Monday, 27 February 2012

A brief digression on only football people running football

Only because it is an issue which won't die. From page 196 of Josef Vondra's 1979 work, Hellas Australia = Ellada Australia.

Perhaps one of the most articulate explanations of the enthusiastic support received in those days comes from Anthanasios Hatzianestis (editor of the Hellenic Herald). 'I would like to tell you a story which to me is what soccer is all about. The story is about a Greek who is very big on the soccer scene in Australia now, and how he came to be involved with the sport. He told me that that twenty years ago, he wasn’t at all interested in soccer. Then one day, friends took him to watch a game; he was amazed at what he saw. He said he saw Greeks shouting and screaming  and it was obvious to him that Greeks went to soccer matches for other reasons than just to watch the players. They went to the game to release their emotions in the security of a crowd who spoke their language and understood. He realised then that soccer was a big part in the emotional well-being of the Greeks. I remember his words: “If soccer is so important to the Greeks here in Australia, then I’m going to devote myself to soccer.” He did just that.' 

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