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Author Topic: World Cup Finals
JBBB
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posted 09 July 2006 07:22 AM      Profile for JBBB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does anybody have any predictions for the game today?
From: Calgary | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 July 2006 08:27 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Welcome to babble, JBBB.

I have no predictions. I'm just bumping this thread so folks can move the discussion from a long thread I just closed on the World Cup to this thread.

I guess I think I'm cheering for France, since I have only a slightly stronger connection to France than Italy. Even politically, I can't really think of any reason to support one over the other.

But for predictions? No idea who's going to win. As we can see with Germany, just because I'm cheering for a team doesn't mean it's going to win.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JBBB
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posted 09 July 2006 08:30 AM      Profile for JBBB     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks Michelle. I am just learning the ropes on babble. I agree with you about the game. It's kind of nice for once to be able to just enjoy the game without getting too caught up on the final result (unlike hockey!).
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Michelle
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posted 09 July 2006 08:32 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Really? For me, a lot of the enjoyment of a game is to be able to really cheer for one team or the other. Although, I don't have a terrible amount invested even when a team I'm cheering for loses.

(After all, I AM in Toronto. I'm used to my team losing. Hee.)


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 09 July 2006 09:06 AM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JBBB:
Does anybody have any predictions for the game today?

As many people say, you never know what will happen in a World Cup, and the final is no exception. Look at the quarter-finals: Brazil was supposed to beat France, and England was supposed to beat Portugal.

Likely most fans around the world are cheering for Zinédine Zidane to finish a great career, including 12 years at the international level, with a World Cup victory. Why not?


From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 09 July 2006 09:10 AM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a slight preference for seeing France win, but all told, what's important is that the game is an entertaining one.

I wanna see France win it because it'd be nice to send Zidane off with a win. But I do think Italy has the edge, so my prediction is that Italy takes it. France may have peaked early - in the quarterfinals - and on top of that, I don't think they're as fit as Italy.

As long as it doesn't go to penalties, I'm happy...


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 09 July 2006 09:35 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I want France to win, too, even though they don't deserve it, simply because the alternative would make all the Italians I know insufferable for a long, long time.
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 July 2006 09:43 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hee. I can't decide whether I want to see Italy win because it'll be a great street party, or whether I want Italy to lose so that I don't have to listen to horns honking all day and night tonight.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 09 July 2006 10:01 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I want Italy to win because I am an insufferable Italianophile in the midst of an intermediate Italian evening language course, and I've just installed a car horn that goes NEEEE-NER!

I hope I get to use it...


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 09 July 2006 05:17 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Viva Italia!

And ... Viva l'Italia! "beep-beep"


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 July 2006 05:18 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I guess we won't be hearing from bittersweeter until he's done driving around honking his neenerhorn.

Dufferin Street in Toronto between College and St. Clair is full of walkers on the sidewalks going to the street party on St. Clair, and cars with flags honking.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ghlobe
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posted 09 July 2006 05:41 PM      Profile for ghlobe        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That

Was

So

Unfair!


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
paxamillion
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posted 09 July 2006 07:45 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I saw Zidane's head butt of an Italian player, I was stunned. What a terrible way to end a World Cup career. He couldn't even come onto the field to collect a medal. That said, the ref was right to pull the red card and toss him from the game and the field.
From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 09 July 2006 08:58 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, there you go. It's Italy. I'm glad it didn't just come down to penalty shoot outs, though I missed both goals of course (come on, the game stared at 4.00am!!).
But that Zidane attack was sensational, in the worst possible way. I loved the Guardian's minute-by-minute report of it, so I'm going to steal it rather than search for the right words:
quote:

ZIDANE SENT OFF FOR STICKING THE HEED ON MATERAZZI!! Oh. My. God. In his final professional match, Zidane had been sent off for a disgraceful headbutt on Materazzi. He just rammed his head into Materazzi's chest; it was really firm and nasty. Horrible. Now that really is a headbutt. It was also completely off the ball and at first it seemed he'd got away with it, but after talking to his assistant - and possibly after an intervention from the fourth official - the referee was alerted to what happened, and sent Zidane off. He has always had a nasty streak, but this was just ridiculous. What on earth did Materazzi say to provoke that? Either way, it was a disgusting, nasty, blackly comic headbutt, delivered with a Hitchcokian suddenness, and it's an unbelievable ending to Zidane's lustrous career. It was a JFK moment and a GBH moment rolled into one oh-my-giddy-aunt moment. And he could still end up lifting the World Cup!
quote:

Nuff said.

Except, to Drinkmore, who obviously has quite a bee in his bonnet about Lucas Neill, get over it. You are the only one including the media who has claimed that Neill grabbed Grosso's foot. And yes, I watched your video. I don't know what you're seeing, but I'm not seeing any foot grabbing by any stretch.

Reality check anyone?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 09 July 2006 09:07 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
I'm glad it didn't just come down to penalty shoot outs...
Um, it did, actually.

From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 10 July 2006 04:15 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry, you missed my inflection:

I'm glad it didn't just come down to penalty shoot-outs.
ie. that no goals were scored for the whole match.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 10 July 2006 05:48 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by paxamillion:
When I saw Zidane's head butt of an Italian player, I was stunned. What a terrible way to end a World Cup career. He couldn't even come onto the field to collect a medal. That said, the ref was right to pull the red card and toss him from the game and the field.

Zidane is a competitor. Some of the things players jaw about on the field would be enough to make the average person walk away in disgust. Eric Cantona was another French player with remarkable skills on the field ... and a notorious temper and likely fueled by a higher than average output of male hormone. He booted an English fan in the face for taunting him. Soccer is not cricket. Ive'e been to a soccer game in S. Yorkshire, England. The crowd stands up and roars like mad. Small children and dogs have been picked up and carried several rows of seats with the motion of a cheering crowd. I think sports in general, and especially international competitions, can be a very emotional experience for everyone involved. I'll bet the stadium in Berlin was electrified with high energy levels that evening - good and not so good.

It was Zinedane's last game and wanted to make his mother proud. Ma!

His wife could be having an affair.

Maybe he has gambling debts, and the mob are threatening to kill him unless he pays up.

Maybe his dog died before the big game.

We weren't there and being pushed and shoved and grabbed and verbally abused by the opposing player for most of the game. Some men can take only so much of it before retaliating. Remember Sonny in the Godfather?. Remember how the other family took advantage of his propensity for violence and took him out of the game because of it. I think it was always a special treat to be able to watch Zinedine play the game.

But look what they did to my boy. They massaca'd my boy. weeps


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anarchocapitalist
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posted 10 July 2006 05:51 PM      Profile for Anarchocapitalist   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I seriously considered half masting my French flag after the game. I was at work and watched basically the entire thing (screw working, this is my country playing). When they lost, I was almost in tears.

As for Zidane, I am surprised how they called back to eject Zidane from the game, but they never once called back when Portugal was taking dives.


From: London | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 10 July 2006 08:39 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lip readers say the opposing player was making slurs against Zidane's Muslim roots. Zidane's not saying what was said to him on the field - not even to the President of France. Zidane is welcomed home as the national hero he is.

Vive la France!


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 10 July 2006 10:08 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
What on earth did Materazzi say to provoke that?

Lip-readers are making a fortune.

Italian-speaking lip-readers told Brazilian television that the Italian had called Zidane's mother a "prostitute".

An Italian lip-reader told the BBC that Materazzi said: "I wish an ugly death to you and all your family." Zidane is thought to have just received news that his mother is in ailing health. According to the lip-reader, Materazzi then said: "Go f*** yourself."

Zidane's agent says footballer will explain headbutting:

quote:
Zidane's agent Alain Migliaccio maintained he was "provoked", but said Zidane "will not reveal what Materazzi said to him". Migliaccio nonetheless promised that Zidane "will in one or two days' time explain why he had such a reaction" in Sunday's final.

The anti-racism group SOS-Racisme said that "according to several very well-informed sources from the world of football" Materazzi called Zidane a "dirty terrorist" - something Materazzi was reported last night to have denied. Zidane's parents are Algerian immigrants and he campaigns against racism.

The Brazilian newspaper Globo showed the video to three deaf and mute teenagers who are skilled at lip-reading. They believe Materazzi said, "Tua sorella č una puttana" (your sister is a prostitute), followed by an obscene gesture. The French website Sport.fr said the latter version was confirmed by a source close to Zidane.

Last night, BBC Newsnight reported that Materazzi wished death on Zidane's family (the French player's mother was hospitalised on the day of the final) and dismissed him with a profanity. Another report was that Materazzi said: "I slept with your mother last night."



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M. Spector
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posted 10 July 2006 10:10 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another report I read said that the Italian had called him the son of a "terrorist whore".
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 10 July 2006 10:34 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
Another report I read said that the Italian had called him the son of a "terrorist whore".

Well I heard Materazzi called him a "nebulous scorer".


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 11 July 2006 02:21 AM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Except, to Drinkmore, who obviously has quite a bee in his bonnet about Lucas Neill, get over it. You are the only one including the media who has claimed that Neill grabbed Grosso's foot. And yes, I watched your video. I don't know what you're seeing, but I'm not seeing any foot grabbing by any stretch.

Reality check anyone?


Bee in my bonnet? Nah, I just googled Lucas Neill - it's too easy with Firefox. But if I have a bee what do you make of those who went on and on about Italian divers, like this poster:

quote:
Heh, can't say I disagree. Actually, as I was watching the game this morning a thought occurred to me- do teams like the Italians have a specialist 'diving' coach? Do players get tuition in how to dive effectively, in order to maximise their chances at getting free kicks?
Now there's a Google investiagtion for you.

As for reality check, what’s interesting about your post is there are no links, etc, just your claims (& and a personal attack on another poster). I posted a video link for folks to make up their own mind.

Want a reality check, here’s something from a paper in Blackburn, where Neill plays

quote:
BLACKBURN defender Lucas Neill has been told he can walk away from the World Cup with his head held high - even though it was his error which ultimately cost the Australians their place in the finals.


Here’s a former
Premier League Ref's take on the penalty:

quote:
Now to the Italian penalty. Lucas Neill slid in front of Fabio Grosso to make a tackle. Grosso turned back inside Neill, placing Neill between the ball and the attacker. Grosso then fell over Neill, and maybe he dived. The crucial point, though, is that Neill does not simply lie on the ground. He actually raises his left arm as Grosso goes over him. It's highly likely the Italian would have dived in any case, but the referee sees the incident in its entirety. He was a few metres away, and saw what looked like Neill's attempt to block his opponent. No hesitation, no doubt in the referee's mind, penalty. Lucas Neill had an outstanding tournament, but he should not have gone to ground and then raised his arm and created the opportunity for the Italian.

And here is even something from Australia:

quote:
Australia joined in willingly, claiming to have been disadvantaged by referees in every game. Saint Guus used the approved form, saying he did not want to make a big issue of it, but … However, Australian reviews were typically selective, not mentioning that a penalty should have been awarded against Tim Cahill when Australia was tied 1-1 with Japan with minutes to play, or that the red card shown to Materazzi that changed the course of its game against Italy was harsh.
I will go further out onto the heretical limb here and say that that penalty awarded against Lucas Neill was not necessarily and unarguably wrong. The point is that the way soccer is structured, the referee can have a profound, even decisive, influence just by doing his job (or not doing it: refer the Italian league scandal). Players and managers know this and try to exploit it. Having sewn the breeze, they are reaping the whirlwind, and it is ingenuous of any to be affronted by it.

Check the BBC forums, you’ll see die hard Aussie fans arguing that it was a foul but the ref could have awarded an indirect kick. Here’s a forum where folks who like him discuss, before this incident, how much of a thug Neill is.

The reality is a lot of athletes cheat. Yowsa!!!

FYI, it’s not my video post on youtube, if that’s what you are thinking.

[ 11 July 2006: Message edited by: Drinkmore ]


From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 11 July 2006 10:16 AM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In your extensive googling you couldn't find one other person who agreed with you that Neill grabbed Grosso's foot with his hand?
From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 11 July 2006 10:38 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did anyone else find it odd that the Italians cheered their team with "Forza Azzuri!" (Forward Blue!) and the French cheered their team with "Aller Le Blue!" (Go Blue!) ? What up with that, anyway?
From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 11 July 2006 04:39 PM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
In your extensive googling you couldn't find one other person who agreed with you that Neill grabbed Grosso's foot with his hand?

Well except for the guy who posted this video, but I couldn't find anybody else who discussed the matter in that kind of detail except for you on this thread.

Extensive googling? Probably took me a fraction of the time spent discussing it on the thread mentioned above.

[ 11 July 2006: Message edited by: Drinkmore ]


From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 11 July 2006 08:44 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Drinkmore:

Check the BBC forums, you’ll see die hard Aussie fans arguing that it was a foul but the ref could have awarded an indirect kick. Here’s a forum where folks who like him discuss, before this incident, how much of a thug Neill is.

The reality is a lot of athletes cheat. Yowsa!!!

FYI, it’s not my video post on youtube, if that’s what you are thinking.

[ 11 July 2006: Message edited by: Drinkmore ]


Ah, see the problem when you put up links to blogs etc. and think you've won the argument is suspicious people check out those links, and examine them maybe a bit more than you. And find lots of holes in your sweeping arguments.
Using blog entries as proof? Normally nuff said, but here's proof of your dishonesty, with direct unadulterated quotes from contributors to the blog:

  • ]A player I'd always regarded as a bit of a thug but who's performances for Blackburn last season and for Australia in and around the World Cup have been a revelation. Solid tackler and a decent reader of the game who can also play RB or CB.
  • Lucas Neill is nothing but assured and composed, a far cry from the rash and hot-header defender of yesteryear.
  • 'Very dirty player and not good enough for Chelsea.' Again I pose the question, have you been watching him at the World Cup?
  • I'd hazard a guess and say no Matt. Probably saw him once when he clattered someone in a game and he's been labelled a "very dirty player" since!
  • Anyone see the Croatia v Australia game and still think Lucas Neil is just a "thug" and not good enough to play at the top level. The man had yet another blinder, hasnt put a foot wrong in any of teh Group games. A definite star of the future IMO.

So this is your proof positive that Lucas Neill is a thug? Homework, laddie, homework.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 11 July 2006 08:51 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's funny what you find when you go Googling:

But seriously, let's have some authoritative opinions on the Aus Italy game:
From The Guardian:

quote:

Some old pros in the studio blamed Lucas Neill for going to ground as he went to challenge, giving Fabio Grosso the chance to fall over him. But a dive is still a dive, and the ref bought it.
quote:


quote:

Yesterday Spain's Luís Medina Cantalejo awarded a penalty in the last 10 seconds of injury-time after Fabio Grosso collapsed at the slightest of contacts from Lucas Neill.
quote:


From The Times:
quote:

Former Millwall right-back, now with Blackburn, whose tough-tackling and aggressive nature sometimes get the better of him. Neill is notorious for the tackle that broke Jamie Carragher's leg in 2003 but despite picking up several red cards in domestic competition, he has been a model of discipline and consistency with his country. He even showed his versatility in the play-off win over Uruguay by filling in at centre-back.
quote:

[ 11 July 2006: Message edited by: Walker ]


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 July 2006 01:08 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by N.Beltov:
Did anyone else find it odd that the Italians cheered their team with "Forza Azzuri!" (Forward Blue!) and the French cheered their team with "Aller Le Blue!" (Go Blue!) ? What up with that, anyway?

Would it have anything to do with the colours of the flag: bleu, blanc et rouge ?. I've heard Francophones refer to the Montreal Canadiens hockey club by their team colours in the same way.

Ah! Wiki says that the blue, white and red flag colours represent 1. Liberty 2. Equality and 3. Fraternity. Maybe the fans want liberating on the soccer pitch, non?. Aller libérateurs?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 12 July 2006 01:42 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
no, it's allez les Bleus!, plural
From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 12 July 2006 04:36 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just received this in my inbox. I don't normally follow soccer, but this is a detailed and thoughtful take on the context of the Zidane / Materazzi incident. Sorry there's no link, but since this is widely posted on the web there's no copyright issue.

The author's bias is very clear. And his solution is extremely radical, and it ain't gonna happen, but the piece is worth a read.

quote:

Why Today I Wear My Zidane Jersey

By Dave Zirin

Imagine Michael Jordan in his last game, with the score tied in overtime, knocking out his defender with a punch to the throat. Imagine Derek Jeter in game seven of the World Series, at bat with the bases loaded, thrashing the opposing team's catcher over the head with his bat. Our collective shock would only be exceeded by disappointment. No one, fan or foe, would want to a see a great player end their career in an act that speaks to the worst impulses of sports: when hard competition spills over into violence.

Now imagine if Jordan and Jeter claimed they were provoked with a racial slur. Does their violence become understandable? Even excusable? Herein lies the case of French National team captain, the great Zinedine Zidane. Zidane, competing in his last professional match, was kicked out of the World Cup final in overtime for flattening Italian player Marco Materazzi with the head-butt heard around the world.

Zidane, or Zissou as he is known, became the first captain ever ejected from a World Cup championship match. The announcers denounced Zissou for committing a "classless act and the French team withered, eventually losing to a demonstrably inferior Italian squad in overtime. The following morning the international tabloids with their typical grace, gave Zissou a new nickname: "butt-head.” Less examined was the fact that Zissou was literally carrying a lightly regarded French team to the finals. Less examined was the fact that Zissou had been grabbed, kicked, and fouled all game by the vaunted Italian defense. Less examined was the fact that Zissou had almost left minutes earlier due to injury, his arm wilting off his shoulder like a wet leaf of spinach. This unholy amount of pressure is the primary reason the 34-year-old veteran snapped and planted Materazzi into the pitch.

Now the great mystery is what set Zissou off. What could Materazzi have possibly said to send him over the edge? Answers are beginning to filter out.

According to a FIFA employee transcribing what was said during the match, Materazzi’s called Zissou a “big Algerian shit.” A Brazilian television program that claims to have used a lip-reader said Materazzi called Zissou’s sister “a whore.” The highly respected French anti-racist coalition SOS Racisme issued a press release stating, "According to several very well informed sources from the world of football, it would seem [Materazzi] called Zissou a 'dirty terrorist'."

Materazzi, in an answer that can only be called Clintonian, said, "It is absolutely not true. I didn't call him a terrorist.” Of course he didn’t comment on what he did call him. Zissou himself has only said cryptically that he would reveal what Materazzi said "in the coming days."

Right now, we do not know beyond a shadow of a doubt what was said but all the circumstantial evidence points at least toward a variant of SOS Racisme's claim. Zissou is the son of Algerian immigrants who has sparred verbally with Europe's far-right political machine for more than a decade. He is an outspoken anti-racist on a team that has defined itself by its multiculturalism and stubborn insistence to stand up against bigotry both inside and outside the sport.
Materazzi on the other hand, will be playing this year for the Italian team Lazio, where his father was the former coach. Lazio's fan club, The Ultras, are notorious for their Fascist-friendly politics. Lazio's hardcore Ultras, known as the "Irriducibili," have members in Italy's extra-parliamentary far right and try to use the club to recruit. The group has frequently uses racist and anti-Semitic banners, one time hanging a 50-foot banner that said their opponents were a "team of niggers."

It’s wrong to taint Materazzi for the actions of Lazio’s fans, but there is more. Earlier this season in a match that pitted Messina against Inter in Sicily, Messina's star African player Marc Zoro famously picked up the ball and walked off the pitch in protest of the monkey chants rained upon him by Inter supporters. In a stirring act of solidarity, many of the Inter players immediately showed support for Zoro's actions. But one opponent yelled, "Stop that, Zoro, you're just trying to make a name for yourself." That opponent's name was Marco Materazzi.

At the start of this tournament I wrote a soccer column with my colleague John Cox, called Racism Stalks the Cup. We expressed our concern that the monkey chants, banana peels, and peanuts raining down on African players this year would continue on the sport's grandest stage. This largely did not occur.

But then in the final act, at the moment of most exquisite tension, it seems racism may have actually emerged from the shadows. I, for one, am damn glad that when it did, it ran smack into Zissou's beautiful head.

We don’t know with iron certainty what Materazzi said, but if it turns out to be more of the anti-Black, anti-Muslim, garbage that has infected soccer like a virus, the Italian team should forfeit the cup. They should voluntarily give the greatest trophy of them all back to FIFA as a statement that some things in this world are more important than sports. Racism will be the death of soccer if things don’t change. Italy can set the sport back on course, with one simple, stunning gesture. Give the damn thing back.

Dave Zirin is the author of "What's My Name Fool?
Sports and Resistance in the United States" (Haymarket Books.)



From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 12 July 2006 06:24 AM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So this is your proof positive that Lucas Neill is a thug? Homework, laddie, homework.[/qb]

My point was that even some of his supporters wonder if he isn't something of a thug. Even in the parts you posted you can see many people have found his play to have a very rough side. As one poster there points out the thug reputation is probably the results of Neill breaking Carragher's leg during a rash tackle.

Here's long time soccer commentator Bobby McMahon:

quote:
....all Australia (well the non-Italian part) must be absolutely stunned. I can't ever remember a game at a World Cup Final being decided with what was literally the last kick of a game and a penalty kick at that.

What was Lucas Neill thinking about? That was just bad defending at that stage in the game, or at any stage in a game I suppose.

No disrespect to the Swiss or the Ukraine but Italy is eyeing a semi final and has yet to play well.
...
I don't see that as a dive. Grosso made a good cut back onto his right foot as Neill started to commit himself to a slide tackle going towards the goal line. Neill was never near the ball and was on his butt sliding across Grosso when Grosso was cutting inside him. There was no way in the world that Grosso could have avoided Neill.

It was a great move by Grosso and grossly awful defending.
...

I didn't think it was a poor game at all. I enjoyed it. Aliwah - good point on Bresciano's unwise decision. He should have kept Grosso out on the touchline.


And here's Greg Lalas from SI:

quote:
But no, it was more like cardiac resuscitation. The next game, they beat the Czechs, comfortably, then slipped past Australia in the Round of 16 (I don't care what anyone says: That was definitely a penalty). And in the quarters, they strutted to a 3-nil win over Ukraine.

No point really in continuing to post more bits about folks impression of the call. That's why I posted the link to the video, both above in this thread and in the earlier discussion, someone put up on youtube. Folks can make their own decision.

[ 12 July 2006: Message edited by: Drinkmore ]


From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 12 July 2006 06:47 AM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:
I just received this in my inbox. I don't normally follow soccer, but this is a detailed and thoughtful take on the context of the Zidane / Materazzi incident. Sorry there's no link, but since this is widely posted on the web there's no copyright issue.

The author's bias is very clear. And his solution is extremely radical, and it ain't gonna happen, but the piece is worth a read.


There has been some speculation that Materazzi called Zidane a Harki, which is essentially an Algerian quisling.

From The New Republic:

quote:
Rumor has it that Materazzi called Zidane's father a 'harki' - the Arabic term for Algerians who fought for France against Algeria during the occupation. It's beyond all insults, the ultimate traitor.

Maybe some good will come of this. FIFA just brought in a new set of anti-racism measures. Maybe this incident, which marred FIFA's big event, will give them the impetus to really back up their new rules.

[ 12 July 2006: Message edited by: Drinkmore ]


From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 July 2006 11:28 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You can close the door on some of the speculation: Zidane's own comments.
From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 12 July 2006 11:48 AM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A real class act.

The solution seems simple to me, implement instant reply. It is obvious to any objective observer that Italy did not deserve to go as far as it did, and did so only due to poor refereeing and diving.


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bittersweet
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posted 12 July 2006 12:10 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sure it's obvious. If you exclude Italy's superior defense. Oh, and the goals. Then suddenly the objective observation makes total sense.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 12 July 2006 12:11 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Superior defense indeed they dived more frequently when the opposing team was controlling the ball in their zone - that stops the play.

They indeed had a good goalie however.


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bittersweet
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posted 12 July 2006 12:34 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was always an Italian player heading or kicking the ball away, allowing relatively few good scoring chances whether originating from passes coming downfield or from corners. Every player moved back to defend. Better possession percentage didn't translate into enough goals against Italy; there's no possible way Italy could have won with diving combined with even a decent defense. Buffon wasn't tested all that often, and when he was he came through. The defense had to be a sterling unit, even with dives/play stoppage, etc.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jaydub
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posted 12 July 2006 12:35 PM      Profile for Jaydub     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
PARIS -- French soccer star Zinedine Zidane apologized for head-butting an Italian opponent during the World Cup final, saying Wednesday that he was provoked by insults about his mother and sister.

"I apologize, to all the children" who watched the match Sunday, Zidane said in his first, highly-awaited comments about the act of violence that marked the end of his career.

Zidane did not specify exactly what Italian defender Marco Materazzi said that enraged him, but that it was insulting to his sister and mother.

"I would rather have taken a punch in the jaw than have heard that," Zidane said, stressing that Materazzi's language was "very harsh."


Read more here.


From: Victoria, BC | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged
Drinkmore
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posted 12 July 2006 01:00 PM      Profile for Drinkmore     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm, SI reports that Zidane also said:

quote:
"I tell myself that if things happened this way, it's because somewhere up there it was decided that way," he said in a later interview on TF1 television. "And I don't regret anything that happened, I accept it."

From: the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 12 July 2006 04:48 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what is it that makes a physical assault more worthy of punishment than a sly verbal assault? The only thing that makes it different is that the former is obviously a highly visible physical act, while the latter is unheard except by those involved, and can only be guessed at by the watching public - and various lipreaders, who can't seem to agree on what is said.

Zidane also made a good point in saying "He had no reason to say what he said. It's always the reaction that is sanctioned and not the provoker."


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 12 July 2006 04:49 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wikipedia has some interesting information on Canada's bid to host 2018.
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 12 July 2006 04:52 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what is it that makes a physical assault more worthy of punishment than a sly verbal assault? The only thing that makes it different is that the former is obviously a highly visible physical act, while the latter is unheard except by those involved, and can only be guessed at by the watching public - and various lipreaders, who can't seem to agree on what is said.

Imagine for a second that we had the technology to hear exactly what Materazzi said. Imagine also that Zidane had NOT reacted at all to his verbal abuse. Who would be the victim then?

Zidane also made a good point in saying "He had no reason to say what he said. It's always the reaction that is sanctioned and not the provoker."



From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
500_Apples
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posted 12 July 2006 04:59 PM      Profile for 500_Apples   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Because regulating verbal violence is too much work for the authorities. People who were not born beautiful and/or rich all saw this in high school.
From: Montreal, Quebec | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 July 2006 05:18 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:
I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again: what is it that makes a physical assault more worthy of punishment than a sly verbal assault?

Huh?? I'd rather someone call me a "mother fucker" (or any other words you can think of) than hit me over the head with a baseball bat.

"Sticks and stones" and all that...


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 July 2006 05:31 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Imagine Materazzi mouthing off to the Queen and Phil, or Silvio Berlusconi watching the game from a VIP box on high. "Eh, FUNGU Vicky, Phil, Silvio and all your inbred relatives, too!" It's likely that "dark forces" would end him in a traffic mishap. Or maybe he'd wake up in bed one morning with a goat's head on his pillow.

I heard Zinedine fully-believed Materazzi was struggling with a meatball lodged in his oesophagus and needed Heimliching. And this's what he gets for being so considerate. There is no justice.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 12 July 2006 06:08 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Huh?? I'd rather someone call me a "mother fucker" (or any other words you can think of) than hit me over the head with a baseball bat.

"Sticks and stones" and all that...


Except it wasn't a baseball bat, it was a headbutt to the chest, and Materazzi was able to get up and finish the game without any injury.

What I am saying is some people are more susceptible to psychological assault than physical assault. Doesn't make them a lesser person, and the assault should not be seen as less harmful.


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 July 2006 07:07 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Walker:

Except it wasn't a baseball bat, it was a headbutt to the chest, and Materazzi was able to get up and finish the game without any injury.

What I am saying is some people are more susceptible to psychological assault than physical assault. Doesn't make them a lesser person, and the assault should not be seen as less harmful.


So, if you were one of those particuarly sensitive people and I said to you, "You are a mother fucker", I should be punished for that if you suffer anxiety or some other mental harm?

P.S. I'm not calling you an MF, by the way. Just an example.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
M. Spector
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posted 12 July 2006 07:37 PM      Profile for M. Spector   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[quoting Dave Zirin]We don’t know with iron certainty what Materazzi said, but if it turns out to be more of the anti-Black, anti-Muslim, garbage that has infected soccer like a virus, the Italian team should forfeit the cup. They should voluntarily give the greatest trophy of them all back to FIFA as a statement that some things in this world are more important than sports. Racism will be the death of soccer if things don’t change. Italy can set the sport back on course, with one simple, stunning gesture. Give the damn thing back.
This is right on.

The hypocrisy of the sports commentators and that idiot Sepp Blatter who runs FIFA beggars belief. They are always giving lip service to stamping out racism in soccer; but they are very quick to condemn Zidane for reacting to the slurs that were made against him before they even know whether racism was a factor. I haven't heard anyone in authority call for sanctions against Materazzi; meanwhile Blatter is blatting on about how Zidane could be stripped of the Golden Ball award.


From: One millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Walker
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posted 12 July 2006 07:50 PM      Profile for Walker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

So, if you were one of those particuarly sensitive people and I said to you, "You are a mother fucker", I should be punished for that if you suffer anxiety or some other mental harm?

P.S. I'm not calling you an MF, by the way. Just an example.


In the same way, you could get 2 players who, according to their response, reacted to a headbutt to the chest in different ways. At one extreme you could get a player who has to be stretchered off, and at the other you get a player who jumps straight up and gets on with the game. Are you saying the former is "particularly sensitive"?

This is a very grey area; I'm thinking on the go about it. Suppose we look at both 'injuries' in the same way. Materazzi was demonstrably not injured enough by Zidane's actions to stop him playing. And probably Zidane would not have felt 'injured' enough to prohibit him playing. So on that basis neither player was harmed any more than the other. So why does Zidane get the red card?


From: Not Canada | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
ghlobe
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posted 12 July 2006 08:49 PM      Profile for ghlobe        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by M. Spector:
This is right on.

The hypocrisy of the sports commentators and that idiot Sepp Blatter who runs FIFA beggars belief. They are always giving lip service to stamping out racism in soccer; but they are very quick to condemn Zidane for reacting to the slurs that were made against him before they even know whether racism was a factor. I haven't heard anyone in authority call for sanctions against Materazzi; meanwhile Blatter is blatting on about how Zidane could be stripped of the Golden Ball award.


Based on Zidane's interview, Materazzi's comment was not racist or anti-muslim. But still a fairly serious insult toward Zidane's mother who is in hospital.

Nevetheless both of them are known to be violent and quite aggressive.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 July 2006 09:24 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Picture Zidane admitting that it was a slur against his Muslim roots and just a really small-minded racial slur against what must represent a billion people around the world. We've already endured a number of retaliatory revenge acts around the world after some idiot decides to bad mouth Allah and Islam. How many deaths might be down to Zidane and Maserati's tiff on the field ?. If I were him, I'd tell the world the remarks were nothing, too.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
ghlobe
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posted 12 July 2006 09:27 PM      Profile for ghlobe        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Picture Zidane admitting that it was a slur against his Muslim roots and just a really small-minded racial slur against what must represent a billion people around the world. We've already endured a number of retaliatory revenge acts around the world after some idiot decides to bad mouth Allah and Islam. How many deaths might be down to Zidane and Maserati's tiff on the field ?. If I were him, I'd tell the world the remarks were nothing, too.

He didn't say the remarks were nothing. Actually he said those were grave insults to his mother and sister, and that he does not regret what he did.

What is your source or evidence for the slur being racist or anti-muslim, aside from internet rumors? Zidane has always been very vocal on the anti-racism issue and would have raised it if the slur was racist.

[ 12 July 2006: Message edited by: ghlobe ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 15 July 2006 10:21 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If Zizou says it was an insult against his mama, then that's what it was.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Wilf Day
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posted 20 July 2006 06:59 PM      Profile for Wilf Day     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Behind Zidane's head-butt:
quote:
Regardless of what was said, the assumption that the comment during a crucial football match that would make a seasoned professional react so rashly would be a racist one, is telling on three counts: about the prevalence of racist comments in the sport, about the tensions that play on people of African origin in Europe and about the perception that racist insults have a unique quality to send people over the edge.

Since the season of car-burnings by the mostly black and brown youth in the banlieues, the national moral failing of pervasive racism that prevents these youth from getting jobs in France has become an internationally known problem. Francais de souche love to love Zidane in part because his popularity seems to belie French racism and exemplify the country's sophistication and tolerance. Zidane was the successful progeny of what one might call "good immigrants": people who worked hard and uncomplainingly at menial jobs and took care of their children. Never mind that like a shocking percentage of kids of north African descent in France, Zidane only completed the most basic level of school.

Zidane refused to really apologise since he wasn't actually sorry. In fact, he seemed to imply that he would have done it again. This refusal to interpret his behaviour by the mores of France is in part, what Europeans de souche object to: the refusal or inability of some immigrant communities to play by their adopted societies' rules, implicit or written.

And Zidane, while being venerated as a beloved son of France, has always expressed his love for his father's village in Algeria. Although he has taken to the fight against racism in football, Zidane has never been willing to travel around France being the representative of the success of multiculturalism, perhaps because he doesn't believe it. Zidane has said that because of who he was he knew that he would have to work twice as hard to be successful. "Every day I think about where I come from and I am still proud to be who I am: first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman", he told a British newspaper reporter.

In that way his headbutt and subsequent refusal to apologise for it was a reminder that he has not been completely seduced by France. Zidane is a Frenchman by birth but he had his own unstated rules as impenetrable to some French as France's rules are to some of its newest residents. This seems intolerable to some French who believe if one comes to this country, they must follow the rules. But this concept of unbreakable rules must seem hypocritical to someone of north African origin who knows that despite laws against discrimination, their CV is five times more likely to be tossed in the garbage than a comparable one from someone with an ancient French name.



From: Port Hope, Ontario | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged

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