a different side of Israel

Springtime in Deutschland and the 2006 World Cup

Soccer Fan 2006Copyright: AFP /

Ah, Spring! That time of year when everything is renewed and a young man’s (and woman’s) fancy turns. Though actually occurring in late Spring the 2006 World Cup Football competition brings many people together every four years to watch the games and drink gallons of beer and other potions of alcoholic content. With the fest being held this year in Germany, especially in such emotionally sensitive cities like Berlin and Nuremberg, this year’s competition could turn out to be more than just ‘interesting’, to say the least.

To add to the cauldron of ethnic and regional strife that often accompanies this month long competition, this year’s event may have some even stronger ‘spices’ added if Iran’s President Mahmoud Admaninejd decides to ‘pitch up’ for the games, should his country’s team make it into the second round of the competition. What has previously been a ‘competition’ between inebriated fans from countries like the U.K. and Ireland, and other fans on the European mainland, may turn into something a bit different this year. With Germany’s win over Costa Rica, seen by many as a triumph of Northern Europeans over ‘others’, the addition of the Iranians may make the coming days even more controversial, should Mr. Ahmadinejab actually show up.

In previous World Cup competitions, problems with violence, or ‘hooliganism’ has often resulted in both wide scale injuries and property damage being inflicted by people who appeared to come to the host country to do nothing but wreak mayhem and wind up filling up that country’s jails. Germany has been bracing itself for months for this year’s contest, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government realizes the sensitivities involved in it being held in Germany.

For Israelis and other Jews attending the matches, they might find themselves being caught right in middle of the ‘warring factions’ particularly the right wing neo-Nazis, and various Islamic groups who are supporting Iran and other teams from Muslim and African countries. While specifically banned from the games themselves, alcoholic beverages of all kinds will be readily available in pubs and other watering holes located a short distance away. Drugs off all kinds will be there for the taking as well, and may result in an even more dangerous catalyst between various groups of fans.

No doubt, the German security forces have been preparing themselves for what could turn into a ‘long, hot summer’ of hooliganism and violence. British fans, who usually add their ‘unique’ contribution to these events, are most likely already there in full force, as well as those from, Italy, France, and Scandinavia, not to mention Germany itself. Add several thousand Muslim fans, most of whom already live in Germany and other European countries, and you have more than just spicy ‘ethnic curry’ – you have Mexican jalapinos! And anybody who has eaten Mexico’s contribution to the hot pepper market knows what is meant by this term.

Perhaps everything will turn out all right, in spite of it all and everyone will be able to sit back and enjoy the remaining games. If not, then look out for flying chairs!

1 Comment

  1. Israel handelt unverantwortlich unverhältnismässig.
    Europa muss sich von dieser Barbarei distanzieren und die Palestinenser helfen.

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