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Morning Mix: Man City linked to human trafficking and a Saudi Arabian World Cup – the football & morals debate

It’s Friday again which means it’s time for ‘Morning Mix’ – our weekly football column with a bit of music thrown in for good measure.

We look a major talking point from the football world and point you in the direction of some of the best football stories elsewhere on the internet.

We also offer a top tune recommendation to get you in the mood for the weekend and what to watch out for over the coming days. Here we go!

Football is not society’s moral compass

Two stories caught our eye this week. Both were laden with the notion that football should have morals. Idealistic? Absolutely? Realistic? No.

The first story involved Manchester City and centred around a link-up with a firm allegedly involved in human trafficking and Ponzi schemes.

The second one related to Saudi Arabia’s bid to lobby European football to back its bid to host the 2034 World Cup. Nasty country. Beheadings. Human rights, and so on.

While the moralistic arguments underpinning each story undoubtedly have plenty of merit, they also raise one burning question – why is football expected to be society’s moral compass?

For starters, the same level of hand-wringing is rarely applied to other sports when they forge links with what people perceive to be questionable organisations or nations.

Formula 1? Boxing? Cricket? UFC? There are plenty more if you put your mind to it.

Finances are another area where football is repeatedly questioned, particularly when it comes to buying players on credit. However, the argument is flawed.

Look across the sporting spectrum and you’ll see credit, debt, bankruptcy and numerous other financial issues, very few of which receive the same attention as football.

If morality matters so much to the people pointing out that football is less than squeaky clean, why aren’t they concerned about the same happening in other sports?

In an age where social media has provided a platform for faux outrage to rule, football has become an easy target for bandwagon jumpers.

The chest-thumping about football’s responsibility to apply morals to issues that even some of the world’s largest nations ignore is tiresome. The hypocrisy is off the scale.

The week that was

Are you looking for the best football stories from the past week? Check these out:

Today’s top tune

A recent journey down a Friday night music rabbit hole landed us on the doorstep of The Lilacs – a Wigan indie band with a big future ahead of them.

There’s a hint of several other acts in their sound, but that is no bad thing given the artful way they put their own stamp on proceedings.

A storming set at Bridlington Spa last weekend perfectly showcased their potential – bigger things await further down the line.

What to watch this week

Arsenal versus Manchester United on Sunday should be a useful yardstick to determine whether either will be title challengers this season.

A final Morning Mix thought

Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson in the England squad? Two barely play for their clubs and one is plying his trade in the richest pub league in the world.

If manager Gareth Southgate is serious about winning the 2024 European Championship title, he has a funny way of showing it. Get in the bin.

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