The Pornography of Sects

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Pornography of Sects

Interesting title eh? Well, about a month ago I wrote about a book I was reading - "How Soccer Explains the World" by Franklin Foer, and I mentioned that I'd write something about it when I was done. Well, I finished the book about a week later, but I didn't write anything... until now. I read a story the today about recent events in Glasgow, where Uefa have actually given the fans of Glasgow Rangers a booklet of songs and chants that are acceptable. Failure to abide by the book, and sing sectarian songs will result in fines and other punishments.

In the book, there's a chapter "How Soccer explains the Pornography of Sects", which goes into great detail on the sectarian issues in Glasgow, and how they're primarily focused on the Rangers V Celtic. There was a great deal in the chapter that I wasn't aware of (heck, I've never even visited Scotland, let alone gone into great detail over it's history - outside of Hadrian's wall, and Macbeth). Yes, I knew the Catholic V Protestant rivalry between the 2 clubs, who could miss that? But I wasn't aware of the following of the 2 clubs in Belfast, although it really does make sense.

The other thing that I learnt from the book that I didn't know? That Tottenham Hotspurs are known as "The Yids" because of the Jewish heritage in the local area. While talking about hooliganism, and genocide committed by armies that started out as soccer supporters (Serbia), the author does end the book with hope, talking about how soccer can unite people such as in Iran, where attempts to quash the game have met with resistance from all corners...

(wonder how many confused hits I'll get from this post with pornography in the title?) ;)


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