Friday, July 2, 2010

Hobbling the Beautiful game


In the wake of the recent ban imposed on the Nigerian team by the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, here is a look at some of the rather remarkable restrictions levied on the players, who play the beautiful game.

Somalia -- Somalia is a nation of football crazy fans, who love their national football team, popularly known as the Ocean Stars. But the Hizbul Islam, the militia group, which has more than a foothold in this nation, wouldn't allow Somalis to watch the 2010 South Africa World cup. However the Ocean Stars brave the pitched battles among the Government and the rebel group and practise. After defeating Kenya in April, the under-17 Somalia team will play Egypt in the second round of the African Youth
Championship in August.

Iran -- The Iranian girls football team had been banned by FIFA for wearing hijab, the Islamic dress code. But after the team sent a sample of its gear to Fifa, they relented. The team will participate in the 2010 Singapore Youth Olymics to be held in August.

Togo -- When the Togo team was making its way to the CAF, their bus was besieged by Front for the Liberation of the Cabinda Enclave (FLCE). An assistant coach and sjaf were killed in the ensuing salvo. The team went back to its nation for mourning. But little did they know that Confederation of African Football (CAF) would ban the team from participating in the next two Africa Cup of Nationas. "We are a group of footballers who came under fire and now we can't play football any more. They are
crushing us," Thomas Dossevi, the Togo midfielder surmised.

France -- Paris Foot Gay (PFG), a french football club, comprising of some gay players was snubbed, when Creteil Bebel denied to play with them. The club and its Islamic players turned out to be homophobic. The strictly secular French banned Creteil. But the troubles of PFG didn't stop there, it is drowned with homophobic slur during its appearances.

Iraq -- Iraq Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended Iraq Football Association (IFA) citing IFA's close ties with the former dictator, Saddam Hussein. However, FIFA stuck to its rulebook and banned Iraq's football team from international matches, IOC and IFA both were once directly controlled by Uday, Saddam Hussein's son.