IT is the world’s biggest sport, one that continues to dominate our TV screens, newspapers and many a pub conversation, despite usually taking a small but welcome rest at this time of year.
But football’s clichéd status as the beautiful game has recently been severely tested, thanks to the financial mismanagement, and some say cheating, of Rangers FC, as well as the billions of pounds being wedged into the pockets of the already rich English Premiership.
Looking at this month’s Euro 2012 competition has provided more grim reading. While plenty of entertainment has been provided on the pitch, the issue of racism in Poland and Ukraine just won’t go away, with the latest allegation that German fans displayed a neo-Nazi banner during a game.
Then there is Uefa’s £80,000 fine for Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner who exposed sponsored underwear, £15,000 more than the Croatian FA received after their fans racially abused Italian striker Mario Balotelli.
Croatia will get around £6.5million just for turning up at Euro 2012.
But just when you question if there is a shred of morality left in sport, you read the incredible stories of Olympians Rosemary Chrimes and Ivan Laing.
Discus thrower Rosemary, of Kelso, still competes in her chosen activity at the age of 79 – 40 years after making the Olympic final in Munich.
And much further back, Hawick’s Ivan made history by becoming the first person to score an Olympic hockey goal, way back in the London 1908 Games.
He would later earn a Military Cross for his bravery in the First World War before sadly being killed in action in 1917.
It is Rosemary and Ivan’s achievements that should be remembered decades from now, not the bigotry and baffling decision-making of Euro 2012.