Storm In A Ji Cup As Sunderland Incur FA Fine

Tim Keeton

SHOCKING BREAKING NEWS: Football club play registered professional footballer.

Sunderland have SENSATIONALLY been punished for a clerical error that occurred months ago, literally months ago, and after being their own whistle-blowers. Scandal, drama, etc.

The Daily Mail have released an exclusive saying that Ji Dong-won, who left for Augsburg in January, was ineligible for selection this season due to the failure of the club to receive written confirmation of his registration when he returned from his loan spell in Germany last summer.

The article suggests that Sunderland brought attention to the error themselves back in October when it was discovered, before accepting an FA fine. So basically, a small clerical error was discovered, reported and dealt with months ago. No one is expecting any further punishment. A massively interesting story, admittedly, if you have a love of inane bureaucracy, but to pretty much no one else - ever.

I mean, yes, a bit of an embarrassing administrative error, and one for which the then club secretary reportedly left the club, but is there really a big drama about a football club playing a player that they own, were paying, and had declared in their official 25-man squad? Not to me. We are not talking about some huge scandal and breaking of the rules here. We are talking about a missing piece of paper that tells everyone something that everyone already knows.

And call me an old cynic if you like, most people call me an old something-or-other these days, but if a story is truly stunning - truly shocking and sensational - there is no actual need for the words 'incredible' and 'extraordinary' to be shoehorned into the opening seven sentences four times.

The only thing that is really surprising about this story is that, given it was in The Mail and concerned a Korean working in this country, it appeared in the sports section and not on the front page as an illegal immigrant scandal.

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