Posts Tagged ‘ FIFA ’

Commentary: Why the Vuvuzela Horn should stay

There has been a ton of push-back against the utilization of the Vuvuzela Horn by fans at the South African hosted World Cup. If you don’t know what a Vuvuzela is, watch below.

There are several reasons the Vuvuzela’s should stay:

–  Vuvuzela’s are apart of South African football culture. If the games were in England, Brazil, Mexico etc. there would be elements of each nation’s soccer culture. We can’t be so ethnocentric as to not allow a nation to express themselves. When FIFA made the decision for the 2010 World Cup to be in South African they knew the culture and what was coming.

– The sound is a response of the joy that is in South Africa – and Africa as a  whole – because the World Cup is actually in Africa.

– Players will get accustomed to the Vuvuzelas. It is annoying but so was/is the wave, drums at games, marching bands, crowd cheers etc.

– Vuvuzelas make the experience unique, everyone will look back and remember when the Vuvuzela was released on the world of soccer. Perhaps they will even become apart of the broader sport culture and add to the multi-culture that is Football/Soccer/Futbol.

– International Soccer has struggled with issues of racism towards Black players and teams. Banning Vuvuzela’s would only add fuel to the fire, but supporting the horns -and a Black culture.

Thankfully, FIFA feels the same way I – and many folks – do. A couple days ago the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, commented on a tweet:

I have always said that Africa has a different rhythm, a different sound. I don’t see banning the music traditions of fans in their own country. Would you want to see a ban on the fan traditions in your country? Article

As said on Around the Horn, “There is an inalienable right to horn.”

USA Soccer – NOW WHAT?!?!

USA -2, Spain – 0

The U.S. shocked top-ranked Spain 2-0 on Wednesday in the semifinals of the Confederations Cup, ending the Spaniards’ record-tying 35-match unbeaten streak. Spain had won 15 straight matches and had not conceded a goal in 451 minutes.

The Americans advanced to their first-ever FIFA tournament final. Miami Herald

I had to post this, I just had to. I know it isn’t typical commentary, but  I can’t tell you how excited I am – though I am disappointed at Spain because they did not trade jerseys after the game, a customary action.

This win doesn’t mean we are a world soccer power, far from it.  We have another match to play before we  even when this tourney and we still have plenty of kinks to work out as a national team.

All and all this was incredible because it was an upset. But, I think it does let people know what USA has a good soccer team (not football club, I’m ok with not trying to be like Europe). I love and respect this quotation from Spain’s coach, “We faced a team that played with good energy, was good in attack and was fast . . . we were surprised. The entire team was very dangerous.”

Yes, the USA plays the game differently – we have always done so, we did so when we beat England in 1950 – , but the way we play gritter, rougher, slower, and more athletic than mainstream football is apart of who we are. It is our style and honestly refining that style and playing it well is perhaps the best option we have to be continuously competitive. I hope that we begin to accept that and stop trying to play the European game.

Either way we are in a FIFA final, I hope this encourages American soccer players, quiets some of the cultural critiques of soccer, gives us more credibility on the world stage, and brings out more Americans who are willing to support their soccer team – not just say “we aren’t good”.

I could talk about some of the details of the game, but really the best thing to say is. . .

Well done red, white and blue; well done.

Here is video of the two American goals and other highlights.