Footballs cone of silence a real talking point

Soccer writer and Echo sales consultant Mark Robinson rubs shoulders with former Socceroo and Lismore lad Craig Foster (right) and soccer aficionado Les Murray.

Whats the point of joining a host of sports journalists at a World Cup debriefing with SBSs top gun sports correspondents, Les Murray and Craig Foster, if its all off the record.

I cant print any of the inflammatory, and funny, assertions that Foster and Murray made so youll have to seek out someone who went on the night to hear all the goss.

However, I did mange to get Murray alone for a short period outside the inner sanctum and on the record and he informed me that, thanks to the federal governments changes to the anti-syphoning laws, there will be no free to air telecast of the Socceroos World Cup qualifying games. For those of you who dont understand, the anti-syphoning laws ensure all sports events deemed to be of national interest must be shown on free to air TV. But the World Cup qualifiers have been struck from the list, so well miss these crucial matches.

I might add that the English FA Cup remains on the list. Obviously, for this government, the telecast of a foreign countrys Football Association final is of greater national importance that watching our own national team compete for a spot on the world stage.

No sooner had football in Australia leapt into the spotlight than the federal government slapped it back on the shelf. Not happy, John.

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