Politics & the World Cup

Discussion in 'The ChitChat Lounge' started by waleed (London), Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Enjoy the World cup but don't be oblivious to the reality of the political symbiosis.

    Here is an artical from an Ex (Watford) footballer who is now a great thinker and author.

    A socialist's guide to the World Cup
    > Whether you're cheering on the boys from Brazil or
    > avoiding the television at all costs, keep an eye on
    > the political dynamics of this year's World Cup.
    > by Simon Black June 9, 2006
    > http://www.rabble.ca/politics.shtml?sh_itm=7cf609af05474a8e0a5d2177a28e8e17&rXn=1&
    > As World Cup fever grips the globe, many progressives
    > will be sighing at the prospect of another sporting
    > spectacle distracting the "masses" from the pressing
    > issues of the day -- the classic "bread and circuses"
    > argument. There is a tendency on the North American
    > Left to disdain sport: its competitive nature, the
    > corporatization of its grand events, its inherent
    > masculinities and cultures of exclusion.
    > Some of this critique is grounded in good sociology;
    > some of it bears an irrational disdain for that in
    > which one does not participate or enjoy. In many
    > sports, but especially in "the beautiful game,"
    > politics and the game have a symbiotic relationship.
    > Politics can influence and be influenced by what
    > happens on the field of play. The World Cup is no
    > exception.
    > My parents immigrated to Canada from Liverpool in the
    > 1960s; growing up, soccer and socialism were the main
    > topics of discussion in the Black household.
    > Conversations at the dinner table moved seamlessly
    > between football and politics, England's chances in the
    > World Cup and the NDP's chances in the upcoming
    > election.
    > I only committed my life to socialism after being
    > rejected as a professional soccer player (a brief stint
    > with the English Premier League's Watford FC is my
    > footballing claim to fame).
    > In many countries, soccer is a terrain of political and
    > ideological struggle like the media or the education
    > system. Teams in Europe often have decidedly partisan
    > political followings. Lazio of Rome was the club of
    > Mussolini and retains a large fascist following today.
    > Italian club A.S. Livorno has long been associated with
    > communism and banners of Che Guevara can be seen waving
    > in the stands at the team's home games. Clashes between
    > Livorno's supporters and the fans of right-wing teams
    > can dominate match day in this picturesque Tuscany
    > town.
    > When asked to play a friendly match against the
    > Zapatistas, left-leaning club Inter Milan gladly took
    > up the offer encouraged by its bohemian supporters who
    > see their team as a counterbalance to AC Milan, owned
    > by former right-wing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
    > In the UK, Glasgow Celtic were an organizing ground for
    > the cause of Irish liberation and a haven of Catholic
    > solidarity in a hostile Protestant and Unionist
    > Glasgow.
    > In Spain, FC Barcelona is the home of Catalan
    > nationalism. In the era of fascist rule, the team was a
    > serious aggravation to General Franco and his
    > sympathizers who supported Barca's fierce rivals Real
    > Madrid. But for those on the Left who are ignorant of
    > soccer's rich political history and are greeting the
    > onset of World Cup madness with a yawn, here's a quick
    > socialist's guide to the big tournament. I hope it will
    > pique your interest enough to watch a game or two.
    > Colonial legacies
    > The great Trinidadian intellectual C.L.R. James
    > believed that the English-speaking Caribbean truly
    > gained independence from colonial rule when the West
    > Indies defeated England in cricket. A victory for the
    > colonies signaled a shift in the national psyche from
    > subordination and inferiority to confidence and pride,
    > cultivating a fervent nationalism. Thus anytime a
    > former colony goes up against its colonizer, far more
    > than just a game is at stake.
    > Long independent, the nations of Togo, Trinidad and
    > Angola will face their colonizers in the first round of
    > World Cup 2006. Both soccer minnows, a victory for Togo
    > or Trinidad will set off waves of celebration in the
    > home country.
    > Yet the Angola versus Portugal match is arguably the
    > most exciting and politically stimulating of the first
    > round. Angola waged a brutal struggle for independence
    > against Portuguese rule (and later against U.S. and
    > South African influence) gaining independence in 1975.
    > Angolans will be hoping their team rises above the
    > favoured Portuguese in a game that will be charged with
    > political symbolism.
    > Iranian fervour
    > In his wonderful book How Soccer Explains the World: An
    > (unlikely) theory of globalization, Franklin Foer
    > describes the political tremors that can result from a
    > victory of the Iranian national soccer team. Iran's
    > victories can unleash popular sentiments that buck
    > against the theocratic rule of the mullahs. The
    > celebrations that greet Iranian soccer success make the
    > country's rulers uneasy: people eat, drink and be
    > merry, dancing in the streets and saying things aloud
    > that they otherwise would not dare to say.
    > Upon a team victory, Foer notes that what is normally
    > restricted to the private sphere of the Iranian
    > household bursts forth occupying public space as people
    > take to the streets in celebrations that can and do
    > morph into demonstrations against the government. The
    > ayatollahs attempt to hijack the success of the
    > national team for their own purposes but the team
    > itself maintains a cautious independence from the
    > government line. How Iranian success or defeat plays
    > out in this era of U.S. sabre-rattling over the
    > country's nuclear program will be interesting.
    > Social movements
    > There are other World Cup news stories worth following
    > that are not directly related to the games themselves
    > but have everything to do with politics.
    > Having legalized prostitution, Germany's *** industry
    > is gearing up for a massive boost in business. Yet
    > women's groups are concerned with the trafficking of
    > women for ***ual slavery to meet the demand created by
    > a massive influx of male tourists into the country. A
    > number of NGOs have criticized world soccer's governing
    > body FIFA for not doing enough to raise awareness about
    > trafficking and forced prostitution. Only recently have
    > FIFA and German authorities begun to address these
    > complaints. A number of NGOs plan to stage protests
    > during the Cup's festivities.
    > Oxfam has led a coalition of anti-sweat NGOs (the Fair
    > Play Alliance) to protest the working conditions under
    > which the uniforms and shoes of the participating teams
    > are made. Oxfam's report, Offside! Labour Rights and
    > Sportswear Production in Asia, puts the spotlight on a
    > number of large multinational corporations who have
    > failed to clean up their supply chains and address the
    > continuing abuse of workers' rights. Anti-sweatshop
    > groups will use the World Cup to stage demonstrations
    > against the big apparel companies like Nike and Adidas.
    > As Oxfam points out, while players like England's David
    > Beckham receive millions in sponsorship deals, the
    > people who make his shoes receive little more than
    > pennies. Pressure is being put on the superstar players
    > to convince their sponsors to clean up their acts.
    > Whether players use their power and influence to help
    > stamp out sweatshop abuses remains to be seen.
    > So whether you're cheering on the boys from Brazil or
    > avoiding the television at all costs, keep an eye on
    > the political dynamics of this year's World Cup. Before
    > you vilify the overpaid athletes participating,
    > remember that for many of them, football has been their
    > means of social mobility, rising from the ghettoes of
    > Sao Paulo, Tehran or Manchester to the world's biggest
    > sporting stage.
    > And for those of you who still can't see what all the
    > fuss is about, keep in mind the words of a famous
    > English coach (and Lefty) by the name of Bill Shankly,
    > "Football isn't a matter of life and death, it's more
    > important than that."
    > Simon Black is a Toronto writer.
  2. g0g0l

    g0g0l ! SpAm

    :shock: :shock:

    Best of luck guys!! Good thread anyways.....
  3. .:SpY_GaMe:.

    .:SpY_GaMe:. New Member

    ok i dont know if its related to this thread but do u guys know that if brazil win the world cup it is believed to increase the chances for the actual head of gov to win the next elections there :x
  4. Iraqita_EP

    Iraqita_EP New Member

    ^^^coz ppl will be too drunk too notice whom their voting for?
  5. .:SpY_GaMe:.

    .:SpY_GaMe:. New Member

    npe ^^^

    world cup glory has more impact than economic progress there i think
  6. m_waleed86

    m_waleed86 KhaMosh GhuStAk

    ^ yup even i read the same thing sumwhere!!!
  7. Iraqita_EP

    Iraqita_EP New Member

    Bill Shankly! Bill Shankly!:nw:
  8. Okay so England are out of the World Cup so lets have a Inquest Englands abismal failiure.

    This is how I see it - England has a large immigrant population particularly from the West Indies dating back to 1950's and Africans from 1970's.
    Many West Indians and some Africans are now second Generation British citizens and naturally wish to represent England in sport.

    There is no dispute that these guys have the pysique and natural ability to excell in all sports.
    Yet it took them 20 years to break into the Football league in numbers.
    I would argue that they are now amongst the best players in the League.
    But the English FA are inherently racist and like thier supporters and thier media only allow a token few black players to play for the England team.

    Now Compare the French who have a similar colonial history and hence similar immagrantion statistics.
    They select the best players for their team.
    In 1996 they had 9 black players in the eleven, and what happens - they win the World Cup.

    In this tournament they have again 9 black players and are looking good to go all the way.

    Now I am not saying that the English team should only have black players but what I am implying is that there is a resistance to try out black players.
    When they are given a chance it is limmited to a few games only.
    Unless they sparkle immediately, they are out.
    However if you are a white player they will persevere with you till you establish yourself.

    What's worse is that this institutionalised discrimination is apparent in English Cricket.
    Now if you go to any park in England you will see predominantly Asians playing Cricket. This is not new and has been occuring for over 20 years, when I used to play every Sunday.
    Yet the English County Cricket only has a handful of Asians playing in the League never mind the England team.

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