Filed by Steve Barrett
An auxiliary benefit of living in the United States is that is easy to ignore soccer, a pancreas-liquefying sport treasured by billions in the rest of the world.
Still, I couldn’t help but notice that FIFA, the world body that governs soccer, is purportedly all upset about racist insults against some players and plans to make that point during World Cup events.
So glad FIFA has seen the light.
Why, a couple months back, it refused to condemn rocket attacks by Palestinians on an Israeli soccer field. Yet FIFA gladly denounced Israel for an air strike on an empty Palestinian soccer field used to train terrorists and fire missiles, notes Tom Gross, former Jerusalem correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and New York Daily News.
Among other things FIFA has seen fit not to condemn, according to Mr. Gross:
—; The torture of Iraqi soccer players by Saddam Hussein’s son Uday in 1997 after they didn’t qualify for the 1998 World Cup finals.
—; The flogging and butchering of hundreds by the Taliban on United Nations-funded soccer fields in Afghanistan. Those killed were suspected of violating Islamic law. Up to 30 died at midfield during intermission of a match in Kabul.
—; The detention and torture of thousands of prisoners in Chile’s national soccer stadium after Augusto Pinochet came to power in 1973.
—; The naming of a Palestinian soccer tournament after a suicide murderer who killed 31 people at an Israeli hotel in 2002.
Yes, I’m relieved that FIFA’s impulse for moral outrage appears functional after all. Now if only it wouldn’t exempt Muslim terrorists and assorted dictators.
E-mail Steve Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org