Olympic Football ends on August 11th, so fortunately if the ban is applied it would not hamper us for any of our Premier League fixtures; our first game of the season is against Newcastle United on the 18th August. Nevertheless any ban could play havoc with our pre-season preparations and result in the first team going into the first few games without having gelled properly and some not adapted to a completely new and radical system from that which Redknapp exerted.
All of this fuss has arisen from Bale's appearance in the Tottenham starting line-up in the friendly between Spurs and LA Galaxy played in the early hours of the English morning. Three weeks ago Gareth dropped out of the Olympic training squad citing a back injury likely to take him out of action for at least a month. However it came as a surprise to most when he appeared to have fully recovered in time to face Robbie Keane's current club.
Pundits and ex-footballers alike rushed to social networking sites to berate the actions of both Bale and Tottenham in removing one of Team GB stars, only to see him feature at club level before the Games have even begun. Former Spur Gary Lineker expressed on Twitter, "Gareth Bale who pulled out of the Olympics through injury played for Spurs last night. Once in a lifetime opportunity thrown away. Baffled". Robbie Savage also had his say, stunned by Bales actions, "Wales captain Ramsey, Premier League's most decorated player Giggs, Premier League winner Richards...does Bale think he's better than that, even if he is class?".
Twitter has exploded with differing views on the story and it was only a matter of time before, as he always feels the need to do, Sepp Blatter made his feelings known. "The principle is that if a club does not release a player then this association can come to FIFA and we will then ban this player during the duration of the Olympics." Blatter blabbed.
Now it's my turn to have my say. Firstly I'd like to vent my frustrations at Messrs Lineker and Savage's comments. Mr Lineker should know better as a former Lane fan favourite than to comment on club business he does not have the full information on. When Bale pulled out three weeks ago, the Welshman was genuinely injured and couldn't train at all. Given a diagnosis by the Spurs Physios and Doctors, as well as Team GB's medical staff no doubt, agreement was made that it was in the best interests of the player to miss out. Players have been known to return from injuries faster than expected after all and that is what appears to have happened here. Does this mean he's snubbed Olympic selection? Don't be so ridiculous.
For Savage to believe that Bale missed the Olympics because he feels that he is above it is laughable. No player was more dedicated to Team GB bar David Beckham in the run up to the Olympics, and that is plainly an insult designed to slur Bale's integrity and affect his public image. Tell me Savage, when did Giggs, Richards and Ramsey pick up their injuries this summer?
However the misguided comments of Savage and Lineker are nothing in comparison to the views conveyed by FIFA's Head Clown, Sepp Blatter. The first error Blatter has made is in his belief that Great Britain has a United FA. I'm sorry to disappoint you Sepp but I'm afraid we don't, so the only complaint you could take seriously would be that of grievances from the Welsh FA. Somehow I don't think that will be happening considering their opposition to a Team GB.
Blatter's second error is that he seems to think that FIFA can simply ban a player whenever they want to, for any reason they see fit. Unfortunately for the Swiss, FIFA is a governing body and as a governing body it has to follow its governing laws. If Blatter can provide evidence of the law whereby players have to accept International call ups, despite holding an injury at the time of the call up, I'll take it all back. For some reason I don't think I'll need to.
The third and final error of his comments is that he has now shown himself up for the corrupt and hypocritical man that he is. If he is able to find proof of the above discussed law, I will understand any ban handed out to Bale. However I expect there to also be bans for previous offences where clubs have done the exact same. Crikey, Man United's Carrington training ground noise levels are going to resemble a morgue between now and August 12th. Players have been pulling out of International matches with niggles, only to miraculously recover in time for their next club game, for donkeys years.
If Bale and our club are punished for our part in this whole overblown saga, I'm sure we'll see Levy taking this one to the courts. And as we know from experience, our chairman doesn't back down easily. Good luck FIFA, you might want to think long and hard about your next move.
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