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The Anti-Football Personality of the Year Awards 2023

If you were one of the unlucky few who tuned in to watch the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards last night, you have our deepest sympathy.

England Women’s goalkeeper Mary Earps bagged the main prize, primarily for screaming obscenities after saving a penalty against Spain in the Women’s World Cup final – a game her team lost.

There were undoubtedly several more fitting recipients of the award – none more so than world champion heptathlete Katarina Mary Johnson-Thompson – but that’s BBC viewers for you.

With that in mind, we have decided to treat the awards with the contempt they deserve from a football perspective by shining a light on this year’s enemies of the sport.

Faruk Koca

Disrespect for match officials recently hit an all-time low when Ankaragucu president Faruk Koca punched referee Halil Umut Meler following a game against Caykur Rizespor in Turkey.

We have witnessed officials being repeatedly undermined and berated in leagues worldwide. It needs to be stopped. Koca’s lifetime ban is an excellent place to start.

Luis Rubiales

Having defeated England to win the Women’s World Cup, the last thing Spain’s players needed was someone to steal their thunder during the after-match celebrations.

Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales hadn’t read the memo, engaging in a series of overly toxic gestures which shamed the occasion. His subsequent non-apology was laughable.

Jordan Henderson

If you think back long enough, you will remember when former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson claimed to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

However, when presented with an opportunity to make a statement by turning down a move to the Saudi Pro League, Henderson soon forgot his so-called morals.

Joey Barton

This one needs no explanation.


Robbie Savage

In an age where women are told they have no place in men’s football, it is worth remembering that Robbie Savage is paid handsomely to share his views on the sport.

His screaming banshee act when he is on co-commentary duties is embarrassing, while his inability to remain impartial is mind-numbingly frustrating.  

Lauren James

Once is a mistake. Twice is a decision. Those words undoubtedly ring true where Lauren James is concerned after she recently stamped on an opponent for the second time in a few months.

Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes attempted to justify James’ antics by citing a lack of maturity, which is claptrap. Let’s call it out for what it is – absolutely disgraceful conduct.

Steve Cooper

It may seem harsh to dig out Steve Cooper after he has just lost his job, but the former Nottingham Forest manager deserves his place on this list.

Numerous managers have a penchant for moaning, but Cooper unquestionably takes it to another level. Thankfully, we won’t have to hear him whining for a while.

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