Thursday, November 19, 2015

Should the European Championship go ahead?

Horrible terrorist attacks create fear, and the recent attack in Paris has swept fear over Europe, and not least over football, as the Stade de France was also targeted in the last attack. Tonight, Germany-Netherlands was cancelled in Hannover due to a credible terrorist threat.
Can France really hold a European Championship where they guarantee security? (the former great Just Fontaine recently said in an interview that it should be cancelled). Will the continuous threat mean empty stadiums and a prison-like atmosphere in the stadiums and host cities? Will the tightening security mean more harassment and less freedom for football fans...?
Yoda once said that fear leads to anger, and anger leads to suffering. Beyond football, the reaction of Europeans to these horrible attacks is fear and anger, and this may lead to a lot of suffering in Europe and beyond. Football is only an unimportant side event to all this, but if the European Championship is held in a climate of fear and anger, it may be better to cancel it completely. Football is an expression of the society we live in, and there are many things wrong right now, and football cannot and will not contribute in any way to solve them. If anything, football is more something that exacerbates differences. It is not, as many say, a friendly competition between gentlemen, but rather the "gentle" expression of ugly nationalism. Beyond the fear, the anger could erupt into many ugly actions.
I hope I am wrong, but the risk of going ahead should be discussed more openly.

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