Much More than a Soccer Rivalry

by Martin Guevara 

A free for all street battle in Marseilles.
A free for all street battle in Marseilles.

HAVANA TIMES — We’ve recently become alarmed about the rising levels of violence in the US, which stem from the ever increasing number of mass shootings in public spaces or instances of police brutality. However, watching the European Championship and Copa America, we should be more worried about, much more worried about, Europe.

If they sold machine guns, bazookas and assault rifles in Europe like they do in the US, not one European hooligan would remain standing at the European Championship and there would be a lot less people with life in Marseille and not a single thriving business in the cities where heated games are played.

It’s gone much further than just soccer rivalry, even in the frequent violent encounters we’ve become used to seeing in this environment which is triggered strangely enough by the rudest behavior and our bad manners, which frequently dominates football and highlights the internal passion it stirs up.

The European Championship currently mirrors the state of distrust and the hostile climate that exist in the majority of the countries within the region for one reason or another. The North distrust the South’s “laziness”, the South slowly put it into their malgoverned and poor citizens to reject the exploiting barbarian, the Spanish against the Catalans and vice-versa, the Scottish against the English and both of them against Europe, while the whole of Europe is against immigration, the Slavics wanting to exterminate the refugees, whilst Latin and Germanic countries send them away, except for Germany and Sweden of course.

Greece is angry at the Austrians, the Germans are against Spain and Italy, Islam is against the whole of European civilization, the Schengen Area keeps changing its borders every five seconds, France and Belgium have put their army out on the streets and people live with machine guns at every turn. All over the continent, young people are sprouting up listening to neo-nazi speeches with keen ears.

Nobody trusts anybody.

On the contrary, Copa America is playing out in the healthiest, liveliest and sportsmanlike way, thanks to every national team, players and fans alike, as well as the event organizers and host audience who welcome the event across the US.

It’s worth bearing in mind that throughout history, whenever Europe has filled itself with long periods of peace and progress and has begun to set its thoughts on blood and devastation, it was by far the most developed continent in every aspect and, from Rome to the Third Reich, organized people have gambled everything for nothing so that signs of imminent war would remain just a commotion of the irritated masses. And this same scepticism always came before the greatest human bloodbaths, as Europeans are calm and peaceful until they actually bother to stop being so, and they don’t go to all this trouble unless whole cities are burned down, populations disappear and ethnicities are wiped out.

Written during the years the Nazi party rose to power in Germany, the novel “The Oppermann brothers”, whose author Lion Feuchtwanger, in an omen and a work of sublime common sense, places in a very real fiction two Jewish brothers who belong to the German bourgeoisie. They only spoke German and loved their country, and are faced with the dilemma of abandoning their homeland in the face of the ever-groeing threat of the Gestapo. One of the brothers answered arguing that it would be impossible for that crowd to go much further than some racist skirmishes, in the country of Beethoven and Goethe, Kant and Hegel. Even when he was dying at the hands of the Nazis, he couldn’t believe it.

Watch out!

2 thoughts on “Much More than a Soccer Rivalry

  • Am I correct in thinking Griffin that the number of deaths per year in the US due to shooting is stable at about only 30,000 a year?
    As for Putin, he was a KGB Colonel who was refused further promotion by the KGB when he applied for it, the reason given by his superiors being that:
    “He has a lowered sense of danger.”

  • Martin, your essay contains errors and falsehoods.

    The violent crime rate in the US is falling, not rising.
    Machine guns, bazookas and assault rifles are not legally sold in the US. Semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR15 are legal, but no full automatic weapons are legal anywhere in the US.

    There are some interesting details about the recent violence among EUFA fans, which was missed in most of the media coverage. The Russian “Ultra” hooligans appeared remarkably well organized. They came prepared with the same martial art gloves and similar weapons. Photographs of many of the Russians shows the bat tattoo of the Russian GRU, the military force of the Russian Intelligence agency. These troops led the Russian invasions of Crimea & eastern Ukraine.

    French & British intelligence analysts believe the actions of the Russian Ultras are another phase of Putin’s irregular war against Europe.

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