Richard Scudamore of the Premier League has not been the most popular footballing figure of the last few weeks. The executives overseeing football in favoured destinations for his plan of playing Premier League matches abroad, such as China, Thailand and the USA, have lined up to express their objections, as has the President of world football's governing body, FIFA. However, not every land that loves football comes under FIFA's aegis. Scudamore might be able to realise his goal if he can just convince the likes of League Cup finalists Tottenham and Chelsea to scale down their expectations a bit. After all, Tibet is still in the far East, Zanzibar is lovely and warm all year round and Gibraltar would be bound to offer visiting English teams a warm welcome, as would Guernsey and the Falklands.
What those territories have in common is their inability to persuade world football's family of nations to let them join. On Wednesday night the latest in the fine series of Birkbeck Sports Business Centre Seminars sees journalist Steve Menary tell their story as he speaks about his well-received book, "Outcasts: The Lands That FIFA Forgot":
In particular he will discuss the entry criteria for joining FIFA and how political considerations have interacted with sporting concerns to influence decision-making, underlining how politics and sport continue to be inextricably linked in world football. Outcasts is a story of how footballing nationality, or the need to establish a national identity through sport, continues be used and distorted for political means.
The talk, for which seating is free and unreserved, begins at 6pm on Wednesday, 5th March in Room G01 of the Clore Management Centre at Birkbeck College in Torrington Square in Bloomsbury.
Aerial photograph of Gibraltar's football stadium, with the runway just behind it, via Malcolm Tredinnick's Flickr stream.