Premier League chairman Dave Richards accused FIFA and UEFA of stealing soccer from the English during a conference Wednesday on sports and security.
With FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat looking on, Richards repeatedly reminded his audience that the world had England to thank for soccer.
"England gave the world football. It gave the best legacy anyone could give. We gave them the game," said Richards, who is also a Football Association board member. "For 50 years, we owned the game ... We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches and everything else.
"Then, 50 years later, some guy came along and said you're liars and they actually stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more."
Hussein reminded Richards that there was still a debate over whether the Chinese or the English invented the game, but Richards leapt to the defense of his country.
"It started in Sheffield 150 years ago ...," Richards said, his voice rising. "We started the game and wrote the rules and took it the world. The Chinese may say they own it but the British own it and we gave it to the rest of the world."
This also seems like a good time to inform/remind everyone that Jon Marthaler -- soccer apologist, cricket fanatic, Weekend Links proprietor and frequent commenter -- passed along a link to live cricket commentary that he will be doing at roughly 1 a.m. tonight/this morning. Of course he is. We're fairly sure half of the terms he used are made up, but still:
The USA national cricket team is in the UAE, attempting to qualify for the Twenty20 World Cup later this year. The tournament is going on right now.
Quipu.tv is broadcasting two matches a day, live online, and so some Twitter folks that follow American cricket have got themselves together to do a live audio broadcast during [tonight's] USA-Namibia match. All the details are here: http://www.uscricketer.com/2012/03/13/wt20q-usa-v-namibia-live-audio-commentary/ We'll be watching the broadcast and commentating live.
Our coverage begins at 12:50am Central time. We'll have interviews with other American cricket journalists and followers, as well as play-by-play.
If you are up at 1 a.m. and want to participate in the madness, consider yourself informed.