He may come from a country built off the back of convicts but the true crime was committed overnight with the Brawler from Gawler Riley McGree being robbed of the Puskas Award at the FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London.
The ceremony was dripping in football royalty, with Gawler King McGree and partner Jordy in hand attending over the likes of ‘non-World Footballer of the year 2017-2018’ Ronaldo.
The jaw-dropping Scorpion kick goal of McGree during the Newcastle Jets semi-final victory against Melbourne City lost out in a decision as soft as the snowflakes falling during the apparent winning touch of Mo Salah against Everton at Anfield.
Australians were hoping for an Australia’s Next Top Model season 6 final moment when the wrong winner had originally been announced, but it was not to be. The Mo Salah goal even beat out the likes of Bale’s bicycle kick that Australian’s could have also got behind, much like the country’s ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign which could be misinterpreted by A-League clubs and football-fanatic ladies alike.
The decision came following Mo Salah receiving 38% of the 500,000 fan votes to take the prestigious title- interestingly about as high as the crime rate on a Friday night at Gawler’s Exchange Hotel.
And here lies the problem with fan votes- we are absolute experts at getting it right, until we get it wrong. Are these the same 38% of voters who also want music, lights, and dancing when each corner and substitution takes place? Or are these just lonesome Liverpool supporters who have found the only way to brush off a little dust from their trophy cabinet?
Clearly wrong fan opinions aside, McGree was also at a disadvantage from the start with such a voting system as it favours the wealthy countries- Australia has the 55th fastest internet in the entire world behind Kazakhstan for goodness sake. Between slow internet and South Australia’s state-wide blackouts, there was never going to be enough time for everyone to dial up and have their votes be counted. And if we had not lost complete faith in our democratic system enough when the person you vote in as leader will likely not be governing the country in 6 months time, we have now.
McGree’s snub also has bigger implications for Australian football- if this is the kind of result that FIFA endorse; do we really want them taking over from the FFA? I feel an investigation being demanded…
McGree- you’ll always be a hero in our eyes. It may not be the Puskas Award but you’ll be returning home to Australia for a ‘mainy’ parade and the Prime Ministership- perhaps make it your first order of business to improve those internet speeds?
Featured Image from Riley McGree’s Instagram.
By Hayley Leedham