The roar of the home fans chanting for their team. The raw thud of a football being kicked. The inexplicable screams of joy in celebration after a goal has been scored. The referee blowing his whistle at the end of a match. Is this the sound of football? Or is it the laughter of a businessman after having secured the fixing of the next week’s games? Is it the cry of pain as people are massacred in stadium collapses or in hooligan fights?
There can be many sounds of football, like the stadium atmosphere and match sounds that we’re accustomed to, or the horrific, painful sounds that we don’t want to know about. Football has become, and will now forever be, a business. And as we have already seen, violence is increasing under this new money-making regime. Now, I am not a Communist, in fact my political view is Center-Right, and I will not exert my political opinion in this piece, but this is true.
In Italy a fan was shot dead by the police last year. Also in 2008, eight people were killed in a stadium collapse in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. In 2006, in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, one person was shot, six police officers injured and twenty-six people arrested. In April 2007 in Greece all matches were cancelled after a man was killed in a pre-arranged fight between hooligans in Athens. This year, in Serbia, one person was killed near the city of Novi Sad.
Now we all know about FIFA’s interesting little corruption problem. But the scandals don’t end there. The Calciopoli scandal in Italy in 2006 was one of the most costly in history, with top club Juventus suffering relegation along with many Serie A (Top Division) and Serie B (Second Division) clubs being docked points. The Apito Dourado (Golden Whistle) scandal erupted in Portugal in 2004 but action was only taken recently, with Boavista being relegated. The Tevezcherano scandal is still going on in England, and the allegations of Zenit St. Petersburg’s match-fixing in the UEFA Cup last season continue.
Why don’t the sounds of the cries of pain and desperation of these people live in the minds of those who killed them? Why doesn’t this financial invasion of football stop? It is time to fully wage the war against hooliganism and corrupton, so we can hear the sweet sounds of goal celebrations and victory chants again. Join me in the war to protect our homeland: Football.