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Australia vs. Crotia

I should probably make clear right now that I started watching this match with a gigantic sneer. I credit globalization. This has been a World Cup of mass migrations. Dual-citizenship is just one of those topics that gets absolutely no sympathy from me. So finding out that three Crotian players were technically Australian and seven Australians were technically Croatian just made me horribly ill-humored.

Game-wise, this is a technically interesting match. Both teams are physical teams of the shirt-pulling, leg-kicking, leapfrogging variety (maybe it's a Croatian thing?). Both teams are capable of aggressive attacks, and aren't afraid to use it. Unlike in matches against their group mates, both teams will also be similarly-sized, so we won't have that problem of tiny Asians or South Americans vs. gigantic Caucasian types. Watching the first half, I'm tempted to say it was rather a match of brute force vs. skill. Australia, however higher its ball possession (that wasn't a pun, but they do have balls) and however high the shot count, were simply no more able to produce a goal without a clear field than Croatia was (and I'm getting to them in a minute). I know the shot count says Australians 8, Crotians 2, but one has to remember for all their 2 shots, Crotia hit one home. Croatia too, Prso is a terrible shot.

Second half, much more interesting. Quite the comedy of errors. Croatia's second goal by N. Kovac kind of fell out of Kalac's hands. There were those handballs, also by Croatia. The two red cards, including Simunic's two red cards for just not leaving the field the first time. Pletikosa, man, what a goalie. Saved a lot of great shots, saved a great shot by Kewell, I believe, fell flat on his face and got himself flattened some more by two Australians in his own goal. Australia deserved it's second goal even by sheer execution. I'm going to say this again, Crotia is still the more skilled team here, but the Australians do play a consistently determined game. And so, they face Italy.

I take this brief moment to remind everyone the SBS commentator jock still annoys me in annoying commentator jock ways. And the booing crowd stuff is still bad form. Now when in the bloody hell will they show Brazil vs. Japan?! I want to see Brazil score three and Japan squeeze one!



Jun. 23rd, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)
I don't sneer at my two passports, especially when the whole EEC is open to me.
Have to admit i find you attitude on this quite puzzling. Mass migration is a fact of life. To my mind Viduka and co are just as Australian as anyone else here (apart from the aboriginals perhaps).
Jun. 23rd, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
This will be kind of long...and probably quite strongly worded. I apologize in advance.
My view on dual-citizenship (and dual-citizenship as a subject specifically, not where anyone came from before they became singular citizens of one country) in particular is a little more direct.

I do not disagree with you in that mass migration is an essential part of culture. I think people should be able to be residents of whatever country they wish, and develop strong bonds with any country they fancy. However, while the question of where one lives is irrelevant to me, I do believe taking up the citizenship of a country is a serious contract that should never be taken lightly.

My definition of obtaining citizenship is that it means one is entering a social contract with the country of one's choice: first to respect and uphold the government, laws and customs of that country; and secondly to participate in that country's best interest, and likewise, allowing that country to use and take a vested interest in one's self. This is a total bond with the country from which one's citizenship is defined because being a citizen of a country often gives one specific rights to be an active participant in that country, depending on what system they're into, usually things like the right to vote, and the right to represent that nation.

So having dual-citizenship, in this context, has the serious potential to violate the social contract one has with one's country.

Let's think of this in case study terms.

1. Citizen X is a citizen of Country A (Socialist) and Country B (Monarchist).

2. A political fallout happens between A and B.
a) If X furthers the political ideology of either A and B in any of the countries, X violates his social contract with one of the countries, because he has immediately broken a vow of upholding the sovereignity of his country.
b) If X choose to do nothing, he is still violating his social contract with both A and B, because citizenship comes with the responsibility of representing one's country on the international stage.
c) X's loyalties to either country will always be in doubt, regardless of what he does, because in the eyes of international law, he has undertaken a social contract with both A and B, and again, is obligated to work in the best interests of both countries. If those interests ever clash, it is simply not possible to work for both sides without breaking the contract.

In a football context, it's like the difference between football clubs and national soccer teams. A football club has players lumped together for their skills. It does not consider their individual nationalities. A national soccer team has players lumped together for their skills but particularly for their similar nationality. A national soccer team represents the pride of their nation, and represents their nation in the eyes of the world - exactly as one's citizenship does.

Back to our topic: the Australian team has players of Crotian descent. These players do not distinguish themselves from other Australians, swear their allegiance to Australia, and work hard to represent their country. Therefore, they are not Croatian Australian, they are Australian. They should never be labelled as or undertake the labeling of "Croatian Australian", because, aren't they just Australian?

The Croatian team has players of Australian descent. These players have dual-citizenship. They do not somehow make it onto the Australian team. So they play for Croatia, whom they also have the ability to represent. When Australia plays against Croatia, it immediately becomes an issue of who will people support? Are these players loyalties entirely in representing their countries to their fullest? Fighting a country one has a social contract with immediately violates one's contract with that country.

Even if people's intentions were never in doubt to themselves, it's a real diplomatic and humanistic issue about the value and responsibilities of social contracts. That's why the issue bugs me so much.

I'm sorry if that was a mouthful for such a small thing. It is a topic I feel strongly about. Whatever else I have said does not take into account that I think people's choices are their own. I don't have a right to judge them for it, but in a human way, I do.
Jun. 24th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: This will be kind of long...and probably quite strongly worded. I apologize in advance.
Well my take on it is very very different.
Possibly because I am no great supporter of "nationality" or "nationhood" as whole.
I think the individual is a far more important entity, and that their desires and feelings should always take precedence over any "social contract".
The fact is people are divided these days. I have at least three nationalities I consider as being relevant to me, and I take issue at anyone forcing me to choose just one of them, or telling me how I should label myself.
In fact I have always seen dual citizenship as a very positive thing. People like me are bridges between cultures, who bring the world closer together in spirit. If say England and Australia went to war with each other over political territorial or ideological differences, my attitude would not be "OMG what side should I be on", but "they are both a pack of deluded idiots fighting about something so insignificant". But then I have very little respect for governments and institutions. I guess that is my rebellious Celtic Australian side...
I love the countries I am a citizen of but I don't believe I have a contract to "do or die" for them...seems like a very 19th century idea to me ><;;
Jun. 24th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: This will be kind of long...and probably quite strongly worded. I apologize in advance.
Which is not to say I don't feel a sense of obligation to be somehow of service to my fellow human beings, and even more so to the other more defenseless lifeforms on the planet. Its just that I don't see how this is in any way related to spurious divisions of nationality, which in the end are just lines drawn in the sand by retarded little boys. Divide and conquer is the tactic of the Military Industrial complex and I wish no part in their games. It is notions of nationality and patriotism which after religious differences have caused the most bloodshed and misery in human history.
Jun. 24th, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC)
Re: This will be kind of long...and probably quite strongly worded. I apologize in advance.
These are reviews I respect, though they differ from my own. :)
Jun. 25th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Re: This will be kind of long...and probably quite strongly worded. I apologize in advance.
Far simpler view of things: it's the World Cup. It's very much about the nationalism, in that it's nation vs. nation, each team representing their people. When players are no longer representing their people but instead are representing whoever will pay them, the game loses context.

As you are against nationalism, this may be no great loss to you--it's still good fun to watch. Others point to that loss of context and how it seems to go against the spirit of the game--to them, it's supposed to be the freakin' World Cup already.

One can support ethnic variety, one can be a resident of more than one country, and still think it's a bit unsportsmanly when a player is in it for the paycheck instead of the people.

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