2013 March | FREE

Archive the month of March 2013

March 30, 2013

Pots and pans

Bernard Lacombe was a quick striker. In 1978 it took him only 38 seconds to score against Italy in the Argentinian World Cup – still the fastest goal in World Cup history!

But this week he was too quick.

Bernard Lacombe at the 1978 World Cup

As guest on a talk show on Radio Monte Carlo he was confronted with a caller named Sonia who somewhat agressively insisted on Karim Benzema’s apparent incompetence. When Lacombe understood that he would not be able to convince the lady of the opposite, he got rid of her saying

I don’t talk about football with women, that’s how I see things.
They should return to their pots and pans, and things would be better.

When he earned some embarrassed laughter from the all male talk show hosts, he probably thought that the story was over.

He was wrong. His quote made the buzz of the week, eclipsing the match against Spain that had been the topic of the talk show in the first place. There were thousands of comments on all sports web pages of the country (and beyond), overwhelmingly showing indignation at Lacombe’s sexist remark. Some very rare commentators who tried to defend him with a vain attempt at traditional male ‘tongue-in-cheek’ complicity were silenced in no time.

Post by : Albrecht Sonntag in the category : Feminisation, Posts - No comment

March 22, 2013

Unexpected encounters and crisp pictures

Galatasaray’s advance to the Champions League Round of 16 presented a welcome opportunity to attend a European match in the stadium. As my PhD thesis is on Süper Lig fans in Vienna, TV fan culture in bars and restaurants forms a crucial part of my research. However, mobility and transnational fan networks are important aspects of migrant fan culture, which is why a trip to Gelsenkirchen seemed promising.

‘Only English and Turkish’

While taking the tram from Gelsenkirchen Central Station to the stadium, I witnessed an interesting encounter. The train was full of Schalke and Galatasaray fans going to the Veltins-Arena — all of them wearing their team’s colours. There were roughly the same amount of supporters from the two clubs, their chants ringing throughout the tram, generating an exciting atmosphere ahead of an appealing match.

Closer to the stadium, a merry Schalke supporter boarded the tram with his friends. He approached a group of Galatasaray fans and started expressing his opinion on players from the two teams. All he got in return were irritated looks. After a moment of confusion, one man from the group explained in German that apart from him, they were all from Turkey and only spoke English and Turkish, not German.

Gelsenkirchen, 12 March 2013, Schalke - Galatasaray

Gelsenkirchen, 12 March 2013, Schalke - Galatasaray

The couple seated beside me repeated his words in hushed whispers: ‘They are from Turkey. They only speak English and Turkish.’ People were both surprised and interested. The Schalke fan was now even more eager to learn their opinion on specific players. The man who understood German was left to translate.

People on the tram were astonished to encounter football supporters from Turkey, although a Turkish club was playing an important European match. It got me thinking: Is it considered more unusual for fans of a Turkish club to travel from Turkey to watch the game in Gelsenkirchen than if they live in Germany? Is this a good sign that people with Turkish backgrounds are accepted as part of German society? I am not entirely sure whether this is truly the case, especially as during the match I heard several discriminatory comments levelled against the Turkish team and their fans from the Schalke fan that was sat next to me.

Post by : Nina Szogs in the category : Identities, Posts - No comment

March 15, 2013

Oblivion, remembrance, commemoration

Guest contribution by Markwart Herzog, director of the the Schwabenakademie Irsee in Southern Germany, and editor of a recent book on memorial culture in football (1), which he has kindly accepted to present in this blogpost.
(contact: markwart.herzog [a] schwabenakademie.de)

‘Sport organises the here and now, it plans for the future and – one is tempted to add with a certain resignation – it forgets its own past.’ This is the regretful statement formulated by German sports historian Hans Joachim Teichler in a book chapter in 2012.

German sports history has produced only very few scholarly contributions whose understanding of collective memory is not limited to a mere political analysis – mainly in the context of the formulation of political injustice under the two German dictatorships – but also includes themes and issues of cultural history, such as for instance the important field of a rich and diverse sepulchral culture in football.

In the UK, to the contrary, several scientific studies have recently been published; among them contributions by Anne Eyre, Liam Foster, Neville Gabie, Gary Osmond, Murray Phillips, Maureen Smith, John Williams, Jason Wood, Kate Woodthorpe, and in particular the work of Mike Huggins (University of Cumbria), who is well-known as the author of several studies in the field of cultural history particularly rich in source material. Huggins moreover explored the commercialisation of the funerary culture in British sport during the nineteenth century. We also owe much to Dave Russell (Leeds Metropolitan University) for his study which contains rich material regarding the culture of memory in British football of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

Post by : GUEST in the category : History, Identities, Memory, Posts - No comment

March 11, 2013

« Our story will become legend » : history & memory at Paris Saint-Germain

By Pymouss44 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsLast week, one of this year’s star players at Paris Saint-Germain, Zlatan Ibrahimović expressed his surprise that he & his team received booing from the audience at the Parc des Princes at half-time. Mr Ibrahimović’s comments were along the lines of ‘this is odd, because before this year, the audience had nothing’.

Mr Ibrahimović’s surprise is itself a surprise. PSG was top of the League & Nancy was bottom. PSG was playing at home, in front of its supporters. It is fair to say that the crowd could be expected to feel, and perhaps express, some disappointment in view of such a mediocre result at half-time. (However, PSG went on to win the game, as expected, stayed on top, & the crowd seemed more pleased by the end result)
Mr Ibrahimović’s psychology might partly explain his comments. He is a very talented player, & thinks very highly of his own talent, too, as evidenced in his ‘autobiography’ _I am Zlatan_ (written by David Lagercrantz) & in numerous interviews. Conversely, he often seems to underestimate the talent of other players.

Post by : Dàvid RANC in the category : Competitions, History, Identities, Memory - No comment

March 8, 2013

Memory, collective memory and football today

Guest contribution by Geoff Hare (Newcastle University, retired, now living in Edinburgh – geoff.hare[à]ncl.ac.uk). Geoff is the author of Football in France. A Cultural History (2003) and France and the 1998 World Cup (1998, co-authored with Hugh Dauncey).

When Professor Wolfram Pyta spoke to me in Besançon about the FREE conference on collective memory and European football to be held in Stuttgart, I immediately thought of the first European Cup Final I had seen, live on TV in full, in 1960. Real Madrid had beaten Eintracht Frankfurt by 7 goals to 3, a remarkable score by current standards. In my own memory it was a remarkable match and had an important effect in Britain at the time. Was this a false memory in view of the subsequent, and indeed still current status of Real as one of the great clubs of European football? I decided to investigate further before replying to the call for papers.

I was about to move to Edinburgh and the match had been played in nearby Glasgow, I soon re-discovered. I had forgotten that. I headed for the National Library of Scotland. The librarian dealing with my request for newspapers of the 1960s recalled his father telling him, as part of Scottish football’s folk memory, about the exceptional match he had seen at Hampden long before, far better than the football of the 1980s that the son had been brought up on.

Post by : FREE-TEAM in the category : Competitions, History, Memory - No comment