Seven things Al-Hilal should investigate

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Al-Hilal fans, it would seem, aren’t particularly happy. Not because they’re based in a country whose government has an approach to gender equality that they pulled straight out of Animal Farm, but because their team lost a match that they simply weren’t able to win – and they’re struggling to cope.

It doesn’t stop with the fans, either. On Monday, the club’s board of directors issued a statement on their website demanding an investigation into the “looting of the right of an entire people” that was Western Sydney Wanderers’ improbable Asian Champions League final victory; an apparent “black spot in the history of Asian football.”

In fairness, they were denied three obvious penalties, but then they also didn’t manage to score more goals than their opponent in a game structured pretty heavily around that very concept – and that’s way after the logic of their demand for justice breaks down.

It’s the kind of stuff we saw when Manchester City went down 2-1 to QPR on the final day of the 2011/12 season, or when Serena Williams lost in the 2009 US Open, or when Serena Williams lost in the 2011 US Open, or when Serena Williams lost in the 2013 Australian Open – it’s funny when people refuse to accept the reality of a sporting result.

With Tony Popovic already effectively laughing off the call for the investigation (I say ‘effectively’ because I’ve never actually seen him laugh), Al-Hilal are only wasting their own time when they could be looking into something that actually matters. Here are a few suggestions for Abdulrahman bin Musa’ad bin Abdul Aziz, the club’s president, to get the ball rolling.

How far can a human spit?
Matthew Spiranovic is 1.93 metres tall. He was also born in Geelong, but that’s irrelevant – Wikipedia bios can suck you in. Assuming that Nasser Al-Shamrani’s projectile sputum did indeed reach its intended target – up around Spiranovic’s face, an estimated 1.86 metres from the ground – then he he’s capable of spitting, from a sitting position, not far from two metres vertically upwards. It mightn’t sound that impressive, but how about you try it and see how gravity responds? Al-Hilal will want to see what potential Al-Shamrani has to get some horizontal distance on that effort – it wouldn’t be of any real constructive purpose, but then not many of Al-Hilal’s investigations are.

How fair is the Saudi government on women?
This one depends on how you feel about apartheid.

How many focused lasers can the human head withstand before exploding?
And this one depends on whether or not you consider Ante Covic human.

How come the moon and the sun are sometimes in the sky at the same time?
You know when it’s daytime and the sun’s out, but over there in the corner the moon still hasn’t left the room? While Abdulrahman bin Musa’ad bin Abdul Aziz is looking into why the President of the Asian Football Confederation specifically rigged the Asian Champions League so that the one of the two not-really-Asian teams would win it, he may as well look into this. Also, how come you never see the sun in the sky at nighttime?

Where has Neymar been?
The first leg of the final, a 1-0 win for the Wanderers in Parramatta, was officiated by an Iranian referee, Alireza Faghani. The second leg in Riyadh was officiated by a Japanese referee, Yuichi Nishimura, but the conspiracy doesn’t stop there. Nishimura was also responsible for the opening match of the last World Cup between Brazil and Croatia, in which he awarded the host nation a dodgy penalty for a supposed foul by Croatia’s Dejan Lovren on Fred. Neymar scored and set in motion a chain of events which culminated in Nishimura deciding that as he had caused enough trouble by doing his job and refereeing the game in Brazil, further fuss could be avoided by simply taking a back seat to things in Riyadh. Neymar, meanwhile, still hasn’t made public his thoughts on the Asian Champions League final, which only makes you wonder what he’s hiding.

The 2009 Champions League Semi Final between Barcelona and Chelsea
When he refused Chelsea four fairly legitimate penalties in the second leg of their 2009 semi final against Barcelona, Tom Henning Øvrebø was smuggled out of London by police as Stamford Bridge boiled over and Didier Drogba fell apart, but did Chelsea do anything about it? Did they even try to challenge UEFA with a pointless and desperate clamour for an investigation that only proved how pointless and desperate it was of them to blame the loss on anyone but themselves? Yeah, take a leaf from Al-Hilal’s book, 2009 Chelsea.

What happens at the end of The Sopranos?
I don’t think he dies, but until we’ve annoyed the network president of HBO into telling us, we can’t really be sure.

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