Friday, June 30, 2006


The Spanish fans and the national coach got their comeuppance with an African-Arab-Gallic nexus doing in the hyped Spanish team and sending them back to Madrid. Not to diss the Spain team itself which played well during the tournament, but if the bile from the terraces and the dug-out is what marks Spanish football, then I have to gleefully wave Byeee. Loved watching it on Univision, the Spanish language channel in the US. Gol!!!!!! Great that free-to-air television has a smarter alternative to the lame subscriber ESPN and their English-speaking commentators who try to explain the simplest procedures of the game to USanian viewers. A penalty kick is awarded when someone is fouled in the area!

Not sure if I want the French to beat Brazil in the quarter final. I just hope it's a pacey end-to-end flowing game with a decent referee and few amateur dramatics from the players. That might be too much to ask of the gods of football. A Brazilian win would be better for Nike and the marketing of the competition. For now, I'm just happy that multicultural soccer defeated openly racist Euro sentiment. I say that without any naivete about its ephemerality and the riots in the banlieus and the failures of univocal French multiculturalism. Zidane represents the possibilities of a Muslim Europe too; it's not just about the one-eyed mullahs and the hijabi schoolgirls. The anti-racist campaign in football needs greater commitment from FIFA. Blatter has blathered on with very little conviction. Brazil is noted for its amazing denial about its own racist hierarchies of skin colour.

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