Europe is treading clumsily where America has learned not to tread long ago.
The recent row over the possibility of quotas of non-black players in France’s national football academies showed how Europeans still do not ‘get’ race and are prone to reflex comments of xenophobia and maybe worse.
The transcripts of a discussion last November show that a meeting between the FFF’s technical director, national coach Laurent Blanc and the U20 and U21 managers show the four discussing introducing a quota of a maximum of 30% of academy places for boys with dual nationality.
The goal was to stop the federation wasting so much time and money on youngsters who end up playing for another country in the end, a Togel Singapore reasonable aspiration. Unfortunately the waters were muddied when Blanc spoke of modifying the French youth football culture to concentrate less on size and strength, which in his words is the preserve of “les blacks”, and seek “other criteria” in the 12-13 age range.
Such a shame this story came from France, a full 13 years since its multi-racial team won the World Cup, briefly uniting a fragmenting society, and in the process leaving Le Front National leader Jean-Marie Le Pen an ostracised buffoon for mocking the lack of players singing the belligerent words of La Marseillaise.
New France had triumphed, or so it seemed. Since then there have been serious race riots, prompted by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s infamous ‘racaille’ comment in 2005, while in 2008 the French national anthem was drowned out by Tunisian immigrant boos at the Stade de France, provoking a soul-searching national debate into whether the French dream of making everyone a citoyen with liberté, égalité et fraternité had become in fact un cauchemar (nightmare).
The French …