Following on from the madness of two men dictating the fate of Liverpool FC, here’s another example of where the actions of a minority spoil things for the majority: Serbia’s cancelled European Championships qualifier in Italy earlier in the week. It seems that political extremists in Serbia responded to a visit elsewhere in the Balkans by Hilary Clinton of the US by deciding to take this football match by the scruff of the neck, managing to get the match abandoned to headlines all across Europe and probably the world.
What is the likely upshot of this political action? Of course first the players and fans (other than the nutters that did this) had their evening’s entertainment spoilt and were clearly put in some danger.
Moreover though, the likely result is a ban from international football for Serbia, it seems. So the players of Serbia, and their fans get to suffer once again for the mindless actions of a few with an extreme political agenda. Naturally at this point there are calls for other kinds of punishment that wouldn’t result in such innocent suffering, but what else is possible that wouldn’t? A big fine for the Serbian FA? Because that wouldn’t hurt Serbian football either.
Fundamentally there are many people in many parts of the world (Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) who take their disagreements to such violent lengths that almost everyone else suffers. Until those kinds of grievances are settled somehow, it is unlikely football is going to escape suffering at the same time…