Iran – The Green Amsterdammer

Iran - The Green Amsterdammer

Josh Sargent of the United States comforts Saeed Ezzatollah of Iran during the World Cup in Qatar

© Rodolfo Buhrer / La Imagem / Fotoarena / Sipa USA / ANP

The USSF team will play the Netherlands in the Final Eight on Saturday. It eliminated Iran and a team from the UK, the country where they speak the same language but where soccer fans are terrified of the word ‘soccer’. They just play “football”. Football beat Welsh football in Qatar.

in this book It’s Fooball, Not Football (and Vice Versa) Scientists Stefan Szymanski and Silk Maria Winnick came to an obvious conclusion. In short, you read that in countries where other ball sports are more popular than football, the latter sport has not been able to be called “football” exclusively.

are you still there? Well, more specifically. called sports football In it, players can take a ball (usually oval in shape) in their hands.

In those countries, the most popular sport in the world is called football.

Does it matter? Not much, you might say, were it not for the fact that in recent weeks there has been a lot of talk, in the public debate, about “soccer culture”. In particular, its absence in countries such as Qatar. Football was based on a single football culture, while football nations in particular showed this to be rubbish. Certainly in America, where football carries, to put it mildly, a different social meaning than soccer. That is why it was good for the USA to play two countries in the preliminary round: Wales (1-1) and England (0-0).

In those countries, soccer is the feature and the sport is surrounded by a patriarchal culture, with aggressive fans and chants against women, gays and refugees. In America, soccer is primarily a girls’ sport. Second, it’s a left-wing sport, the game of “liberals,” “blue states,” “Obama people” or even “flower lilies,” in other words: left-wing sissies. This qualification dates back to the early 1980s, when a young reporter from New York times His boss asked if he could cover football. “Don’t waste time, boy,” said the sports chief, followed by the now-famous quote.

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There is another, more famous quote. “I think it’s important for young people to know that in real football, you kick the ball, you throw it, you run with it and you put it in someone’s hands. We have to clearly differentiate: football is democratic and capitalist, while football is a European socialist sport. This quote from the politician Republican Jack Kemp, from a passionate plea he made against staging a World Cup in his country, selected him as his running mate shortly thereafter, presidential candidate Robert Dole.

“Football is democratic and capitalist, while football is a socialist European sport”

More recently, a well-known American columnist called soccer “not individualistic enough”. In baseball, the guy stands alone on a hill, in basketball, the star player regularly accounts for half of the points, and in American football, everything revolves around the playmaker, the so-called “quarterback”.

The American right hates football so much because it owes its popularity to the counter-movement that took place some fifty years ago, to the white hippies who now settled with their children in leafy suburbs in the 1970s. There they left their offspring playing European football. why? If you ask the American Right: Because they are anti-Americans, flag-burners and self-haters. If you ask them themselves, they say: because we wanted our children to do something different, something European.

Something less militaristic than soccer in particular. The manager of the Washington Diplomats, the team where Cruyff played his second American season, was very pleased with the Dutch star because he had proved “that a thin little man can be a star.”

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The manager told me these years after the team closed, when I wrote a book about Cruyff’s American years. I also discovered afterwards that Cruyff looked with regret at the uncompetitive attitude surrounding soccer in the United States, especially among parents and young people. Some youth leagues didn’t even track goals. This would exacerbate the urge to stress too much. Cruyff thought it was “frankly absurd”.

Brazilian Pele loved it, completely different football culture. When he said goodbye to the New York crowd after three seasons (playing for the Cosmos), he made the entire stadium roar “love” three times in a row. Pictures from the stands during the farewell match appear somewhat Musical poetry. They remember the term ‘commie pansies’ and take us to the surreal present, where Western European nations want their captains to wear One Love bracelets, while their football culture has a strong taboo on homosexuality.

It’s different in America. The red and white stripes of the NFL’s National Shield have been regularly painted in rainbow colors, not just in Qatar or in protest. “As an association, we want to celebrate and promote diversity,” the chairman said last week. New York times. The US women’s team, world champions, has some lesbian players, and the majority of men who win soccer at the World Gay Games are Americans.

However, the hostility towards the word “football” in the UK is not primarily about sexual orientation or left-wing sympathies. Class conflict plays a bigger role, scholars say in their book on the battle between football and football. This has to do with the origin of the word s. It’s in Oxbridge Circles. The word soccer originated about 150 years ago as a corruption of association football. It was a time when the British elite liked to shorten all sorts of words to “eh”. For example, students called Radcliffe Camera, a bookstore in Oxford, “Radder”, rugby was “rugger”, and breakfast was not “breakfast” but “breaker”.

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Because of football’s elitist origins, the use of the word in British working-class circles took on an aura of class betrayal. Real men play football. Confirmation came from the other side of the ocean, where soccer is a sport for rich girls and kids.

Of course, soccer in the United States is traditionally popular with the Hispanic population – and there is little of it in the United States. But this does little to change the political meaning of the sport. Simply put, of the 25 million Americans who will watch the quarterfinals in America (versus the 112 million who watch the annual Super Bowl football final), only a fraction will vote for Donald Trump. football? Or not: football … Sport is always somewhere in a row with oatmeal and electric cars. Come to Holland for that.

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