Posts Tagged ‘football’

Keefe-23-5

Special mention

164240_600 ireland-equality

the-strip-slide-TLSL-master1050

Special mention

judge 0517 761683C4-E668-4F38-856B-B9B1DEAAEEBE_590_447

tumblr_mjlrynwakj1qm7amgo1_1280 galeano-soccer-cvr

Uruguayan novelist, essayist, and journalist Eduardo Galeano is no longer with us.

I remember as if it were yesterday first reading, in the early-1970s, Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America. It opened for me a continent that had been ripped open for the world by a long line of colonial conquerors and postcolonial swindlers (many of whom were themselves, of course, Latin Americans).

This is how the book [pdf] begins:

The division of labor among nations is that some specialize in winning and others in losing. Our part of the world, known today as Latin America, was precocious: it has specialized in losing ever since those remote times when Renaissance Europeans ventured across the ocean and buried their teeth in the throats of the Indian civilizations. Centuries passed, and Latin America perfected its role. We are no longer in the era of marvels when face surpassed fable and imagination was shamed by the trophies of conquest— the lodes of gold, the mountains of silver. But our region still works as a menial. It continues to exist at the service of others’ needs, as a source and reserve of oil and iron, of copper and meat, of fruit and coffee, the raw materials and foods destined for rich countries which profit more from consuming them than Latin America does from producing them. The taxes collected by the buyers are much higher than the prices received by the sellers; and after all, as Alliance for Progress coordinator Covey T. Oliver said in July 1968, to speak of fair prices is a “medieval” concept, for we are in the era of free trade.

The more freedom is extended to business, the more prisons have to be built for those who suffer from that business. Our inquisitor-hang-man systems function not only for the dominating external markets; they also provide gushers of profit from foreign loans and investments in the dominated internal markets.

And then, of course, there’s Galeano’s tribute to the dark tragedies and astonishing beauty of world football, Soccer in Sun and Shadow. Here’s a brief excerpt:

The ball turns, the world turns. People suspect the sun is a burning ball that works all day and spends the night bouncing around the heavens while the moon does its shift, though science is somewhat doubtful. There is absolutely no question, however, that the world turns around a spinning ball: the final of the ’94 World Cup was watched by more than two billion people, the largest crowd ever of the many that have assembled in this planet’s history. It is the passion most widely shared: many admirers of the ball play with her on fields and pastures, and many more have box seats in front of the TV and bite their nails as 22 men in shorts chase a ball and kick her to prove their love. . .

Professional soccer does everything to castrate that energy of happiness, but it survives in spite of all the spites. And maybe that’s why soccer never stops being astonishing. As my friend Ángel Ruocco says, that’s the best thing about it—its stubborn capacity for surprise. The more the technocrats program it down to the smallest detail, the more the powerful manipulate it, soccer continues to be the art of the unforeseeable. When you least expect it, the impossible occurs, the dwarf teaches the giant a lesson, and a runty, bowlegged black man makes an athlete sculpted in Greece look ridiculous.

Turner-19-1

Special mention

012815coletoon PettJ20150124_low

mcfadden-25-1

Special mention

Janssen-22-1 Garabet-19-1

158934_600 (1)

Special mention

0121toonwasserman Bagley-20-1

keep-calm-and-kick-racism-out-of-football

Is there racism in modern football?

There is according to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. And not only in football.

There have been a string of incidents over recent seasons, with CSKA Moscow’s European Champions League tie with Bayern Munich on Tuesday held behind closed doors due to a racist incident in last season’s competition.

Brazilian club Gremio was banned from a cup competition in September after an opponent’s goalkeeper was racially abused during a match.

And Ferdinand thinks heftier fines would act as firm deterrent, with stadium bans dished out to repeat offenders.

“If it’s going to be money, then it’s got to be huge amounts,” he explained. “There’s vast amounts of money in the game so it should be reflected in the punishment.

“If you’re going to hand a Federation a £60,000 ($96,000) fine when that Federation’s pulling in millions a year that is not going to hurt. So it’s got to equate to what they generate I think. Or you ban them from playing in their home country.

“If you say to a country ‘Listen you’re not going to play your national games in your country now after what just happened in the stadium,’ I think the fans will start thinking a bit differently.

“And as I said that doesn’t stop racism. It just stops it in a stadium.

“So that’s why I always talk about a bigger idea on racism and a social element rather than just football but it stops it in a stadium and hopefully that can be then hopefully replicated, maybe, in society.”

But not according to Chelsea manager José Mourinho.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says “there is no racism in football”, amid calls to introduce American Football’s ‘Rooney Rule’ to the game in England.

With only two black managers in the Premier League and Football League, such a rule would require at least one black or ethnic minority candidate to be interviewed for each vacancy.

But Mourinho said: “Football is not so stupid to close doors to people.

“If you are good, you get the job. If you are top, you are top.”

Clearly, Mourinho is channeling his inner Milton Friedman.