13 August, 2010

Ex-Colonies = Footballing Success

Yeah, kind of long title right? But it gets the point across. For those of you who didn't read an earlier article of ours about how France poached Guadeloupe (the small, former French colony in the Caribbean) for several players in the 1990, 1994, and 1998 WC teams, the idea is simple: Invade a country at some point, release it to it's own affairs, pimp FIFA into not accepting them as a full member (partly because they can't afford the bribes) and then allow their players free access to your country, if and only if they accept the fact that they are banned from playing from their home country for 5 years after they retire from the French squad. Oh, and you don't get to qualify for the World Cup with your home country either.

Basically, France can thank the likes of several players of Guadeloupe birth, or those that are direct descendants for it's inflated respect in the 1990s. So, what am I getting at this time? Maybe the Dutch should join the French on that line of over-hyped teams that owe their former colonies.

I think you may have heard of someone named Edgar Davids, perhaps even Clarence Seedorf. The interesting thing is that both were born in Suriname, yet Suriname isn't a FIFA voting member (despite attempts by Jack Warner to get anything land mass with a living soul on it as a voting member beholden to him) so Suriname can compete in "regional events" such as the Gold Cup or Caribbean Cup, but not internationally.

Now I'm not saying that either Davids or Seedorf would have stuck around and played for Suriname's national team, but when it's either play only in a handful of international matches, or the World Cup, I think the Cup wins.

Even the likes of Frédéric Piquionne (West Ham) played for Martinique, but since they are in a similar situation to Guadeloupe with France and Suriname with the Netherlands, he left to play for France (of course with the requisite sit out time of a few years between international teams, ironically this onlyapplies if you play in CONCACAF after UEFA playing time, not if you move from the colony to playing for the UEFA team).

If you were to include first generation Dutch players of Suriname decent, you could also lump in Rijkaard, Gullit and Ryan Babel too. How would that have been for the US to compete against in WC qualifying, let alone if you included the French players of Guadeloupe ancestry? We'd still be stuck in the dark ages wondering when we would get a chance to go to the World Cup and battling it out for third with Mexico while Guadeloupe and Suriname were rocking quarterfinal berths.

Now, I'm sure to have some of you point to the fact that several former US players are first generation, or even dual citizens, but that's not really the point here. The main idea I'm trying to establish is that several big European countries aren't really soccer powerhouses. Rather, their colonies are/were, and they freely accepted these players in to bask in their glory while producing only a handful of meaningful players of their own. And the fact that these displaced players went to the bigger soccer country was due to the fact that FIFA refuses to acknowledge their countries' soccer federations (whether due to cost or pressure from the former colony holders).

Maybe, we'll start seeing an end to the former colonial powers in soccer unless they can get their own player production up to the rate these small Caribbean islands have.

1 comment:

  1. Great point, good article. So where are our stud US Virgin Islands/Filipino/Puerto Rican Internationals?


TSI Blog Archive