mardi, juillet 11, 2006

Racism in FIFA 2006

Yes, we all know that France lost the Final match of FIFA 2006. A pity since they dominated the second half of the match. But congratulations to Italy for their 4th victory!

But the worse thing to have happened as far as I’m concerned is Zidane’s headbutting Mazeratti and earning himself a red card for that. Such a horrible way to end his international career.

I have spent 24 hours on the Net trying to find out what different people in the world had to say about it. We all agree that it was wrong of him to give in to provocation no matter how bad it may be. And he has been punished for that, and will always be punished for it with no way to redeem himself.

What disheartened me though is to see, especially in American-dominated forums, the degradation of the discussion about the World Cup into French-bashing (needless to say, also soccer-bashing since most Americans do not like the sport :-)). Serves the “arrogant”, “cowardly”, "ungrateful" etc Frenchies right blah blah. Why these adjectives? Why bring national, racial and religious rivalries into a discussion about soccer?

However wrong his action, what Zidane did brought huge attention to the racism and other trash/foul talk that reigned in this World Cup and in those before it. FIFA 2006 had for goal that of overcoming racism, so if Mazeratti did provoke Zidane with racist slurs, then he had also broken the FIFA spirit and should be taken to task for it. Not Italy, just him. And what has foul talk to do with playing football? After all you play with your feet, not with your mouth.

But at the moment all is just speculation. Hopefully both will care to shed some light on the incident soon.

So I am quite surprised to see so much hatred for the French aboard. I am not French but I have lived in this country and I love it. And no matter how badly they have been fulfilling their principles of Liberté Egalité Fraternité, I know that most in the country hold them dear.

I have also come across many journalists and individuals around the world attempting to dissect Zidane’s Muslim origins (including his given name!), pretending that even though he is a non-practicing Muslim, he is a symbol for the Muslim world and that his action is therefore a shame to all Muslims!

That is horrifying. Zidane is French. Full stop. And it is pathetic trying to use him to make another slur against the Muslims.

Zidane has done much for French soccer, for young people living in sensitive neighbourhoods, for France rich, poor, white or coloured. And for me, one bad mistake among a few others will not erase all the far greater things that he had done.

And no, I do not see why all the time we have to turn the other cheek for someone who slapped us on the 1st one. But that’s just me.

Vive Zidane, you’re a hero!
PS : For those who are fans of Zidane, enjoy this video

4 commentaires:

last frontier a dit…

I agree with you completely. The referees most of the time only judge what they see, because it is difficult to listen to what players say when you are far away from them. However, I'm not sorry that France lost the final because I was supporting Italy this last Sunday. First because France eliminated Portugal in the semi-finals (for the 3rd time they played together in the semi-finals of a competition we always unfortunately lost) and second because they also mistreated Portugal before and during the game. Have you listened to the french coach declarations ? And Gallas and Ribery (Scolari is a good player, and Pauleta is a good french player, playing in France...??!!!). After the game we played against Holland, we were considered by the french and of course by the english and dutch players and press as hooligans playing soccer... and that is not true ! the proof of that is that we were considered the most atractive playing team. Although Zidane was considered (and was) the best player in the tournament, just because that aggression, I can't agree with that award. There is no excuses for that. He should behave as a professional player during all the game and not react to whatever he listens.

Beau Lotus a dit…

Italy had not beaten France since 1978, and it was not for that they were disheartened. The curse, as you can see, is broken :-). You should have more faith in your team, and perserverance.

Every game can only have a winner, c'est la vie. France like every other team, wins some and loses some. It is not for that that we should hold it against every team that has ever beaten us. But it is ok that you didn't support France, my hubby was supporting Germany anyway in the Petit Final. So that made us quits :-).

There is indeed lots of racism in the game. Why can't people just play the game and not throw insults at one another especially of a racist nature? And now it is getting to such a stage that people are saying that since it is so common to be doing so, it's ok to accept that as part of the game and live with it. I disagree.

Meanwhile, Portugal is considered a very good team to look out for. But together with Italy it has the reputation of playing tough and I didn't read that in the French Press. There was even a joke that these teams actually learn how to dive and fake injuries during training. Sigh, how did they get such a reputation?

As for Zidane getting his award, I didn't for vote him and neither did you. The accredited journalists did and they must know the criteria better than us.

Right now there are alot of emotions flying about over the incident. I say that we let ensuing events unroll and time to deal with everything.

For myself, I am still with Zidane and I don't give a damn what anybody says about him.

last frontier a dit…

"There was even a joke that these teams actually learn how to dive and fake injuries during training." - I admit we made it sometimes, but who didn't ? I'm not in favour of that, but we did not won the games because of that.
"Right now there are alot of emotions flying about over the incident."- I don't care about it anymore. the world cup has finished, now we have to look after the economical crisis again: unemployement, oil prices, etc... Those are more important things to take care of. Football is just for fun and enjoyement.

Beau Lotus a dit…

You're right that we have more important things to look at than football. It is indeed horrible the tsunami in Java, the war between Israel and the Hezbollah, escalating unemployment everywhere...