Category Archives: Football

Citric Bite: Could the Srna Doctrine Have Rendered Lockdown Unnecessary?

With much of the previously locked-down planet emerging from some of the most stringent restrictions on movement, employment and enjoyment in recorded peacetime history, the process of totting up the bill for this hitherto inconceivable policy will soon begin in earnest – and it’s unlikely to make for pretty reading. The seismic economic consequences of more than three months of drastically curtailed global economic activity are likely to be immensely far-reaching, and prompt an obvious question: was there a better way to combat COVID-19?

The models of Sweden, Belarus and Taiwan – nations which chose not to grind to a shuddering halt in the face of a virus with an asymptomatic case rate of 50-80% – have been extensively cited, if not yet copied. But largely lost in the discourse has been any serious discussion of diet – inarguably one of the great arbiters of human health – and it is here that the humanitarian example of Darijo Srna could prove enormously instructive.

Back in the infinitely less complex times of Q4/2014, Srna – the iconic captain of the Croatia national football team – purchased no fewer than 20 tonnes of mandarins from suppliers in his hometown of Metković, a small city on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. He then arranged for this fruit shipped to Ukraine – the country where he was employed by UEFA Cup 2009 winners Shakhtar Donetsk – and distributed to more than 20,000 needy schoolchildren; a greetings card was given to every child as part of this initiative.

The right-back’s rationale for such an act was simple: with war raging in eastern Ukraine, the empathetic Srna – who himself grew up in a country fragmented by suicidal ultranationalism – recognised the importance of nutrient-rich food in both preventing and fighting disease, a realisation which has yet to fully dawn on far too many administrations in the context of coronavirus.

While it is probably too soon to draw at least some definitive conclusions from the COVID-19 data, it is no secret that high-inequality developed countries such as the United States and United Kingdom have fared exceptionally badly during this crisis. Governments in these polities must give serious thought to policies such as strategic food subsidies – with an emphasis on natural, organic produce – and refrain from pursuing media-driven measures that are more apposite to the world of video games.

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The Only Game in Town: Bundesliga Leaves Coronavirus Behind!

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Evergrande By Name: China’s Champions ‘Destroy to Build’! #soccer

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Light at the End of the Tunnel: Bundesliga Pencils in May Restart! #COVID-19

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52%-48% All Over Again: Prosinečki Inspires Miraculous Devotion!

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The Big Reveal: Qatar Unveils 2022 FIFA World Cup Work of Art!

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Soccer Shocker: Abominable Showpiece Could Engender Revolution! #CAN2019 #Algeria

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Waking Up to the Next World Cup: First 2022 Dedicated Soccer Stadium Unveiled!

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Why Asians (Still) Can’t Play Football: the US$45tn Rhetorical Question

As YouTube attains a certain level of commercial maturity, we at Mediolana continue to be impressed by the output from the team at COPA90, one of the very few independent channels to successfully bridge the gap between basement video creation and recycled ‘legacy’ media clips. One of their most recent (and perhaps controversial) offerings is well worth under fifteen minutes of any football fan’s time.

In Why Do British Asians Never Make It Pro?, host Adam McKola poses one of the more discomfiting socio-cultural questions of our time: how it is possible that in 2019, there are not enough professional footballers of British Asian ethnic origin in the first four levels of the English soccer pyramid to even come close to filling a single match day squad?

A particular strength of this piece is that it correctly underlines the inadequacies of conventional theories – parental preferences, cultural proclivities, middle-class economic aspirations – which seek to explain this stark lacuna. Ultimately, there is no shortage of football-mad, working-class people of Asian heritage in the United Kingdom; ceteris paribus, it defies all rational expectations that there has not been a single ‘breakout’ player emerge from a broadly-defined community numbered in its millions.

However, at the end of McKola’s mini-documentary, our Creative Director & CSO was left slightly unfulfilled when it came to both the historical treatment of this issue and prescriptions for a remedy.

The question of why British Asians have enjoyed only the most marginal of successes in the country which codified the modern form of the beautiful game was being asked by anti-racism campaigners at least as far back as twenty years ago, when it became clear that the coming of age of second-generation UK Asians was not being accompanied by their acceptance into what is arguably the nation’s single most important cultural experience; the fact that only the slightest of progress has been registered in all this time evinces just how stubbornly positive change is being resisted.

As uncomfortable as it is to articulate, the only plausible explanation for this dynamic is the existence of a form of structural discrimination which is so profound that it shapes interactions on a much more powerful level than most of us would like to admit. The legacy of colonialism – which involved the heisting of at least US$45tn from the Indian subcontinent, surely one of the greatest acts of de-development in history, recorded or otherwise – means that in England, pseudo-nationalist demagogues and well-meaning liberals alike are curiously united in regarding British Asians, in this particular context and perhaps others, as essentially invisible; additionally, a media which simultaneously portrays South Asian males as night-time economy predators and sexual sub-incels is doing nothing to promote an objective perception of their attributes, sporting or otherwise.

Once this truth has been accepted and internalised, the path forward for the British Asian soccer stars of the future is clear: they must seek their fortunes in systems which have actually demonstrated that they do value players of South Asian descent equally. Holland, Norway and France have all recognised footballers of subcontinental origin with caps at full international level; this fact alone should be enough to end the collective British Asian fixation on a Premier League which evidently has little place for their type.

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2019 AFC Asian Cup Latest: Next World Cup Host ‘Suddenly Credible Soccer Force’!

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