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April 03, 2008

A week of 'name game' politics in football

Football can be a very political game here, and there were a couple of classic examples over the last couple of weeks. Last night NET had live coverage of Arsenal-Liverpool, followed by delayed coverage of Chelsea-Fenerbahce. What with it being 1am, I had to keep rather quiet as the Russian-money-all-stars came a cropper against the Turkish team. I also didn't want to be noticed by the neighbours openly supporting a Turkish team.

The Greek position on Turkey was made quite clear by the commentators, who, in defiance of the wisdom of The Four Lads, kept insisting the game was being played in somewhere called Constantinopolis.

And talking of international name disputes, last week's big game on a Wednesday night was an excellent win for Greece against Portugal, sparking memories of their Euro2004 triumph. The Greek fans behind the goal at one end had a very strong message for the NATO summit going on this week.


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