Transcript: The Beautiful Game | Jun 11, 2006

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, checkered pale blue tie, and glasses.
A screen under the table shows the flags of Brazil, France, Mexico, Germany, Italy and Spain, and a title that reads “World Cup.”

A caption reads “Who will win the World Cup? Vote at tvo.org/di.”

Steve says NOW, WE'RE JOINED THIS WEEK
BY INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
OBSERVERS/FOOTBALL FANS,
TAREK FATAH, HOST OF
THE TELEVISION PROGRAM,
THE MUSLIM
CHRONICLE, ON CTS,

Tarek is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair. He is wearing a black suit, white shirt, checkered brown and black tie, and glasses.

Steve continues PABLO IDAHOSA, DIRECTOR OF
THE AFRICAN STUDIES PROGRAM
AT YORK UNIVERSITY,

Pablo is in his fifties, has a stubble goatee, short gray hair, and is wearing a dark blue jacket, black T-shirt, a black and yellow cap, and glasses.

Steve continues FRANCISCO RICO-MARTINEZ OF
THE FCJ REFUGEE CENTRE,

Francisco is in his fifties, has a gray full beard, short curly gray hair, and is wearing a light blue shirt and a beige vest.

Steve continues AND PIERLUIGI ROI, NEWS
MANAGER OF OMNI TELEVISION.

Pierluigi is in his forties, clean-shaven with short brown hair. He is wearing a dark gray suit and a light blue shirt.

Steve says WELCOME, EVERYBODY.
THIS IS GOING TO BE A
DIFFERENT LOOK
AT THE BEAUTIFUL
GAME TODAY.
TAREK, MUCH OF NORTH AMERICA
DOESN'T GET THIS GAME AT ALL.
SO START OFF BY
TELLING US WHAT IT IS
THAT YOU LOVE
ABOUT IT SO MUCH.

The caption changes to “Tarek Fatah. The Muslim Chronicle.”

Tarek says THE WHOLE NOTION OF A WHOLE
GROUP OF PEOPLE DEPENDING
ON EACH OTHER, AND REVOLVING
AROUND A SINGLE CENTRE,
THE BALL, UNINTERRUPTED,
NO BREAK FOR COMMERCIALS,
NO CHEERLEADERS, SIMPLE,
SWEAT, TEARS, JOY,
EVERYTHING THAT COULD BE
THERE, AND SOMETIMES,
THE GREATEST GAME
IS WON BY ONE GOAL.

Steve says YOU TELL ME.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The caption changes to “Pablo Idahosa. York University.”

Pablo says IT'S THE DRAMA.
IT'S THE ALMOST
BALLETIC ATHLETICISM
OF THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS.
IT'S THE COORDINATION,
IT'S THE COOPERATION,
IT'S THE INDIVIDUALISM.
IT'S LIKE JAZZ.
IT REQUIRES
COLLECTIVENESS.
IT REQUIRES AN
INDIVIDUAL SOLOIST,
IT REQUIRES ALL
THOSE THINGS.
SO IT'S A COMBINATION OF
ALL THOSE DIFFERENT VALUES.
AND OF COURSE, IT
FUNDAMENTALLY REPRESENTS
THE SPIRIT OF
ORDINARY PEOPLE.

Steve says FRANCISCO?

The caption changes to “Francisco Rico-Martinez. FCJ Refugee Centre.”

Francisco says YOU CAN PLAY
IT ANYWHERE.
YOU CAN PLAY IT ON THE
BEACH, YOU CAN PLAY IT
ON THE STREET, YOU CAN
PLAY IT IN YOUR HOUSE,
IN LIVING ROOM, IN YOUR
KITCHEN, AT THE BACKYARD,
ANYWHERE, YOU KNOW?
EVERYWHERE YOU
CAN HAVE SOCCER.
AND THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT IS VERY ATTRACTIVE.
AND YOU CAN DO
IT WITH ANYBODY.
NOT ALWAYS YOU HAVE A CHANCE
TO DO WITH EVERYBODY,
BUT, YOU KNOW, IF SOMEONE
IS THERE, AND LOVES SOCCER,
YOU DON'T HAVE TO TALK THAT
LANGUAGE OR UNDERSTAND
ANY OTHER LANGUAGES
OR IMAGES.
YOU JUST PLAY SOCCER.

Steve says PIERLUIGI?

The caption changes to “Pierluigi Roi. OMNI Television.”

Pierluigi says IT'S TRUE.
IS SO POPULAR THAT YOU DON'T
EVEN NEED A BALL TO PLAY.
YOU JUST NEED A CAN.
YOU CAN PLAY ON A BEACH, YOU
CAN PLAY IN THE FAVELAS,
YOU CAN PLAY ANYWHERE.
SO IT'S SO POPULAR, THE
MOST IMPORTANT PART,
KIDS FROM AROUND
THE WORLD CAN PLAY.
THEY DON'T NEED ANYTHING ELSE
THAN SIMPLE JOIE DE VIVRE,
AND FUN, TO
PLAY THE GAME.

The caption changes to “The World Cup Experience. Diplomatic Immunity.”

Pablo says COULD I ADD
SOMETHING TO THAT?
ONE OF THE THINGS
ABOUT FOOTBALL.
LET'S CALL IT
FOOTBALL.
LET'S AGREE TO
CALL IT FOOTBALL.

Pierluigi says YES, IT IS.

Pablo continues IS THAT, YOU KNOW,
I'M RELATIVELY TALL,
BUT AMONGST THE GARGANTUANS
WHO PLAY NORTH AMERICAN
SPORTS, I'M NOT
THAT BIG.
FOOTBALL IS AN EQUAL
OPPORTUNITY SPORT.
OTHER THAN A GOAL KEEPER
AND A FEW DEFENDERS,
YOU COULD BE - YOU THINK OF
SOME OF THE GREAT PLAYERS,
MARADONAS, THE PELES,
THEY'VE BEEN DIMINUTIVE.
THEY HAVEN'T BEEN
HUGE, YOU KNOW?
SO IT'S A GAME THAT YOU DON'T
REQUIRE BICEPS LIKE THIGHS.
YOU DON'T REQUIRE A NECK THAT
LOOKS LIKE A TREE TRUNK.
AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE
6'7” TO PLAY THE GAME.
YOU GET THOSE PEOPLE, SO
IN THAT SENSE, ONCE AGAIN,
IT'S A GAME THAT EVERYONE
CAN PLAY, BOYS OR GIRLS.

Tarek says THERE'S DANCE INVOLVED.
THERE'S ACROBATICS, THERE'S
DANCE, THERE'S POETRY.
THERE IS JOY THAT YOU CANNOT
HAVE IN MANY OTHER GAMES.
AND A STRANGE
SENSE OF BELONGING.
AND THE WONDERFUL THING IS
THAT YOUR CHOICE OF TEAM
SHIFTS FROM ROUND
TO ROUND TO ROUND,
'TIL YOU COME
TO THE FINALS.
SO EVERY ROUND YOU HAVE
A DIFFERENT FAVOURITE.

Francisco says THERE'S ALSO SADNESS,
THERE'S ALSO VIOLENCE.

Pablo says IT'S ALL THAT.

Francisco continues SO ABUSIVE SITUATIONS.
THEY PROJECT THE
SOCIETY WE ARE.
THEY PROJECT IT TO THE
FIELD, TO THE STADIUMS,
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
IF YOU ARE MAD WITH POVERTY,
YOU GO AND BEAT SOMEONE ELSE
IN THE STADIUM JUST
BECAUSE YOUR TEAM WIN
OR LOST THAT
PARTICULAR DAY.
SO THE POVERTY, THE
SOCIETY, THE POLITICS,
EVERYTHING IS
INVOLVED IN THE GAME.

Steve says PIERLUIGI, WOULD
YOU SAY SOCCER
IS YOUR FAVOURITE SPORT?
FOOTBALL, FORGIVE ME.

Pierluigi says FOOTBALL, PROBABLY.
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO GO
BACK TO YOUR QUESTION,
WHICH IS NORTH AMERICAN
SOCCER OR FOOTBALL.
I THINK, FIRST OF ALL,
THE AMERICAN TEAM,
THE FEMALE AMERICAN TEAM
IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD.
SO APPARENTLY, FOR THE
FEMALE GENDER, DOES WORK,
SOCCER OR FOOTBALL.
ONE OF THE MOST PLAYED GAMES
IN HIGH SCHOOL AND UNDER
HIGH SCHOOL IN CANADA IT
IS SOCCER, IT IS FOOTBALL.
NOW, THERE IS THE QUESTION
ABOUT WHY SOCCER IS NOT,
OR FOOTBALL IS NOT ON TV
EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.
I THINK IT'S A
QUESTION OF MARKETING.
IT'S A QUESTION
ABOUT OTHER SPORTS.
AND SO I DO BELIEVE SOCCER
IS PLAYED IN CANADA,
IT'S PLAYED IN
THE STATES.
IT'S NOT SO
VISIBLE THOUGH.
AT LEAST NOT YET.

Steve says FRANCISCO, I
WANT TO ASK YOU
BECAUSE YOU WORK
WITH REFUGEES.

Francisco says YES, EXACTLY.

Steve asks WHAT IS THIS TOURNAMENT
LIKE FOR REFUGEES
WHO MAY BE TRYING TO BLEND
IN TO THEIR NEW SOCIETY,
LET'S SAY CANADA,
FOR ARGUMENT SAKE,
BUT WHO VERY MUCH FEEL
THE HEART STRINGS TUGGING
AT THEM FROM THE
OLD COUNTRY?

Francisco says THE MAIN ISSUE THAT
DIVIDES EVERYBODY
IN TERMS OF IMMIGRATION,
EVEN IN SOCCER,
IS IF YOU ARE LEGALLY
IN CANADA OR NOT.
BECAUSE IF YOUR TEAM WINS
AND YOU GO TO THE STREET,
AND YOU GO TO CELEBRATE,
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE PAPERS,
WHAT ABOUT THE POLICE
ASK YOU ABOUT SOMETHING?
SO MAYBE WE ARE GOING TO
HAVE A LOT OF BARBECUES,
AND JUST CELEBRATING
AROUND THE HOUSE,
AND WHATEVER BECAUSE
WE HAVE A SITUATION HERE.
THE NUMBER OF NON-ESTABLISHED
PEOPLE IN TORONTO
IS GROWING, AND
WE KNOW THAT.
AND ALL OF THEM
ARE SOCCER FANS.

Steve says WE SORT OF CHUCKLED BECAUSE
THAT'S A STRANGE DILEMMA
TO FIND YOURSELF IN, BUT I
GUESS IT'S SERIOUS BUSINESS
FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN
THE MIDDLE OF IT.

Francisco says IT IS A SERIOUS
BUSINESS.
AND CELEBRATION IS A
SERIOUS BUSINESS, AS WELL.
AND TO SHOW THAT YOU
ARE FROM ECUADOR,
BUT YOU DON'T HAVE THE
PERMANENT RESIDENCE STATUS,
AND ANYBODY COULD
ASK YOU FOR PAPERS,
THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
WOULD BE VERY FRUSTRATING
FOR PEOPLE, TO SHOW
THEIR HAPPINESS,
BUT IN THE SAME TIME,
TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT
WHO IS AROUND YOU.

Steve asks PABLO, DO YOU KNOW OF YOUNG
KIDS, WHO I DON'T KNOW,
THEY ARE REJECTING
SOCCER, FOOTBALL BECAUSE,
AND LET'S SAY THEY
WANT TO PREFER HOCKEY
BECAUSE THEY WANT TO TRY TO
FIT IN TO THE NEW SOCIETY?
IS THAT A PHENOMENON
THAT TAKES PLACE?

Pablo says WELL, I THINK ONE DIMENSION
THAT WE HAVE TO INCLUDE
INTO FOOTBALL IS THE
CLASS DIMENSION.
AND NOTWITHSTANDING THE FACT
THAT A GREAT MANY CANADIANS
THINK IT'S THE
PEOPLE'S GAME;
HOCKEY IS A VERY
EXPENSIVE GAME.
SO IN A SENSE, THERE'S
A PROCESS WHEREBY,
I THINK THERE'S A
NATURAL GRAVITATION,
AND EVEN IF WE, SO TO SPEAK,
CONTROL FOR WINTER,
THERE'S AN ACCESSIBILITY
ABOUT FOOTBALL.
SO I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THE
ASSIMILATIVE PROCESS.
AND OF COURSE, YOU'VE
GOT THE PARENTS
WHO CARRY WITH THEM
THEIR OWN PASSIONS.
SO THAT'S GOING TO BE ONE
OF THE BOUNDARIES WITHIN
WHICH A LOT OF YOUNG
PEOPLE FIND THEMSELVES.
I'M NOT SURE YOU FIND
THAT EASY TRANSITION,
AT LEAST FOR FIRST
GENERATION PEOPLE.

Steve asks YOU'RE FROM ITALY, I
PRESUME, ORIGINALLY?

Pierluigi says YES.

Steve asks HOW DOES THE EXPERIENCE
OF FOLLOWING THE WORLD CUP
DIFFER FOR THE ITALIAN-
CANADIAN COMMUNITY HERE,
VERSUS THE WAY IT WILL BE
CELEBRATED BACK IN ITALY
IN THE OLD COUNTRY?

Pierluigi says WELL, IT'S
VERY DIFFERENT.
I THINK IN TORONTO IT'S
MUCH BETTER SIMPLY BECAUSE
YOU HAVE DISCOUNTED WITH
THE OTHER NATIONAL TEAM,
THE OTHER COMMUNITIES,
EVERYBODY CELEBRATING.
SO BASICALLY,
1990, FOR EXAMPLE,
ITALY WAS THIRD,
I BELIEVE.
IT WAS HOLDING ITALY
THERE A COUPLE OF TIMES.
THE COUNTRY
WAS MOURNING.
SO HERE, THERE IS NOT THAT
SORT OF SITUATION WHERE,
YOU KNOW, IF ITALIANS
ARE MOURNING,
PROBABLY BRAZILIANS ARE HAPPY
OR CHEERING, OR GERMAN.
SO THERE IS ALWAYS
THIS CONSTANT PARTY
GOES ON THAT MAKE
THE CITY HAPPY,
THAT MAKES THE CITY
MORE LIVABLE, I THINK.

Steve says WELL, ONE OF THE GREAT
THINGS ABOUT THIS GAME,
OF COURSE, IS THE
NATIONALISM THAT
YOU JUST SEE UNBRIDLED
ALL OVER THE PLACE.
AND LET'S TALK A
BIT ABOUT THAT.
TAREK, YOU'RE ORIGINALLY
FROM PAKISTAN, RIGHT?

Tarek says YES.

Steve asks HOW BIG IS THE
GAME IN PAKISTAN?

Tarek says NOT VERY BIG, UNFORTUNATELY
BECAUSE AS PABLO SAID,
ISSUES OF CLASS HAVE
ENTERED SOUTH ASIA
IN QUITE A
DRAMATIC FASHION.
SO ALL FREEDOM FIGHTERS AND
NATIONALIST LEADERS WENT TO
OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE, AND
CAME BACK WITH THE NOTION,
AND BROUGHT IT, THAT CRICKET
WAS THE GAME OF THE ELITES,
AND THE SOPHISTICATED
PEOPLE, AND SOCCER,
OR FOOTBALL, WAS
THE POOR MAN'S GAME.
AND WHAT HAPPENED,
PARTICULARLY IN PAKISTAN
IS THAT OUR AFRICAN
PAKISTANI COMMUNITY,
MANY PEOPLE DON'T KNOW
THERE'S A VERY LARGE AFRICAN
POPULATION IN PAKISTAN,
IT WAS RELEGATED TO THEM,
AS A SPORTS REPORTER
IN THE EARLY '70s,
I SOMETIMES USED TO GET
VERY UPSET BECAUSE ONLY
BLACK PAKISTANIS WOULD BE
ABLE TO PLAY THIS GAME.
IT WOULD BE FAR OUT IN
THE POOREST DISTRICTS.
AND NOBODY IN HIS RIGHT
MIND FROM THE UPPER MIDDLE
CLASSES WOULD PLAY SOCCER.
IN FACT, THE JOKE
USED TO BE IN BRITAIN
OF PAKISTANIS IS, THAT IF
THEIR SON STARTED PLAYING
SOCCER, THEIR
FATHER WOULD SAY,
I DIDN'T COME TO ENGLAND
FOR YOU TO DISGRACE ME
BY PLAYING SOCCER.
WHAT ARE WE GOING
TO TELL BACK HOME?
YOU DIDN'T TAKE CRICKET,
YOU TOOK SOCCER?

Pablo says WELL, IN THE CONTEXT
OF AFRICA, AND NIGERIA,
FOR EXAMPLE, I HAVE AN UNCLE
WHO COULD HAVE PLAYED
FOR THE VERY EARLY
NIGERIAN NATIONAL TEAM.
BUT THERE IT IS DIFFERENT
BECAUSE IN MANY WAYS
THE MIDDLE CLASSES
WENT TO THESE SCHOOLS,
THESE LATE COLONIAL
SCHOOLS, WHERE THERE WAS
THE INTENT TO
BUILD CHARACTER.
SO FOOTBALL WAS SEEN AS
ONE OF THE VEHICLES
FOR BUILDING CHARACTER.
SO IN AFRICA, THE SPORT
IS, IN A SENSE, CLASSLESS,
IN THAT ALL PEOPLE -

Steve says ALTHOUGH, DO YOU NOT SEE
SOME IRONY IN THE FACT
THAT HERE'S AFRICA PLAYING
A GAME THAT ESSENTIALLY
IT IMPORTED FROM ITS COLONIAL
MASTERS, ONCE UPON A TIME.

Pablo says NO.

Steve asks NO IRONY IN THAT?

Pablo says NO, THERE'S NO
IRONY IN THE SENSE -
ONE OF THE WONDERFUL
CONTRADICTIONS ABOUT
MIGRATION, WHAT TODAY
WE CALL GLOBALIZATION,
IS THAT THE GAME MAY HAVE ITS
ORIGINS IN A PARTICULAR PLACE,
BUT IT'S PRECISELY - AND
I'M NOT GIVING CREDIT
FOR THE BRITISH FOR THIS,
I'M JUST SAYING IT'S
A REALITY THAT WHEN
YOU, SO TO SPEAK,
EXPORT THESE THINGS,
PEOPLE TAKE THEM UP
AND MAKE THEM THEIR OWN.
AND OF COURSE THAT IS ONE
OF THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
ABOUT FOOTBALL.
IS THAT PEOPLE
MADE IT THEIR OWN.
SO THIS IS WHERE
THE STYLES DEVELOP.

Tarek says THE AFRICAN TEAM THAT
MADE IT IN THE WORLD CUP
IS TUNISIA, WHICH
I'M ROOTING FOR.
GO, TUNISIA.
THEY BEAT MEXICO
3-0, IT WAS '78,
AND TARAK DHIAB WAS
THEIR HERO AT THE TIME.
IT MADE AFRICA
ENTER SOCCER.
AND THE BEST THING IS
THAT THE TOP PLAYER
OF THE TUNISIANS
TODAY IS A BRAZILIAN,
WHO IS A TUNISIAN
NATIONAL.

Steve says THIS IS GLOBALIZATION.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM
FRANCISCO, ORIGINALLY?

Francisco says EL SALVADOR.

Steve says EL SALVADOR.
OKAY, HELP US UNDERSTAND
THE RIVALRIES HERE.
IF, FOR EXAMPLE, WE
WERE TALKING HOCKEY
IN THE OLYMPICS, IF
TEAM CANADA IS OUT,
THERE'S NO WAY IN THE WORLD
ANYBODY IN THIS COUNTRY
IS GOING TO CHEER FOR
TEAM USA, RIGHT?
WE'RE GOING TO CHEER
FOR SWEDEN OR FINLAND,
OR SOMEBODY ELSE, BEFORE
WE CHEER FOR THEM.
IF YOUR TEAM IS OUT,
WHO IS THE NEXT TEAM
EVERYBODY CHEERS FOR?

Francisco says LATIN AMERICA.
WE HAVE THE WHOLE LATIN
AMERICA TO CHEER FOR.
WE HAVE THE SAME LANGUAGE,
WE HAVE THE SAME CULTURE.
WE DANCE IN THE SAME WAY.
WE EAT MORE OR LESS
IN THE SAME WAY.
WE PLAY SOCCER, AND WE LOVE
SOCCER IN THE SAME WAY.
SO IN THAT CASE, FOR
ME, IT'S LATIN AMERICA.

Tarek says THEN YOU GO
TO AFRICA.
THEN HE GOES
FOR TOGO.

Francisco says THEN, OF COURSE,
AFRICA, ASIA.
EXCEPT EUROPE.
[laughter]

Steve says ANYBODY BUT EUROPE.

Francisco says ANYBODY BUT EUROPE.
YOU KNOW WHY?
COLONIALISM.

Tarek says THIS IS THE THIRD WORLD
AGAINST THE FIRST WORLD.
IT'S LIKE WE'RE
FIGHTING A WAR.

Steve says LET'S ASK THE
EUROPEAN.
PIERLUIGI, IF ITALY IS
OUT, WHO DO YOU CHEER FOR?

Pierluigi says WELL...
I THINK FOR AN AFRICA TEAM,
SIMPLY BECAUSE IT'S ABOUT
A DECADE THAT A LOT
OF AFRICAN PLAYERS
ARE PLAYING IN EUROPE.
THEY ARE PLAYING
VERY WELL.
THEY ARE RAISING
THEIR STATUS.
AND IT'S TIME FOR
THEM TO REALLY GET TO
THE QUARTER FINAL,
SEMIFINAL POINT.

Tarek says BUT ITALY IS NOT
A EUROPEAN COUNTRY.
THEY ARE MISTAKEN.
ITALY-

Pierluigi asks WE'RE IMPORTED?

Tarek says NO, NO, WE'VE ADOPTED ITALY
AS A DEVELOPING WORLD.
IT'S OUR COUNTRY,
YOU KNOW?

Steve says OKAY, PABLO,
NIGERIA IS OUT.
WHO DO YOU
CHEER FOR?

Pablo says ANY OF THE
AFRICAN TEAMS.
AGAIN, AS HE WAS SAYING,
IT'S A PAN-AFRICAN THING.
IRRESPECTIVE OF - A
FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE,
IN FACT, ONE OF MY FORMER
MENTORS WAS TELLING ME
HE WAS IN A REFUGEE CAMP IN
SUDAN BACK WHEN ITALY
BEAT NIGERIA, A
NUMBER OF YEARS AGO.
I FORGET WHO IT WAS
SCORED THE GOAL,
HE SAID, YOU COULD
HEAR A PIN DROP.
PEOPLE LISTENING
TO THEIR RADIO.
AND YOU COULD HEAR
THAT PIN DROP
THROUGHOUT THE
WHOLE CONTINENT.
SO IRRESPECTIVE OF THE LOCAL
RIVALRIES BETWEEN CAMEROON
AND NIGERIA, BETWEEN
NIGERIA AND SENEGAL,
EVEN BETWEEN NIGERIA AND
SOUTH AFRICA OR SOMETHING,
ONCE ONE TEAM IS OUT, THEY
WILL GO FOR ALL THE TEAMS.
SO DESPITE THE FIERCE
NATIONALISM THAT PRESENTS
ITSELF DURING FOOTBALL
IN A PLACE LIKE NIGERIA,
THEY WOULD NEVERTHELESS
SUPPORT THE OTHER TEAM.

Steve says FRANCISCO, WE SUGGESTED IN
THE INTRO THAT WARS HAVE BEEN
POSTPONED, SO THAT PEOPLE,
SOLDIERS, ANYBODY,
COULD WATCH THE
WORLD CUP.
WARS HAVE STARTED
OVER IT, TOO, RIGHT?

Francisco says YES, EXACTLY.

Steve asks WANT TO TALK ABOUT
YOUR SITUATION?

Francisco says I WAS 11 YEARS OLD
WHEN MY COUNTRY
WENT INTO WAR
AGAINST HONDURAS.
AND THE WHOLE EXCUSE, AND THE
WHOLE THING YOU HAVE SEEN
IN THE MEDIA, AND TV, RADIO,
THE GOVERNMENT TALKING,
ALL THE POLITICIANS
SUPPORTING THE WAR,
WAS THE WAR FOR
SOCCER, FOOTBALL WAR.
100 HOURS.
TWO VERY POOR
COUNTRIES.

Tarek says AND THEY RAN OUT OF
AMMUNITION, THEY STOPPED IT.

Francisco continues TEN YEARS IN
THAT STUPID WAR
FOR 100 HOURS
FOR NO REASON.
EL SALVADOR WENT TO THE
FINAL OF THE WORLD CUP
AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME,
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND,
EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT
ECONOMICS AND ABOUT
INVESTMENTS AND ABOUT
OTHER KIND OF INTEREST.
BUT THE FOOTBALL WAS
THE ONE THAT WAS USED
TO MOBILIZE THE PEOPLE.
AND THE PEOPLE TO BE
AGAINST HONDURANS
FROM ONE DAY TO
ANOTHER ONE.
THAT WAS AN AMAZING
EXPERIENCE FOR ME.
REALLY HIT ME
IN THE MIDDLE.
THAT'S WHY I BECOME SO
PLURAL IN TERM OF NATIONALS,
IN TERM OF CITIZENS,
IN TERM OF CULTURES,
AND IN TERM OF
EVERYTHING.
I WANT TO LOVE
EVERYBODY.
AND I WANT TO ENJOY
THE SOCCER GAME,
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
PLAYING EVERYBODY
AGAINST EVERYBODY,
THAT'S THE BEST THING
THAT COULD HAPPEN
IN THE UNIVERSE.

Steve says WE ALL KNOW ABOUT
SOCCER HOOLIGANISM.
AND WE HOPE NOT TO
SEE ANY OF IT HERE.
BUT IT IS, I THINK
IT'S FAIR TO SAY,
MOST CLOSELY ASSOCIATED
WITH BRITISH SOCCER FANS.
I WANT TO KNOW, PABLO, IF
THAT IS ALSO A FEATURE
OF AFRICAN SOCCER FANS?

Pablo says UNFORTUNATELY, YES.

Steve says IT IS.

Pablo says THEY DON'T HAVE THE
RESOURCES TO TRAVEL
NECESSARILY TO DIFFERENT
CITIES AND DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES TO ENGAGE IN THE
THUGGERY THAT YOU SEE
IN VARIOUS PARTS
OF EUROPE.
BUT THAT SAID, THERE
HAVE BEEN RIOTS.
THERE HAS BEEN VIOLENCE
COMMITTED AGAINST OPPOSING
TEAMS, BOTH AT THE NATIONAL
AND AT THE LOCAL LEVELS.
BUT IT EXPRESSES ITSELF
IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
I THINK ONE OF THE PECULIAR
FEATURES, FOR EXAMPLE,
SOME OF THE VIOLENCE THAT
TAKES PLACE IN EUROPE
IS IT'S NOT OF
ORDINARY POOR PEOPLE.
MANY OF THE HOOLIGANS,
MANY OF THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE ENGAGED IN THIS
ACTIVITY IN EUROPE
ARE ACTUALLY FROM FAIRLY
MIDDLE-CLASS BACKGROUNDS.
THERE'S A DIFFERENT - I'M
NOT TRYING TO IN ANY WAY
EXCULPATE PEOPLE IN
VARIOUS PARTS OF AFRICA
ENGAGING IN THESE
TYPES OF THINGS,
BUT NEVERTHELESS,
IT DOES EXIST.
BUT IT'S A
DIFFERENT KIND.

Steve says TAREK, HOW CONCERNED ARE
YOU THAT THIS WORLD CUP,
IN GERMANY, WE HAVE ALREADY
HEARD A FEW REPORTS,
ARE GOING TO SERVE AS A
KIND OF FOCAL POINT
FOR THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT
MOVEMENT TO DEMONSTRATE,
MAKE TROUBLE, THAT
KIND OF THING?

Tarek says THERE IS THAT
FACTOR THERE.
I MEAN, GERMANY IS NOT
KNOWN FOR ITS HOSPITALITY,
EVEN TO THE NEXT DOOR POLES,
OR THE EAST EUROPEANS
OVER THERE, BUT THE
IRANIANS ARE BEING WELCOMED
BY THE NEO-NAZIS
OVER THERE.
THERE ARE STRANGE
ALLIANCES.
BUT I THINK THE PROBLEM
HAS BEEN NIPPED IN THE BUD
BECAUSE OF THE EARLY
PUBLICITY OF THIS,
AND THE GERMAN STATE
OFFICIALS, YOU KNOW,
TAKING CARE OF IT.
BUT THERE IS ONE ASPECT OF
FOOTBALL THAT YOU MISSED.
THAT'S THE PAN-ISLAMIST
SOLIDARITY.
SO THIS HAS BEEN TURKEY
AND GERMANY ARE PLAYING,
AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
NEVER HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE
PRAYED TO GOD, A BILLION
MUSLIMS ASKING FOR JUST
ONE GOAL, AND HE DIDN'T
GIVE IT TO THEM.

Steve says AND IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Tarek continues HE DIDN'T GIVE IT.
AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S
WHAT I'M TELLING PEOPLE
YOU'VE GOT TO
DO IT YOURSELF.

Steve says TELL THE JOKE
ABOUT THAT.
YOU TOLD A JOKE OFF THE AIR
ABOUT THIS, GO AHEAD.
I'M GOING TO PUT
YOU ON THE SPOT.

Tarek says PEOPLE PRAYING ACROSS THE
ROOM IN TORONTO, AND SAYING,
WELL, YOU KNOW, JUST PRAY,
ONE GOAL WOULD BE ENOUGH.
I SAID, LISTEN, YOU'RE
PRAYING FOR ONE GOAL
HE'S NOT GIVING
IT TO YOU.
YOU'RE PRAYING FOR PALESTINE,
YOU THINK THAT'S WHAT'S
GOING TO COME THROUGH HIM?
SO YOU BETTER GET
YOUR ACT TOGETHER
IN DOING SOMETHING
PRACTICALLY.
PRAYING IS NOT GOING
TO GET YOU ANYWHERE.

Steve says LET'S IN OUR REMAINING
MINUTES HERE,
TALK ABOUT HOW THE
DIFFERENCES IN THE COUNTRIES
ARE OFTEN MANIFESTED ON
THE SOCCER PITCH ITSELF.
FRANCISCO, WHAT DO DIFFERENT
STYLES OF PLAY SAY
ABOUT THE DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES THEMSELVES?

Francisco says OH, LISTEN, FOR INSTANCE,
IN CENTRAL AMERICA,
WHEN WE PLAY
WITH EACH OTHER,
WE PLAY ON THE SAME
LEVEL WHERE WE LIVE,
WHERE WE ARE EQUALS.
WE TRY TO WIN
THE GAMES.
WE TRY TO DO
DIFFERENT THINGS.
WHEN YOU SEE THE GAMES,
IT'S MUCH BETTER.
WHEN WE GO OUT OF OUR
REGION, AND WE GO TO PLAY
OTHER COUNTRIES, WE
BECOME VERY DEFENSIVE.
WE SELF-RESTRAIN
OURSELVES.

Steve asks WHY?

Francisco says BECAUSE WE ARE
UNDEVELOPED COUNTRIES.
AND WE ARE TRYING TO USE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO FREE TRADE,
THE OPPORTUNITY TO THE
MAKILAS AND EVERYTHING
IS AN OPPORTUNITY THAT
APPEARED TO US.
SO IN THAT CASE, WE
DO COUNTERATTACK.
WE ALWAYS TRY TO SAY -
BECAUSE WE ARE SCARED IN A WAY.
AND BECAUSE THE HISTORY
OF US IS DOMINATION.

Steve says SO THERE IS A KIND OF
INFERIORITY THAT IS
MANIFESTED ON
THE FIELD.
IS THAT WHAT YOU
ARE SAYING?

Francisco says I THINK SO.
WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THAT WE
ARE NOT IN THE SAME LEVEL
OF GERMANY OR BRAZIL OR
YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
AND WE HAVE TO PLAY THE
GAME IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
AND WE TRY TO DEFEND AND
TO BE READY FOR ANYTHING.
AND TO USE JUST
THE OPPORTUNITIES
THAT CAPITALISM GAVE US.

Pierluigi says EVERYTHING CHANGED
SINCE TEN YEARS AGO,
WE HAD SOUTH
KOREA WITH HIDDINK,
WHICH IS FROM HOLLAND,
AND HE CHANGED COMPLETELY
THE WAY SOUTH
KOREA WAS PLAYING.
AND HE BECAME ONE OF
THE POWER IN SOCCER
IN JUST A FEW YEARS.
SAME FOR JAPAN.
THERE IS A
GLOBALIZATION.
WHEN YOU HAVE A COACH
GOING FROM GERMANY
AND COACHING JAPAN, YOU
SEE THE DIFFERENCE.
OR ZICO COMING
FROM BRAZIL
AND GOING TO JAPAN.
IT'S DEFINITELY CHANGING THE
WAY SOCCER IS BEING PLAYED.
NOT JUST IN THE NATIONAL
TEAM, ALSO IN THE CLUBS,
ALSO IN THE MINOR LEVEL.

Steve says WE MAKE A
COMPARISON OFTEN -

Tarek says THE FACT EUROPEAN MANAGERS
ARE ALL OVER THE ARAB WORLD
MANAGING THE TEAMS,
WHETHER IT'S TUNISIA,
WHETHER IT'S
SAUDI ARABIA.
SAUDI ARABIA HAS HAD MORE
MANAGERS AT ANY TIME,
AND THEY KEEP REVOLVING,
BUT THE BRAZILIANS
ARE ALSO THERE.
BUT THAT ASPECT DOES
AFFECT DEVELOPING.
FRANCISCO WAS RIGHT.

Pablo says WELL, I MEAN, IT WORKS
IN TWO DIFFERENT WAYS.
NIGERIANS HAVE NEVER FELT A
SENSE OF INFERIORITY COMPLEX.
AND THAT HAS TO DO, I THINK,
WITH THE NIGERIAN PERSONA.
I THINK THE SAME IS
TRUE TO A LARGE MEASURE,
THAT'S TRUE ALSO FOR
THE CAMEROONIANS.
I THINK FOR SOME OF THE
OTHER TEAMS, HOWEVER,
THERE WASN'T THE SAME
KIND OF CONFIDENCE.
AND I THINK THAT IS PART
OF A NATIONAL CHARACTER.
THERE'S A KIND OF BRAGGADOCIO,
THAT'S ONE ASPECT OF IT.
BUT THE OTHER ASPECT OF IT,
AND WE JUST SAID IT RIGHT,
IS THAT INCREASINGLY, YOU
DO GET NATIONAL STYLES.
AND THAT WILL
MAINTAIN ITSELF.
BUT THE ISSUE,
INCREASINGLY IS,
YOU HAVE NIGERIANS
PLAYING IN ITALY,
YOU HAVE NIGERIANS
PLAYING IN THE U.K.
YOU HAVE NIGERIANS
PLAYING IN SAUDI ARABIA.
SO THE GLOBALIZATION OF
THE GAME HAS STANDARDIZED
CERTAIN KINDS OF
APPROACHES AND TECHNIQUE.

Steve says OKAY, BUT TELL ME THIS,
PABLO, TELL ME THIS.
WE OFTEN MAKE THE COMPARISON
IF YOU ARE A POOR BLACK KID
GROWING UP IN THE
GHETTOS OF THE BRONX,
SOMEHOW BECAUSE OF
THAT, YOU WORK HARDER
AT BASKETBALL AND YOU
END UP IN THE NBA.

Pablo says THAT'S THE MYTH.

Steve says IT'S ONE IN A MILLION,
BUT THAT'S THE STORY.
DOES THE POVERTY OF THE
DEVELOPING WORLD
CREATE SOCCER PLAYERS
IN THE SAME WAY?

Pablo says ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.
I'LL DEFER TO HIM -

Tarek says NOT IN SOUTH ASIA.

Pablo says BUT THAT MAY BE
THE EXCEPTION.

Francisco says LISTEN, IN EUROPE, ONE OF
THE ELEMENTS OF TRAFFICKING
OF HUMAN BEINGS IS
SOCCER, IS FOOTBALL.
NOW, THEY ARE STEALING
THE WONDERFUL KIDS
FROM EVERYWHERE IN AFRICA,
AND BRING THEM TO PLAY.
AND THEY BUY THE KIDS,
AND THEY SELL IT
TO THE TEAMS IN EUROPE.
THE SYSTEM KNOW
ABOUT THIS.
IN THE SAME WAY THEY ARE NOW
FORCING WOMEN IN TRAFFICKING
OF HUMAN BEINGS TO GERMANY
JUST TO SERVE IN SEXUAL,
YOU KNOW, LABOUR TO ALL THESE
FANS THAT WILL BE AROUND.
THAT'S WHY THIS TABLE IS ONLY
MEN, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
BECAUSE SOCCER IS STILL
DISCRIMINATING AGAINST WOMEN.
WE HAVE TO BREAK IT.
SO THERE IS DIFFERENT
THINGS THERE THAT ARE NOT
THAT EASY TO UNDERSTAND.

Steve says AT WHAT AGE ARE
YOU TALKING ABOUT
THAT THIS BEGINS
TO HAPPEN?

Pablo says IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY
AGE, FROM 13 TO 14.

Steve says REALLY?

Francisco says YES, EXACTLY.

Pablo says YOU GET PLAYERS,
FOR EXAMPLE,
THERE'S A WONDERFUL
PLAYER, LIONEL MESSI,
HE'S PLAYING FOR
ARGENTINA.
HE WAS 14 OR 15, 14 WHEN
HE WAS FIRST LOOKED AT.
HE WAS PLAYING FOR ONE
OF THE JUNIOR TEAMS,
THE BOCA JUNIORS.
AND HE WAS SCOUTED
AT THAT AGE.
AND HE WAS ACTUALLY
TRANSFERRED TO SPAIN.
SO A NUMBER OF MAJOR CLUBS,
INCLUDING MY FAVOURITE CLUB,
ARSENAL, HAVE THESE
RELATIONSHIPS TO FEEDER POOLS.
AND OF COURSE YOU'VE GOT
THESE MASSIVE POPULATIONS.

Tarek says BUT THAT'S NOT
A BAD THING.

Pablo says NO, NO, IT'S
NOT A BAD THING,

Francisco says I AM TALKING ABOUT THE
ILLEGAL MARKET THAT
IS THERE FOR YOUNG
PEOPLE WHEN THEY BUY.

Pierluigi says BUT THE ESSENCE THAT A POOR
COUNTRY, OR A POOR KID,
CAN MAKE IT AND
BECOME A MILLIONAIRE,
THIS IS ACTUALLY THE
ESSENCE OF SOCCER.
BASICALLY BECAUSE EL SALVADOR
CAN WIN AGAINST ITALY,
OR SOUTH KOREA CAN
WIN AGAINST BRAZIL,
AND CAN CHANGE THE
FACE OF A COMMUNITY.

Steve says OKAY, WITH TWO
MINUTES LEFT HERE,
I WANT TO GO
AROUND THE TABLE,
AND I WANT EACH OF YOU,
QUICKLY, TO TELL ME,
FIRST OF ALL, WHO
ARE YOU CHEERING FOR?

Pierluigi says I'M CHEERING
FOR ITALY.

Steve says WHAT A SHOCK.
OKAY.
TAREK?

Tarek says TUNISIA.
BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING
TO DEFEAT SAUDI ARABIA.

Steve says WELL, THAT'S NOT
SAYING MUCH, RIGHT?

Tarek says BUT FOR ME IT IS,
AND SECOND ROUND,
MY LOYALTIES
WILL CHANGE.

Steve says OKAY.
FRANCISCO?

Francisco says LATIN AMERICA.

Steve says WHOEVER IN
LATIN AMERICA.

Francisco says WHATEVER, WHATEVER.
DOESN'T MATTER.
WE ARE GOING
TO WIN, MAN.

Steve asks DOES THAT
INCLUDE BRAZIL?

Francisco says OH, YES, OF COURSE.
LATIN AMERICA, WE ADOPT
BRAZIL, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?
PARTICULARLY AT THIS
TIME OF THE YEAR.

Steve says I BET.
PABLO?

Pablo says ANY OF THE FIVE
AFRICAN COUNTRIES,
BUT I WOULD HAVE TO SAY,
PARTICULARLY, GHANA,
AND ANGOLA, FOR
DIFFERENT REASONS.
ANGOLA, I DON'T
THINK STAND A CHANCE,
BUT THERE'S A SOFT PART
IN MY SOUL FOR THEM
BECAUSE OF THE
EXTRAORDINARY DIFFICULTIES
THAT THE COUNTRY
HAS UNDERGONE.
BUT IF I HAD TO PICK A
TEAM, IT WOULD BE GHANA.

Steve says KNOWING HOW MUCH ALL OF YOU
ADORE THE UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA, AND IN PARTICULAR,
THE ADMINISTRATION
IN POWER RIGHT NOW.
HOW WILL YOU REACT IF THE
AMERICANS WIN THE WORLD CUP?

Pablo says I THINK IT WOULD BE
A WONDERFUL THING
IF THEY WIN THE
WORLD CUP.

Steve asks YOU DO?

Pablo says I DO.

Tarek says IT WOULD BE
GREAT FOR SOCCER.

Pablo says IT WOULD BE
WONDERFUL FOR SOCCER.
AND I THINK IT
WOULD BE GREAT -

Pierluigi says IT WOULD BE THE BEST
THING FOR SOCCER
OR FOOTBALL IN
NORTH AMERICA.

Steve asks BECAUSE?

Pierluigi says BECAUSE THE
MARKET WILL CHANGE.

Tarek says I CANNOT, I CANNOT
GET MYSELF - NO, NO.
FRANCISCO.

Francisco says IT'S NOT IDENTIFIED
WITH AN IMPERIAL PROJECT.
YOU KNOW WHY I OPPOSE
THAT BECAUSE AGAIN,
THE RULE IS, I HAVE MONEY,
I CAN BUY WHATEVER I WANT.

Steve says THEY HAVEN'T BEEN
ABLE TO YET, THOUGH.

Francisco says THAT'S NOT TRUE.
THEY ARE ON
THEIR WAY.
AND I WILL
SUFFER THAT DAY.
BECAUSE FOOTBALL -

Tarek says I WILL GO ON STRIKE.

Steve says LAST GO AROUND
THE TABLE.
WE KNOW WHO YOU
ARE CHEERING FOR.
WHO IS GOING TO WIN?

Pierluigi says I THINK THE PEOPLE.

Steve asks WHO?

Pierluigi says I THINK THE PEOPLE
ALL TOGETHER,
THE PEOPLE WHO ARE
CHEERING IN TORONTO.
DOESN'T MATTER
WHO IS WINNING.

Steve says OKAY, THAT'S
INTERESTING.

Tarek says BRAZIL.

Steve says BRAZIL YOU THINK.

Francisco says LATIN AMERICA.
INCLUDING BRAZIL.

Pablo says I THINK IT'S
BRAZIL'S TO LOSE,
BUT I ALSO LIKE
ARGENTINA.

Steve says NOBODY PICKS GERMANY.
GERMANY IS THE
BIG FAVOURITE.
IT'S ON THEIR HOME
SOIL THIS TIME.

Pablo says IT'S NOT SUFFICIENT.

Steve says OKAY, OKAY.
LISTEN, I WANT THANK
ALL FOUR OF YOU
FOR COMING IN TONIGHT.
THIS WAS A REAL CHANGE
OF PACE FOR US HERE,
AND A REALLY
FASCINATING DISCUSSION.

Francisco says BEAUTIFUL IDEA.

Steve says THANKS SO MUCH.
A BEAUTIFUL IDEA
FOR A BEAUTIFUL GAME.
THAT'S A NICE CLOSER.

Pablo says THANK YOU.

Tarek says THANKS A LOT.

Watch: The Beautiful Game