Thursday, March 26, 2009

Now I really want the 2010 World Cup to fail!

By Llewellyn Kriel

Every great multinational sports match, from annual events such as Formula 1, the Super 14 and TriNations, the Uefa Champions League soccer, the tennis Grand Slam and the barrage of golf tournaments, to quadrennial events such as the Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and the Soccer World Cup, has long been tainted by the stain of politics.

In some cases this has added splendour to the events marshalling national fervour and adding a dimension of involvement beyond the zeal of fans of the particular sport. Flags fly, costumed supporters have parties that register on the Richter Scale, anthems resound and national mascots cavort and frolic everywhere.

Jamaica’s famous bobsled entry in the 1988 Calgary winter Olympics not only took winter sports to regions where they held little if any attraction and spawned a hit movie Cool Runnings that made more than R1,5-billion, but has been a source of inspiration to anyone who has ever been told their “dream” was not possible. Hundreds of great athletes since have drawn inspiration from Jamaica’s cheeky example and gone on to achieve more than even they dreamt possible.

That was very good. Six years earlier the very bad, very ugly sides of international sports events dominated the global mind when the Israeli Olympic contingent was all but wiped out by Black September terrorists. This defeated the ends of Black September, generated global sympathy for Israel, replaced unity with fear and also spawned a movie, Munich which made about R1,3-billion.

Despots and totalitarian states have looked to global sports events, especially the Olympics, to propagate their odious policies and hateful philosophies. Adolf Hitler tried to prove Aryan supremacy in 1936 and had his Nazi nuts handed to him on platter by what Nazi architect Albert Speer himself described as “the marvellous coloured American runner, Jesse Owens”.

South Africa was banned from international sports events because of its immoral “crime against humanity” — the apartheid policy of the Nationalist government. And I still argue this mighty, mighty weapon helped bring about the downfall of apartheid.

South Africa has also never been as united a nation as it was when Francois Pienaar hoisted the William Webb Ellis Trophy high, former president Nelson Mandela, in a Springbok jersey with Pienaar’s number 6 on his back, cheering and waving both fists in the air behind the triumphant Bok captain, on 24 June 1995.

So we have come to accept that politics and sport are inseparably conjoined.

But when one political party hijacks one of the greatest sports events in the world to further its own narrow, selfish and increasingly socialist agenda — and hold decorum, morality, fairness, honesty and freedom to hostage in the process — then, as with Hitler’s National Socialist party in 1936, I have no hesitation in condemning such criminal action with all the opprobrium I can muster.

Were it in my power, and I were alive, in 1936 to deny Germany the privilege of hosting the Olympic Games, I would have done so. Were I simply alive in 1936, I would have openly desired that the event itself blow up in the Nazis’ faces — as it so beautifully did.

For exactly the same reasons I can no longer support South Africa being given the privilege of hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup. It is now patently clear that the arrogant kakistocrats in the African National Congress (note how nationalist parties gravitate towards totalitarianism) believe the 2010 World Cup belongs to it and not the Republic of South Africa.

I hope the event (which will probably still go ahead) is as dismal and historic a failure as were the 1936 Olympics for those other nationalists — remembered in history for all the wrong reasons. I want it to blow up in the ANC’s face.

Yes. I am aware that Hitler’s disgrace in Berlin did not avert World War II and all its attendant Holocaust. I am equally painfully aware that a failed 2010 world cup will not topple the ANC.

Nonetheless, this degenerate gaggle of autocrats has no right to interfere in the World Cup the way it has with its obsequious kowtowing to Communist China and refusing a visa to the Dalai Lama.

It has no right to lie to the nation about its motives. It has no right to hijack a privilege granted to the nation, all of us, at the behest of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association to host the world to a soccer spectacular next year.

And, most of all, it has no right to usurp the hopes and dreams of a reeling, fragmented, impoverished and dysfunctional nation dreaming of a righteous future of prosperity, peace and unity for its own warped and iniquitous profit.

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

For the sake of splitting hairs, the Israeli Olympic Team fiasco was in 1972, 16 years before the 1988 Calgary Winter Games.

Anonymous said...

nice to see some other people are finally starting to wake up to this 2010 fiasco. better late than never.