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09 June, 2008

A question of culture

I was asked last week if there was racism in the UK. I guess it was kind of strange question, but I guess they were really asking "is the racism issue as big everywhere as it is in the US". It's a question I've been asked a few times and I till really don't have an answer. Of course there is racism in the UK but I really don't remember it being an issue that is so prominent. At least not when it comes to nationalities. I've struggled to arrive at a reason for this. It could be because of the mighty British Empire of many moons ago, it may be because of our close proximity to mainland Europe and a heck of a lot of countries. It may be the flood of immigrants.

Another reason occurred to me as I sat watching Euro 2008 this weekend. Soccer is held as a national sport in England and is loved by many. What is interesting about soccer in England is that a lot of the best players are actually from other countries. I wonder what effect this has on the nation's views of those countries? Let's take Manchester everyone seems to know them. In goal is Van der Saar, who is Dutch, defender Patrick Evra and Louis Saha, French, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese, Ji-Sung Park from South Korea. This is just one squad. These international players become ambassadors for their country. In a way and the fans can be devoted to a team so much that they will respect and admire the best player, no matter where they are from.

I wonder if the NFL was built up of international players what effect it might have on the country.


RedZeppelin said...

I was watching a bit of the Germany v Poland match yesterday (or was it Saturday?) and they said one of the German players was from Poland. That baffled me.

All Click said...

One of the Polish players is Brazilian as well lol Well, he turned Polish two months ago..but still.

I think I'm right in saying that if your parents are from two different countries you can play soccer for either national side.