Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Football and politics - an analogy?

I don't often go to watch football games, but today I did. Inter Milan - Rubin Kazan. Champions League. Interesting game. Inter won 2:0.

What I found just as interesting as the victory was the observations I made about the fans. The fans were the perfect barometer to show when the game was going well and when it was not going well. A Milan player lies on the ground, tries to defend the ball against two attackers, manages and plays it further. Applause, standing ovations. Another player has the ball, shortly before the penalty box, he could shoot it!! but he misses - a Kazan player takes the ball. Resounding whistles in the entire stadium.

Within a split second, the fans see the situation, understand it and react upon it. They become active and state their opinion. Why does this not happen in politics? You see that a minister screws up (my favorite at the moment is German education minister Annette Schavan, refusing to understand why German students would protest against the run-down university system), and within minutes of the press conference, thousands of protest emails block her mailbox, thousands of comments are posted on her homepage. It's not reality, is it? Instead, people leave it to the media to give opinions and directions.

But why leave it to the media? I'm not waiting for the media report to judge if the Inter guy really got fouled or not. I curse the referee if he doesn't call it. Instantaneously. And I'm pretty sure it really was a foul - if that gives my team a nice free kick.
If it is possible to form a wave of protest for a penalty or a free kick that wasn't given, why is it not possible for a more equal society? For fair immigration procedures without discrimination? For better pay of interns?

Sometimes football is described as politics on the grass. But maybe it's farther away from politics than it would seem...


  1. There's actually a blog about the EU and football here -

  2. thanks a lot! I'll have a look at it!