THE awful scenes at the Nou Camp during the clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid on Saturday spoilt what is one of the greatest football matches on earth and underlined the fact that Spain now has a football hooligan problem. To use that now infamous phrase the beautiful game was shamed by a few mindless thugs. It is also disturbing how “missiles” such as a pig's head and even a whisky bottle can be smuggled into the ground. Spain's leading sports newspaper, Marca summed it up with the headline, shameful, on Sunday. More worrying for Spain is that while other nations appear to have overcome hooliganism in Spain it has just started. The Spanish Football Association needs to launch an urgent investigation into the matter and if necessary the next Real Madrid v. Barcelona clash should be played behind closed doors. I think you can safely say that half of Spain were in bars on Saturday night watching the game. They all saw how this great match was turned into an ugly spectacle with play being stopped for 20 minutes because of missiles behind thrown at Portuguese international Figo, the former Barcelona player who is now at Real Madrid. There have been allegations that he attempted to “fan the flames” but this is no excuse. The Spanish Football Association needs to clamp down on this sort of hooliganism before it is too late.

Great Britons
NO real surprises in the poll of Great Britons except third place. How can anyone put Princess Diana before, Newton, Shakespeare, Nelson, Cromwell or even Queen Elizabeth I. I am not trying to take any merit away from the late Princess but surely she shouldn't be in third spot. Apart from the media hype and the fact that she was an exceptionally good looking woman and brought up two sons, I don't really understand why she deserves the “great” status. More deserving would be the Queen Mother whose 100 years of public service and her great courage in the Second World War means that, as far as I'm concerned, she will always be in my top five. Britain is still obsessed by Diana and I think even she would have been rather flattered by the BBC poll result.

What a load of rubbish
THE city council are over the moon with their new rubbish chute system which looks like something out of Star Wars. The system has cost a small fortune not just installing the rubbish bins across town but building the necessary chute system to handle the rubbish. Have you noticed that the actual “mouth” of the chute is not large enough to handle the more bulkier items? While I understand that the council thought that the standard rubbish containers are an eyesore, this way of handling rubbish is far to expensive and in the end not practical. I am willing to bet that the council are going to have their fair share of problems with the system and I have already seen rubbish piled high next to chute. Nice try but not practical.

Jason Moore

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