Love Football, Hate the World Cup
It’s not really a secret that I don’t really get Football (or Soccer, for you crazy Americans), and don’t really understand what’s so interesting about watching twenty-two people in mostly single-sex teams chasing a round object. I do understand it’s a thing a lot of people apparently find interesting, though, and I respect that. Other people might not understand why people gather at various places in weird clothing to listen to loud, abrasive music, or hold entire congresses devoted to creative usage of computers and ethical considerations of technology. Or any of the other diverse things the uncountable subcultures on this planet do.
What I do not respect, however, are people who go on to claim that any of the aforementioned things are not political. Nothing is not political, especially if it involves a gigantic international sporting event with several billion dollars of corporate sponsorship and governmental aid behind it – aid that’s missing in so many other areas, like education – in a country where street kids are being murdered by the police to “clean up the city” for the influx of foreign visitors, slums are raided to crack down on drug trafficking without actually trying to fix the problems behind it, child prostitution is common, and social unrest is met with violence and repression by the government.
This is as political as it will ever get. Every conscious supporter of the World Cup, every sponsor, every athlete playing in it, every artist associated with it, and every football fan who doesn’t boycott it are as guilty of the crimes happening in Brazil as the perpetrators – they have the blood of countless innocent victims on their hands, murdered and abandoned for the entertainment of the rest of the world. It’s an insult to any conceivable definition of sportspersonship. And don’t get me started on the braindead surge of nationalism, xenophobia and racism it causes – especially here in Germany.
If you are truly a football fan, if you really love the sport, it is your duty to boycott the World Cup. Instead, go support a cool local football club (i.e. one without a fan scene full of homophobic, racist macho nutjobs). Or better yet: go campaign and protest against the capitalist abuse of your favorite sport.