Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sepp Blatter Reveals He's Not Just Sexist - He's Xenophobic Too!

Apparently, it wasn't enough for FIFA president to reveal his blatant sexism when he proposed women soccer players wear skimpy outfits to draw attention to the sport. Now, he's decrying the increasing tendency of Brazilian-born soccer players to become naturalized citizens in other countries, making them able to play on those countries' World Cup teams. His overall concern is foolish enough, based on the fact that the desire to keep World Cup teams "national" ignores any modern definition of what it is to be a "national", not to mention how arbitrary such definitions are. But you do NOT need to put it like this: "If we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil, not only toward Europe but toward Asia and Africa, then the next World Cups in 2014 and 2018 out of the 32 teams - you will still have national teams - but we will have 16 full of Brazilian players."

Oh no!!! The mongrel brown hordes from Brazil are invading Europe and taking over!!! The bastion of caucasian sportsmanship is being torn asunder!!!! First they get five World Cups, and now this!!!! OH, THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More seriously, this is about as xenophobic and ridiculous a thing I've seen from soccer leadership. It is incredibly racist against Brazilians, and not just because he refers to them as "invaders". You don't see Blatter complaining here about a broader tendency of players applying for naturalization to play on the team of a country where they weren't born. Blatter doesn't seem so upset, for example, about the Algerians who may apply for French citizenship to play on the French national team, or players from other parts of Africa, or Asia, or even within Europe. It doesn't matter if more Brazilians are doing this than any other country. If you think this is a problem, then what you need to do, as head of FIFA, is try to see that other countries put into place the same structure of scouting and training that Brazil has. But to sit in your tower bemoaning the presence of "invaders" without actually trying to find constructive ways to deal with the issue has all the maturity of a 5-year-old and all of the open-mindedness of a Confederate general. It's become patently clear that the time for Blatter to go has come and gone a long time ago. Maybe replacing him with a Brazilian would be a good idea.....