lundi 29 août 2016

Why soccer sucks (article I wrote in July 2016)

Since my last article was about rock, I thought it was time to write a few lines about Volk. This word means people – well, nation - in German and the name of this blog refers to a very famous French music magazine called “Rock & Folk”. As I like rock music as much as analyzing nations and their history, I thought it was a pretty accurate blog name.

Being a typical French Footix – this is how soccer fans call people who suddenly watch and comment every soccer game during an international competition – during this Euro 2016, I started to support les Bleus from the semi-final against Germany. Of course, I did not believe they would go so far, so I didn’t do that earlier. The second reason is that I don’t live in France, but in Germany, which includes two major hurdles:
1 – The games did not take place around me, or worse, in my city
2 – The Germans support their successful team like crazy and as a non-German who likes going out without being surrounded by drunken soccer fans, I have been forced to stay home on a few nights because Germany was playing. This is quite annoying and made me hate soccer even more.

Despite all this, I could not miss France-Germany and watched it – for obvious reasons – at home. When France won, many Germans were as disappointed as over confident before the game. Maybe that's why I was as happy to see them lose as to see my nation win.
Anyway, according to many Germans and the press, the ref was obviously in favor of the Euro's host nation and their team played better. Sure...I've heard the same from my Brazilian friends who still remember 1998. They even mocked the team's clapping after the game, pretending it was a pale imitation of the Icelandic one. Then I thought this was just German and these people just can't lose. I just enjoyed a clear Schadenfreude as we say here, which means I was delighted to see them lose with so much bitterness after so much confidence about starting a new "era of success" and being the new Roja, BLA BLA BLA. Well done Griezmann und Tschüß! Not seeing German flags everywhere everyday has been a great relief as well.

Well, I thought that until I read all the tweets or Facebook status reacting to Portugal's final win…

Of course the ref made some mistakes: he did not see Quaresma literally strangling Koscielny.

But the most obvious one has been the penalty in favor of Portugal at 107' on Eder's and NOT Koscielny's hand.

Yes, we were better, but mainly during the first part and Portugal’s goal keeper appeared to be awesome. And by the way, who kept on saying after France-Germany: “Ok, they were better. But a game has to be won, not just played.”?
So calm down! I mean, these guys won with their best player on bench for almost the entire game. Don’t you think they deserve it? No, they don’t. Many soccer fans even called on Twitter for a cancellation of the result, claiming the game had to be played again due to major ref’s mistakes. Again, these mistakes did not directly lead to Eder’s goal.

That’s how I came to the conclusion that what I first considered as a German characteristic was actually something general and generally making me sick when it comes to an international soccer competition: a nation can’t lose and there always has to be a certain amount of the dumbest despising clichés against other nations. For example, I did not get the point of this cover:

But I even less got the point of that one:

But here I have to say the German despise towards France is more “official” and accepted as it was published by the press and not on the internet as obvious “jokes”.

Anyway, France is a racist country that votes for Le Pen, banning burkinis on its beaches whereas Germany is the open one welcoming refugees. Dudes, don’t you think people's minds can be a little bit more complex and even the strict opposite? I do and even if soccer sucks, the world’s most popular sport can teach us a lot on nations' true face…

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