Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sensitive Galacticos

News from Spain: UEFA are investigating the 'up-yours' gesture of Marc van Bommel after scoring against Real Madrid for Bayern Munich last night. I saw this on TVE's evening news tonight and it was also carried by El País. Van Bommel is a charmless bugger at the best of times and his gesture might rightfully be punished by UEFA. However the bleating of Real and the Spanish media - who are as indignant that the Dutchman is a former Barcelona player as they are at the gesture itself - is a bit rich, coming from a club, and a country, that often explains away monkey chants by its fans as 'all part of the game, mate.'

3 comments:

seanachie said...

Apologies to the person who posted here earlier on; I accidentally deleted your post along with the other one which was identical. Not censoring you. I agree with you about van Bommel (and my remark about him playing for Barcelona was off the cuff) but my original post said as much. However there is a pathetic tinge to the fuss made over this by Real and the Spanish media. It is not a Nazi salute after all. Marca sat on the sidelines for a long time on the issue of racism in Spanish stadia and their current pro-activity is long overdue.

Paul Gill said...

But you have failed to link to any media making a pathetic fuss of all this. The El Pais article you link is a model of journalist objectivity. The headline on Marca the day after the match was "Esto se va a vengar" with a picture of Van Bommell's "corte de manga". Saying that Real will take its revenge by winning the next game at Bayern is a pretty ordinary response, in my opinion, and not evidence of anyone making a fuss. It was Roberto Carlos who complained to Fifa, as far as I'm aware, not the governing body of Real Madrid.
Anyway, the corte de manga is a much more loaded gesture in Spain than our two-fingered salute. Your claim in your post that the media is effectively being hypocritical is not born out by the stories circulating now.
I remember the father of two-time motogp 250cc champion Dani Pedrosa was caught on camera making the same gesture when his son beat then rival Jorge Lorenzo for pole position. The gesture was much more roundly condemned within Spain's motorsports media, including in El Pais. There was talk of having all family banned from the boxes because of it, and the next day Pedrosa's father had to personally apologise to Lorenzo and his manager. I'm pretty certain that such a gesture by a player for a Spanish club team to a crowd at a game would draw much severer criticism from the Spanish media than has Van Bommeell's.

seanachie said...

I accept your elaboration on this matter; it's obviously a gesture that doesn't 'travel' as it were. My original post was rather a query as to why it was it was a news story in the first place. Having read both sides' reactions to the Lille-MU debate, I can see how one party can be completely unmoved by the protestations of the other. That said, I still find it hard to bother with these Madrilene protests, considering the pathetic explanations proffered for the monkey chants in the Bernabeú against England two years ago. And, once again, I will remind you that I've already said what I think about van Bommell.