Politics in Football

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Politics in Football Empty Politics in Football

Post by RedOranje Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:47 am

Cuba soldier on after five players defect in Canada


TORONTO – Already eliminated from World Cup contention, Cuba's night went from bad to worse on Friday when five players apparently defected ahead of the team's matchup against Canada at BMO Field.

A Cuban official told Sportsnet shortly before kickoff that Cuba traveled with 16 players, but the team only dressed only 11 in Friday's lineup. The group that remained after the 3-0 loss to Canada - nearly as many coaches as players after the five disappeared sometime earlier on Friday - huddled near midfield for what was likely an emotional end to an exhausting day.

“For you guys to know, there were two players who were injured,” Cuban head coach Alexander Gonzalez said through a translator. “One of the players had five stitches on his leg and he played the whole game. The other player was also seriously injured and he also played the whole game. [I] want to try to integrate and unify the team and introduce some new players into the program.”

When he heard about the drama surrounding the Cuban team, Canadian head coach Stephen Hart didn’t tell his players right away, and instead waited until closer to game time to inform them their opponents didn't have any available substitutes.

For players and coach alike, it was a wholly unfamiliar experience.

“We looked at the lineup and it was largely their starting lineup,” said Hart when asked why he kept the news from his team. “I thought it was better the players don’t go in the game thinking, 'Let’s just kind of go helter-skelter and try to score a lot of goals,' because in my experience that’s when you make the most mistakes as a team.”

Despite playing with no re-enforcements on the bench the Cubans just about kept the Canadians to a single goal before a quick pair near the end, but their play certainly earned the respect of the Canadian players.

“To be fair they worked hard,” veteran Canadian defender Ante Jazic said. “No subs—I’ve never seen that before. Towards the end they were milking the clock, but they put in a decent shift. We should have killed that game a lot earlier.”

Two of MLS' three Cuban players, Osvaldo Alonso (above) and Yordany Álvarez, both defected; Alonso is now a US citizen. Eduardo Sebrango, of the Montreal Impact, is a naturalized Canadian citizen.


http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/10/13/cuba-soldier-after-five-players-defect-canada


This has become a fairly common occurrence when certain national teams play in the US and Canada (may happen in Europe as well, but I'm not aware of it). Should politics and football be mixed in such a way?

Obviously such instances unbalance the competitions and qualifiers as they hand an unfair advantage to the national sides that play the weakened squads and certainly hurt the nations that the players defect from.

Should the host nations be forced to help ensure the players cannot defect? Perhaps the teams in question should simply be separated in qualifiers? Are the players themselves being disrespectful to the game and their home nations? Or are they justified in taking their chance at (what they believe to be) a better life?
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Post by rwo power Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:59 am

Well, defecting athletes is nothing new - there were at least 615 athletes who defected from the former German Democratic Republic between 1952 and 1989, too - and frankly, who is in a position to judge them if they have the opportunity to flee from an oppressive regime?

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Post by chinomaster182 Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:04 am

This is a case that goes beyond politics, the Cubans that fled aren't making a political statement, they're escaping to achieve freedom and a decent life for themselves.

Anyone that has been to Cuba knows how its like an Eastern European cold war country. Citizens are trapped in the island, they are denied many basic liberties and are treated as second class citizens in their own nation.

Enforcing security so a meaningless qualifier can have a drop of meaning would be a humans right violation if you ask me. Under the current circumstances nothing would change regardless, Cuba amounts to anything in CONCACAF.
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Post by harhar11 Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:02 am

RedOranje wrote:Cuba soldier on after five players defect in Canada


TORONTO – Already eliminated from World Cup contention, Cuba's night went from bad to worse on Friday when five players apparently defected ahead of the team's matchup against Canada at BMO Field.

A Cuban official told Sportsnet shortly before kickoff that Cuba traveled with 16 players, but the team only dressed only 11 in Friday's lineup. The group that remained after the 3-0 loss to Canada - nearly as many coaches as players after the five disappeared sometime earlier on Friday - huddled near midfield for what was likely an emotional end to an exhausting day.

“For you guys to know, there were two players who were injured,” Cuban head coach Alexander Gonzalez said through a translator. “One of the players had five stitches on his leg and he played the whole game. The other player was also seriously injured and he also played the whole game. [I] want to try to integrate and unify the team and introduce some new players into the program.”

When he heard about the drama surrounding the Cuban team, Canadian head coach Stephen Hart didn’t tell his players right away, and instead waited until closer to game time to inform them their opponents didn't have any available substitutes.

For players and coach alike, it was a wholly unfamiliar experience.

“We looked at the lineup and it was largely their starting lineup,” said Hart when asked why he kept the news from his team. “I thought it was better the players don’t go in the game thinking, 'Let’s just kind of go helter-skelter and try to score a lot of goals,' because in my experience that’s when you make the most mistakes as a team.”

Despite playing with no re-enforcements on the bench the Cubans just about kept the Canadians to a single goal before a quick pair near the end, but their play certainly earned the respect of the Canadian players.

“To be fair they worked hard,” veteran Canadian defender Ante Jazic said. “No subs—I’ve never seen that before. Towards the end they were milking the clock, but they put in a decent shift. We should have killed that game a lot earlier.”

Two of MLS' three Cuban players, Osvaldo Alonso (above) and Yordany Álvarez, both defected; Alonso is now a US citizen. Eduardo Sebrango, of the Montreal Impact, is a naturalized Canadian citizen.


http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/10/13/cuba-soldier-after-five-players-defect-canada


This has become a fairly common occurrence when certain national teams play in the US and Canada (may happen in Europe as well, but I'm not aware of it). Should politics and football be mixed in such a way?

Obviously such instances unbalance the competitions and qualifiers as they hand an unfair advantage to the national sides that play the weakened squads and certainly hurt the nations that the players defect from.

Should the host nations be forced to help ensure the players cannot defect? Perhaps the teams in question should simply be separated in qualifiers? Are the players themselves being disrespectful to the game and their home nations? Or are they justified in taking their chance at (what they believe to be) a better life?

I dont think that football should mix with politics ever, but I dont see what the players and staff did as something political. They escaped because they wanted a better life than they had in Cuba..

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Post by Kaladin Sun Feb 27, 2022 3:43 pm

Funny how the whole Ukraine thing is taking football by storm,  its worth remembering that Ozil was essentially suspended for bringing up the Ughyuir Muslims. Or the fact that Palestinians are almost dying in a daily basis. Yet clubs'll empathize with White Walkers and she/it mongrels than show solidarity for the above.

Politics out of football when it suits
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Post by Lord Awesome Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:16 pm

Yeah I see the hypocrisy behind the whole Ukraine thing. It's literally the Cuba/US relationship but on Russia's end. Cold War never really ended honestly. Russia was taken aback but now they digging in.
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