande in which 59 others received varying degrees of injury. The 24th April 2017 electrocution of at least seven innocent Manchester United fans and injuring of over 10 others in a Calabar makeshift house following fall of an active electric cable on top of the house in which the electrocuted innocents and the injured and survivors were watching a EUROPA League championship quarter final match between Manchester United of England and Belgium based Anderlecht Football Club, is sadly and sorrowfully regretted.
As an avid supporter of the Manchester United Football Club of England, Intersociety and its rights advocacy team sees its EUROPA Championship victory as a victory too many. Apart from the trophy itself, which is proudly priceless; the victory has also made England and members of the Commonwealth proud and broken the age long record of Spain and its former Colonies which appeared to be the sole record breakers in the world of league championship football competitions by consistently recording the winning of EUROPA and UEFA championships and winning in recent times of the highest number of world football best players and their runners up as well as being the first to clinch five slots in the UEFA Championship Competition with five Spanish La Liga teams.
The victory of the Manchester United Football Club in the 2017 EUROPA League Championship has not only made the team the proud and eyes of England and Commonwealth, but also broken the age long record by clinching five slots for England and its Premier League clubs in the next UEFA Championship Competition. This is first time the English Premier League will be going to the UEFA Championship Competition with five English Premier League teams; whereas the Republic of Spain, which has held the record in the immediate past, will be represented by only four teams.
The Club, Manchester United Football Club of England had since 1878 or 139 years ago when it was formed, remained a borderless religion and a formidable center of cultural rights aspect of human rights in England by being peopled, worshipped, cheered and supported by tens of millions of citizens across the world including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Judaists and Animists who cut across Africa, Europe, Americas, Middle East, Asia, Oceania and Caribbean continents and sub continents. In China, for instance, there are at least six million Manchester United fans. This is more than half of the entire population of Republic of Rwanda’s 11.2 million people.
The history, including strengths and weaknesses, rise and fall and challenges and successes of the Manchester United Football Club; should also serve as a lesson to African governments, their parastatals and wealthy citizens in matters of promotion of football and other sporting activities.
Formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage & Wagon Department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Depot at Newton Heath, England, the Club nearly went extinct in 1892 following its inability to settle its £2,670 debts (equivalent of £260,000 today) after being served with a winding-up order; forcing its leadership under Captain Harry Stafford to shop for four businessmen willing to invest £500 each in return for a direct interest in running the Club, resulting in the emergence of John Henry Davies as its first President. The Club changed its name to Manchester United Football Club in 1902. It went public for shareholding stakes in 1990 and in 2003; Malcolm Glazer of the Glazer Family became a majority shareholder in the Club. Source: Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia: 2017.
Today, Manchester United Football Club has towered and triumphed over its basket-loads of challenges to become one of the richest Football Clubs in the world. The Club has also won several prestigious trophies both in England and at the European level. These include 20 Premier League titles, several FA and League Club trophies, three EUFA Championship trophies and the newest EUROPA League trophy which it is winning for the first time.
Our tribute also goes to the Civil Service Football Club of England, which was founded in 1863 or 154 years ago. The Civil Service Football Club of England is unforgettably golden having co-founded the modern football in England particularly the FA Cup Competition founded in 1871.
The return to prestigious UEFA Champions League Competition of five English Premier League giants, namely: Manchester United, Chelsea Football Club, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, Manchester City Football Club and Liverpool Football Club is a huge welcome development and a golden opportunity to oust and end the recent dominance of the European Football Competitions particularly the UEFA and EUROPA Championships by Spain and Germany in addition to age long domination of the world best players records by Spain.
Time has come for the English Premier League to take back its pride of place in the European Football competitions. We urge the Manchester United Football Club to go all out for next UEFA Championship trophy and world best football players’ record and stop at nothing in bringing the prestigious trophy back to England and Commonwealth. The Club should also go for best utility players in this coming transfer window and ensure that all its wings are manned by capable, competent and talented matching players. The oneness and spirits of the players including the injured ones as well as the technical and coaching crew are commendable and encouraging.
On the other hand, football as natural symbols of religion without borders and races; and human rights must at all times be theoretically and practically made to look as same by the authorities of the world and regional football governing bodies such as FIFA, UEFA, FA and CAF. That is to say that the secularity doctrine governing the game must be upheld at all times and separated from religious and cultural fanaticism and fundamentalism.
Democratic tenets must also be upheld at all times. A situation whereby tenures of the Presidents of UEFA, CAF and FIFA, etc are made to last for more than maximum of 10years of two five-year tenure, is democratically and universally abominable. The immediate past President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayoutu of Cameroon was allowed abominably to serve for 29yrs as CAF President (1988 – 2017).
That is to say that there is extremely important need to fully democratize FIFA, CAF, UEFA, etc. Member-States of FIFA must also be mandated to be more proactive and responsive to human rights, rule of law and democratic processes in the respective countries. All the football governing bodies and authorities across the world must denounce terrorism and religious extremism and join hands in the global fight against terrorism. More searchlights should be beamed on referee associations particularly in England and Europe as well as other FIFA organized football championships across the world so as to monitor and checkmate the scourge of poor and vindictive officiating of matches by referees.
There shall be a proviso in players transfer processes particularly in England and Europe whereby a percentage of the transfer proceeds will be dedicated to charity and promotion of human rights campaigns and justice around the world particularly in Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and South America. Wealthy players and coaches should also be encouraged to follow suit by imbibing the culture of giving, humanitarianism and philanthropy; for overall betterment and sustenance of the global society, humanity and environment.
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Barr Florence Akubilo
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department