Soccer -- fútbol, Fußball, futebol, football-- is the world’s most popular sport, and literally hundreds of millions of people are now watching the 2010 World Cup. The championship has also attracted the interest of many non-sports fans since it’s being held in South Africa and marks the first ever World Cup held on the African continent.
The media coverage of the event -- at least the American coverage on ABC and ESPN --monotonously details the alleged evils of apartheid and the glories of the Soweto riots. Various segments between matches portray Nelson Mandela as little short of a god and faithfully follow Hollywood’s White Devils/Black Angels script. Needless to say, there is no discussion of ANC terrorism or the murders of over 4,000white farmers since the end of apartheid.
Race is also on display on the pitch and for all the talk of diversity, multiculturalism, and a global community, most of the 32 teams in the field feature racially exclusive teams.
European and South American teams dominate world soccer and have won every single World Cup. But to make the event a truly global affair, there are quotas for each region so that everyone feels represented.
I watched each opening round game and noted the races of all 11 starters for each squad. All five sub-Saharan Africa squads (Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon) start all blacks. All three Asian teams (Japan, South Korea and North Korea) start all Asians. The one North African team (Algeria) starts all Arabs. The eastern European teams (Slovenia, Slovakia, and Serbia) start all whites.
Australia and New Zealand are not soccer powers but each qualified this year. Australia starts an all white team and New Zealand starts 10 whites and one aboriginal (probably a Maori).
Latin American teams are a mixed bag racially, much like the region itself. The races of some of the players are often hard to pinpoint. Are they mestizos or darker skinned whites of Portuguese or Spanish descent?
The three white nations of Latin America start mostly white sides. Argentina starts nine or 10 whites with one or maybe two mestizos. Uruguay starts nine whites with one clear mestizo and one clear Negro. Chile starts seven or eight whites with three or four mestizos.
Mexico and Paraguay have a starting 11 consisting of a mixture of whites and mestizos. Honduras starts eight mestizos and, surprising, three blacks.
Brazil starts four whites and seven players who are black or racially mixed.
The United States again made the tournament and has a decent shot of advancing to the next round of 16. Racially, the team starts seven whites and four blacks. Mestizos are now about 15 percent of the U.S. population, but there are only three Hispanics on the team and one of them -- Carlos Bocanegra -- is clearly a white Hispanic. The two mestizos are backups and there are no Asians or Middle Easterners on the U.S. squad. The U.S. is being overwhelmed with millions of soccer-mad immigrants every year. Why aren’t these people making the national team?
So far, most nations of the world have teams that racially represent their people. Black Africans, Asians, Arabs, and Eastern Europeans (God bless ‘em) can support teams that reflect them 100 percent. Whites in Australia and New Zealand can still proudly support a team that looks like them.
Blacks are overrepresented on the Brazilian side, but most Latin American nations have squads that reflect their racial demographics. Americans are no doubt used to blacks being overrepresented on national sports teams, but the current squad has enough whites so that it is not viewed as alien -- like the often all-black U.S. national basketball team.
We are constantly told that multiculturalism and diversity are unalloyed blessings. But of course, white nations are the only countries that are enjoying these blessings -- and it is starting to show in the national squads of the Western European teams.
Italy has won four World Cups including the last one in 2006. They cling stubbornly to the view that Italians don’t need blacks to win World Cups and still start an all-white (and, with one exception, all-Italian) side. This year’s team is pretty old and may not be a threat to win it all. But it will no doubt go far into the tournament.
Germany has won three World Cups and is always a threat to win it all. This year’s starting squad can be described -- depending on your definition of white -- as either all-white or as nine whites and two Turks. Like Italy, the Germans have stubbornly resisted starting supposedly superior black players.
France has shown no such resistance. Historically not a soccer power, they won their only World Cup in 1998 with four black starters and apparently attributed the victory to having more blacks. They have consistently fielded seven blacks starters since and this year is no exception as the four true Frenchmen who start for France stand out on the pitch. The French side represents Africa and not the traditional French nation. Happily, the side is beset with squabbling and will probably go home early this year.
England won their only World Cup in 1966 with an all-white side but is perhaps going the way of France. They started a bare majority of whites over blacks in their first round game. They may start 7 whites for the next game but the team is trending black. Perhaps if England is bounced from the tournament in the first round it will change things. The team disappointed in a first round draw versus the U.S.
Spain is the favorite to win the whole thing. Like the Italians, the Spanish are all white and have found great success lately. The winners of the 2008 European Cup are loaded with talent but inexplicably lost to Switzerland in the first round. If they can regroup and win their first World Cup it will be another major argument against the Africanization of European soccer.
Portugal also has an outside chance to win the whole tournament. Led by the great Cristiano Ronaldo, the squad starts 10 whites and one black.
The Greeks round out a solid Southern European contingent with an all-white side.
A few years ago, the Netherlands seemed on the verge of becoming another France. This year’s squad starts nine whites but has several black substitutes who will see playing time. Like Portugal, they have an outside shot at winning the World Cup.
Denmark has 10 whites and one black who distinguished himself by accidentally hitting the ball into his own net and losing the first game for the Danes.
Switzerland starts two blacks and an Arab. But the team still retains an overall European identity and pulled a huge upset over Spain in the first round of games.
By looking at the 32 squads we can learn some lessons in terms of race, immigration, and demographics. Because of immigration, the complexion of Western Europe is changing, and it is showing up in the composition of soccer teams that used to be all-white up even into the 1990s.
Since only white nations let in millions of people of different races, they are the only countries to be effected by demographic change. Asians, Africans (both Arab and black) and mestizos can be sure their national soccer teams will always represent them. If Eastern Europe can hold the line on immigration, they can also be confident that their teams will always reflect them as well.
Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. are also being heavily hit by Third World immigration, though it has yet to have a major impact on the complexion of their squads. But for how long?
Another lesson is that it is mainly blacks who are changing the face of the Western European soccer teams. There are many more Arabs and Middle Easterners in France and the Netherlands than blacks. Why are these significant minorities absent from the starting lineups? In England, there are many more Pakistanis, Indians, and Bangladeshis than blacks. Yet they are not represented on the national team. As noted, mestizos and Asians have yet to make an impact on the U.S. side.
A proper HBD response might be that blacks are better athletes than whites, and much better athletes than Arabs, Asians, and mestizos. But that is certainly not reflected in the World Cup results. All-black African sides are losers who have never come close to contending for the World Cup, though soccer is universally played throughout the Dark Continent. Some might say they need better training and coaching, but all black African teams are currently coached by whites. Even the Asian sides usually outplay the all-black nations. Though they enjoy home field advantage, the record of the all-black teams at this writing is a pathetic one win, four losses, and two draws. It is possible that none will advance to the next round of 16.
On a more political note, I noted the typically fawning news coverage the media have given South Africa. They have not been too curious about the robberies of players and fans and the killings (one victim was Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter, which kept him from the opening ceremonies) that have occurred around the event.
Several commentators have referred to the “the rainbow nation” of South Africa without wondering why the national team is all black. This is especially ironic as the ANC has mandated quotas for the sport of rugby to ensure some black representation in this white-dominated sport.
On a positive note, it looks as though this year’s champion will be a nation with an all-white or almost all-white side. Argentina and Germany looked particularly good in the first round of play and Spain, Portugal, Holland and the Italians cannot be counted out. Only Brazil, with a racially mixed squad, will threaten white dominance of the World Cup this year.
Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.