Now that England is safely out of the World Cup, sit back and read what others have said:
The former England and Liverpool player, John Barnes says in an interview for the Evening Standard that ‘England won’t win until they embrace team ethic’. Daniel Trilling, blogging for the New Statesman’s Cultural Capital says:
“Football is a socialist sport,” he explains. “Financially, some may receive more rewards than others but, from a footballing perspective, for 90 minutes, regardless of whether you are Lionel Messi or the substitute right-back for Argentina, you are all working to the same end.
“The teams which embrace the socialist ideology rather than having superstars, are the teams that are successful. Or if there are superstars they don’t perceive themselves to be that. That’s why I use Messi as an example. As much as he’s a superstar he respects his team-mates and their collective efforts.”
Read the full interview here.
Stuart Jeffries argues that “the French understand that football can be revolution by another means”:
there is more to the French disaster than a tradition of revolutionary resistance. There is what Frenchphilosopher Alain Badiou calls “the sacrificial temptations of nothingness”. “Failing” is always very close to “winning”, Badiou writes in The Communist Hypothesis. Tell that to Paris, Alain. He has a point, though. “One of the great Maoist slogans of the ‘red years’ was ‘Dare to struggle and dare to win’. But we know that it is not easy to follow that slogan when subjectivity is afraid, not of fighting, but of winning.”
This may explain the French team’s psychology. Why would the French fear victory? Because, following Badiou, they see that triumph is only temporary, an imposter. There is a parallel between France’s revolutions and its footballing triumphs: neither endure. And one response to that unpalatable truth is to choose defeat in a gesture Sartre would have appreciated. If that’s what happened, respect to the French: what a wonderfully existentialist way to go.
Read the full article here.
And Simon Hattenstone on Guardian Cif today:
The best football teams are socialist in nature. They play for each other, and individual brilliance is often subservient to the common good. Even the language of team sport is socialist – solidarity, unite, goal, come together. Why do you think the word United is so beloved by football people that 15 clubs in England’s top four division divisions have it in their title?…
As for the World Cup, we should have known there was no chance of glory for the Three Lions with a ConDem coalition. After all, England has never won the World Cup under the Tories or the Liberals, or the Liberal Democrats, or New Labour. As Harold Wilson boasted in 1966: “Have you ever noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour government?
Read the new paperback edition of Andrew Feinstein’s After the Party: Corruption and the ANC, the first insider’s exposé of the African National Congress of the World Cup host country.
“For those contemplating a first journey into the murky world of South African politics, there can be few better guides than Andrew Feinstein.” —Independent
“A searing close-up portrait of the corrupting force of power” — Los Angeles Times