|Quoting mirrodie (Reply 9):|
As far as politics goes, I've been enjoying watching Argentina's run this year. Did a bit of reading up to see that Maradona is a huge Chavez supporter. I didnt expect to read about that and quite frankly, I don't feel his politics have a place in the sport.
I guess you haven't been following football for that long?
Or even have much understanding about what the sport grow out of and how it became the worlds biggest and most watched game.
This was a working class sport. Poor kids played football, rich kids played rugby etc etc.
In Europe and alot of South America football is a mirror of society. society consists of many political beliefs. the poorer a country's population is the more extreme these political beliefs usually are.
Its different in the US, there politics is rightwing(republicans) or right of centre/centre (democrats).
In Europe and South America things are very very different.
There you have rightwing, liberal (most often on the righthand side of politics) centrists, socialists and leftwingers. These are mainstream beliefs and choices.
To simplify it; the poorer you are, the more to the left you tend to vote. (This is a huge generalisation but...)
That Maradona a man that grew up very poor would be sympathetic to a man like Chavez (extreme leftwinger) is thus no huge surprise. That he idolises fellow countryman Che Guevara and his old comrade in arms Fidel seems almost natural.
Besides and Fidel must have very very high approval figures among players and ultras in general. Politics and football have always walked hand in hand.
Now Maradona is hardly alone in having outspoken political beliefs.
Thierry Henry sporting his Che shirts, Xavier Zanetti fellow Argentinian and captain of Inter organising campaigns to assist the Zapatistas in Mexico etc etc.
In England legendary managers like Clough, Ferguson and Shankly have all been outspoken labour men.
Scholes, The " red Nevilles", Stevie G, Ferdinand etc are all firmly from the left side of politics and outspoken about it.
On the other side, stars like P. Di Canio an Italian fascist, S Mihailovic a rightwing serbian player.
Football is the peoples game and as such I find it refreshing when footballers have real life views. I might not share their views but I prefer men like Di Canio and Maradona to PR educated and controlled stars any day.
What I suggest is further reading about football and politics. You can see that most clubs have a clear political background. Most being labourclubs. but you can also see that clubs have supporters with very strong political beliefs.
Lazio and its ultras being a re-knowned right wing club for example. Glasgow Celtic being leftwing.
Real Madrid right / FC Barcelona left. Paris SG right, OM left.
the list goes on, its also rather interesting to read about special clubs where politics is at the heart of the identity.
FC St Pauli from Germany is such a club. Google them, youtube them.
Lazio / Hellas Verona contra Livorno or Atalanta in Italy. Different sides to the Italian footballing and supporting map. Listen to their songs see their tifos and understand what the clubs souls are like.
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