Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Football thoughts

japanese fans
I really enjoyed some of the carnival atmosphere that was generated by the fans, particularly the tunisians who seemed to be on every street corner in munich, singing, dancing and waving flags. There was nothing threatening about their behaviour. Likewise these Japanese fans we met outside the stadium at kaiserslauten were in great spirits, and these fans seem to continue to cheer no matter what is happening on the pitch. Unlike the tense england fans, who if aren't berating their openants are berating their own team, tension only broken by the scoring of a goal. I did miss the match of the day analysis at half time, watching matches in germany resulted in some odd half time moments, including the use of borris becker as a pundet interviewing franz beckenbaur! (Though i get back and itv have shane wharne to talk about australia - what next...)
tunisian fans
Whilst waiting for the game at the stadium in munich there were numerous loops of adverts on the big screens, one from fifa showed ppl from around the world playing football, with the slogan football unites and intimating that it was the solution to all the worlds political woes. This in addition to an advert for the official world cup 'hymn' and the following mass throngs coming to 'worship' at the stadium, made me wonder if they are trying to make football some quasi-religious experience? No doubt a full stadium and remarkable football, especially the euphoria of a late winner can really move a person and lift their spirits, but does it really promote worldwide unity, something i consider to be a kingdom value. Yes a lot of people speak the language of football, and yes it is easy to play with people from all cultures and backgrounds. But it also seems to promote this inate tribalism, that I particularly note in english fans, but am sure is present the world over. Phrases like 'our boys' and 'us' and 'them' mean that sometimes the football team embodies the kind of nationalism where one considers their nation to be superior to another. This is also seen at local level in national football too, and it is this aspect of football that increasingly bothers me, especially when i hear some of the chanting directed at opposing fans. It seems to be full of narrowmindedness, and not at all the all-encompassing unity that fifa would have us believe football embodies. I'm not against passionate support, but when it comes at the expense of decency towards other nations, or even our own players then it just highlights the flaws in the religion of football. I'm not saying that any faith has this issue sorted, and I often wonder why such tribalistic nature seems to exist, what I long for is a world where everyone is equal whether jew, gentile, free or slave, male or female, straight or gay, all loved equally by god.

1 comment:

BeeLady said...

Tchuss Chris, This is the beelady. Thanks for dropping by my Livejournal. I think I vaguely know you a little through MYC. My name is Beth Hartley and if you've been around....2001,2,and 3 I was in the office, running about with paper and trying not to kill machinery ;)