THE British have a reputation for being efficient and well-organised but don’t be fooled – we can cock it up as well as the rest of the world.

Take the idiots who run our football, for the past few years they’ve been doing their best to devalue the FA Cup, once the most prestigious knock-out tournament in the world.

 

 

You may remember that a decade ago they allowed Manchester United to opt out of the Cup to play in a meaningless tournament in South America.

In recent times they have decided to play the semi-finals at Wembley, thus further diluting the impact of  what for many is the biggest day in the football calendar, the actual final itself.

This stupid plan really rebounded on the men in suits this weekend. The first semi-final on Saturday featured Manchester United and Manchester City so around 50,000-60,000 punters had to make the trip south.

On Sunday hordes of supporters from two more northern clubs, Bolton and Stoke made the same trek to the capital for their game.

And the Premier League game between Arsenal v Liverpool (err, they’re from the north as well) kicked off in London at exactly the same time as the second semi-final at Wembley.

And to complete the set, Sunday was also the day of London Marathon which drew thousands south (including many from the north, you morons).

So it was perhaps ironic that the M1 motorway, main traffic route into London from the north was affected by a partial closure between junctions one and four over the weekend after a scrap yard fire,causing travel chaos galore.

All this could easily been avoided by staging the two semi-finals in Liverpool or Birmingham.

The Football Association has also just announced increased ticket prices for next month's FA Cup final by up to 22% compared to 2010.

This means that the most expensive ticket to watch the game on May 14 will now be £115, compared to £95 last year.

Anybody would think football is just something to be enjoyed by rich Arabs, Yanks etc . . .

The all-Manchester semi, which saw City beat United 1-0, ended with a nasty little spat between City striker Mario Balotelli and United’s Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand accused his City rival of taunting United fans after the final whistle.

“If you score a goal and give a bit to opposing fans I kind of accept that," said Ferdinand on his twitter account,.

“But at the final whistle, go to your fans and enjoy it, not opposing fans."

Ferdinand had to be held back as he made a beeline for Balotelli, before he was hauled away.

Ferdinand added: “If I offended anyone, I apologise, emotions obviously running high.”

The United player could be forgiven for being a bit bad-tempered, he had made the 200 mile dash back to Cheshire at two o clock in the morning on the night before the game to be at his wife’s side for the birth of a baby daughter.

You have to hand it to Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, he’s no shrinking violet.

After his horrendous error gifted Real Madrid their 1-0 Champions League quarter-final win at White Hart Lane, Gomes said: “This was not my first mistake and I know it will not be the last one in my career.”

Gomes, who fumbled a Cristiano Ronaldo shot and saw it trickle into the net, added: “I need to show character like I did before. The ball moved a little bit but it was a mistake and I accept it.”

Whether in the long run Spurs fans and more importantly manager Harry Redknapp will forgive Gomes remains to be seen.

Goalkeepers of course are always one mistake away from being the fall guy but Gomes has history in this department.

Redknapp may come to the conclusion that to win the really big trophies you need a goalkeeper who keeps his errors down to the minimum.