THE GREEK AND GERMANY GAM, 21 JUNE 2012: WHAT A LEARNING EXPERIENCE OF EURO POLITICS PLAYING OUT ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD
I get there in my german jersey but already decided to support greece.
Before the game starts, as the players are filing in, a Greek group of fans is shown waving and then passing down an doll, almost an effigy of Angela Meckel, in full german colours, and it is undressed in front of the cameras. Then Greek anthem is first to be sang and one supporter in the crowd where i am decides it is time to boo.
Germany scores first and I say, well i expected that. Second half, Greece scores and i heave a sign of relief, one for those of us who cannot balance our budgets and are perpertual borrowers. The crowd is silenced but Germany quickly scores and and the floodgates open. Germany lets loose an avalanche of goals, making me feel so bad for Greece but, tough luck Greece, the best team won, really wish you had won, just to open a new discourse in this have versus have nots talk, at half time, a tv anchor actually said 'if greeks ran their economy the way they played their football in the first half, the euro would not be in situation it is now. Talk about nationalism and football, now it is euro politics being played out on the pitch, interesting. but, the best team won. if england faces germany, do not know who to support, in all honesty. will just watch and see what happens.
unfortunately i could not hear the german that was around me, football is really a big tool of constructing national politics, makes one very guilty of reproducing this discourse when you love football like i do. i have never seen so many flags ain germany since i came as i have seen during the game and the question for me is how much of that is good natinalism versus destructive one, if there is good nationalism to start with, i know when Malawi wins, i am happy and i enjoy waving my flag and being around Malawians, chanting etc. but, how much of that is constructed about a nation and not in opposition and superiority to another, i wonder.