Wednesday, May 14, 2008

UEFA Cup final: Hypocritical Advocaat Turns Cheers to Jeers

I don't have an emotional investment in today's UEFA Cup final between Zenit St. Petersburg and Rangers (2 p.m. ET Fox Soccer Channel), but if you're on the fence like me, you may want to check out Martin Samuel's column today in the Times of London on Zenit manager Dick Advocaat.

By the time you're done, you'll be saying "Go Rangers."

Seems the Russian club has a long-standing policy (83 years) of not hiring black players. Advocaat, former Holland coach, defending his refusal to buck that policy. He told a Russian journalist:
“I don’t want to sign a player who won’t be accepted by the fans. The fans are the most important thing that Zenit have and that is why I have to ask them outright how they will react if we sign a dark-skinned player. The only players who can make Zenit stronger are dark skinned. Look at the Brazilians who play for CSKA Moscow. For us, it would be impossible. I would be happy to sign anyone, but the fans don’t like black players. I do not understand how they could pay so much attention to skin colour. For me, there is no difference; but they care.”

Great, Dick, thanks for clarifying.

I'll let this hypocrisy speak for itself. I'm sure Advocaat has some money socked away somewhere, and has the coaching pedigree to get another job in Europe. Does he need to work for Zenit that badly? Couldn't he have resigned on principle when he first got wind of this foul breeze? Why perpetuate it? Why perpetuate the climate of racism doing enough damage to this game already?

It's too bad this is allowed to go on. Where's UEFA been with this garbage? Why hasn't the game's governing body stepped in and banned this club until it gets its act together on race? This is shameful.

I no longer admire Zenit's remarkable run in the UEFA Cup, laying waste to among others, Bayern Munich, in its wake. I no longer want to see Cinderella be the belle of the ball. I no longer want to hear anything about this club, or this manager.

Go Rangers!


Anonymous said...

As opposed to Rangers anti-Catholic sectarian signing policy...both teams deserve each other and the football world would be better if a space rock came down and destroyed the stadium, sorry City fans.

Anonymous said...

Those racists who count how many players of any skincolor are in a team. That's it.

heidi_glasgow said...

Just read your blog about advocaat, agree with you tottally i do not understand why that team is still allowed to play when it has such outragous rules about signing black players. Surely there must be something done about this?

Advocaat implies he does not have a problem with "dark skinned people" only his fans do, well he obviously has no morals because if he did he would not have signed up to be their manager! But hey what do i know, I am only a wee scottish indian lassie!

I was sad about the result however happy that the team got to go through to the final! Well done x

heidi_glasgow said...

I agree with you about your comments about Advocaat, surely there must be something done with a team that refuses to play with black men.

Advocaat states that he has no problems with "dark skinned people only his fans do", however he obviously left his morals at home when he became their manager!
But hey at the end of the day what do i know i am only a wee scottish indian lassie!!

I was sad with the result however happy that rangers got through to the final well done boys!

Anonymous said...

Relax, folks.
Advocaat just was kidding and some people like author got this bait with happy :)

Zenit won on score and on the pitch so let the loser is crying.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. The USA & UK, are both VERY SICK places. They have deep social problems, and BBC even revealed the 2 had the unhappiest teenagers in the world. With that said, these countries take some things for granted. Russia never had a civil rights movement like the US did in the 1960s... obviously because it didn't have a slave trade, (only serfs of the same race & color), and Stalin's labour camps which had total equality whether you were Jewish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, German, or whoever you were.. you were in living hell there.

Now, without a doubt Russian society has problems that rival America's ever since the USSR collapsed. But in regards to tackling racism, it is the governments responsibility, not a football clubs. If Zenit suddenly sported 5 black players on their squad, players which would regularly appear on the tv screen, it would still do little to change anything. The fans know being a professional footballer, isn't a normal lifestyle. It is similar to being a famous actor or singer.

The huge sums of money they receive only alienates them even more from us, the general population.

Don't blaim Advocatt since unlike Graem piece of crap manager Souness, he is in alien territory.

Don't blaim Zenit because they don't teach society from the time they are kids.

Don't blaim Zenit fans in general because most of them (the real fans anyways) are good people, while there are a lot of gopnicks (the godfather of chav's worldwide) in the city and moscow... who use football as an excuse for violence and nazist/ultra-nationalist propaganda.

one more thing. say what you want about eastern european/russian football and footballers, but we do not dive and whine and cry and bitch like little baby girls. when a club brings in a foreign player, like argentine dominguez, he has NO WORK ETHIC compared to the russians, and sometimes dives. Their play is more damaging to the anti-fa, anti-racism campaigns in the country. When its a black guy from Africa or Brazil, who starts diving and acting like a spoiled lazy brat,... its even worse.

Thanks for reading.