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Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

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  • Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

    I've joked before that due to the checkered past of nationalism in Europe, Europeans are only allowed to be proud of their country on periodic and well spaced occasions, all of which are centered on international sporting events.

    Apparently that is no longer the case.



    FIFA has announced that Croatia international Josip Simunic has been handed a 10-match ban following his behaviour after the country qualified for the 2014 World Cup.

    Video footage taken after Croatias playoff victory over Iceland appears to show Simunic making a salute and grabbing hold of a microphone and yelling: "For the homeland!"

    That was the war call used by Ustashas, the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime that ruled the state during World War II when tens of thousands of Jews, Serbs and others perished in concentration camps.

    Simunic was fined 3,200 euros for "spreading racial hatred" last month but FIFAs Disciplinary Committee has now extended his punishment, and the 35-year-old Dinamo Zagreb defender will play no part in the event in Brazil next summer as a result.

    A statement on the governing bodys official website read: Croatian international Josip Simunic [has been] suspended for 10 official matches, banned from entering the confines of the stadiums for those 10 matches and fined CHF 30,000 [$5,400 or 3,300 pounds].

    It added: The committee agreed that this salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning, inter alia, race, religion or origin, in a clear breach of article 58 par. 1a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

    After taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incident, the committee decided to suspend the player for 10 official matches.
    Now, I can't find any video of the incident, so for all I know he could have been doing the Nazi salute the whole time. But based on what is provided he said simply... For the Homeland!

    If that is offensive to somebody, I ask the simple question, who on God's green Earth else is he going to do it for? He plays for the Croatian nation soccer team, of course he's doing it for his homeland, Croatia. Who cares who else used the phrase before, I'm sure the Nazi's used every other word in the Croatian language too. Does that mean everyone is "offending the dignity of a group of persons"? It there an approved list somewhere of celebratory chants that some group of questionable moral character has never used that are fair game?

  • #2
    Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

    Ok, here's a video, the incident takes a grand total of ten seconds starting at about :40. Skip right to it, the weasel reporting on it has nothing of value to add.


    There's nothing about that that is exclusively Nazi. The report even indicates that the chant predates the Nazi's.

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    • #3
      Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

      It's not like it's news that FIFA absolutely detests free speech.

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      • #4
        Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

        Originally posted by Commodore View Post
        I've joked before that due to the checkered past of nationalism in Europe, Europeans are only allowed to be proud of their country on periodic and well spaced occasions, all of which are centered on international sporting events.

        Apparently that is no longer the case.

        FIFA bans Josip Simunic for 10 games
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]14990[/ATTACH]




        Now, I can't find any video of the incident, so for all I know he could have been doing the Nazi salute the whole time. But based on what is provided he said simply... For the Homeland!

        If that is offensive to somebody, I ask the simple question, who on God's green Earth else is he going to do it for? He plays for the Croatian nation soccer team, of course he's doing it for his homeland, Croatia. Who cares who else used the phrase before, I'm sure the Nazi's used every other word in the Croatian language too. Does that mean everyone is "offending the dignity of a group of persons"? It there an approved list somewhere of celebratory chants that some group of questionable moral character has never used that are fair game?
        You do understand that FIFA is the GLOBAL, not the european football association (that is called UEFA, and that didnt impose the ban) ? And the phrase in question may or may not be used out of context, in combination with the upright arm it IS the croatian Nazi war call, and the FIFA as an association is free to impose its standards (that are not exactly a secret).
        It is irrelevant wether YOU (or I) consider this kind of behaviour insulting, but f.e. Jews, Serbians, Hungarians or other Balkan nationalities that suffered under the nazi-affiliated Ustascha regime.
        Nowhere does the ruling say anything about Mr. Simunics right to his personal views by the way (nor is this a criminal prosecution). The FIFA simply fines him for behaviour considered unacceptable in its tournaments. And rightly so.
        I assume you would not have a problem with american players showing KKK symbols or Germans showing the Hitler salute when competing on behalf of their country ?

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        • #5
          Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

          Originally posted by Voland View Post
          I assume you would not have a problem with american players showing KKK symbols or Germans showing the Hitler salute when competing on behalf of their country ?
          Absolutely not. I support free speech.

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          • #6
            Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

            That verbal abuses, insults of all kinds ( including racial/political ones), divisive language and disrespectful behaviour (which the Nazi war call clearly is) have to remain out of international sports tournaments (and can be fined) has been common practice since the ancient greek olympic games, in case someone failed to notice (ever wondered why an olive branch is supposed to be a symbol of peace ?). It is also part of the charta of ALL international sports associations , and not really a surprise for anyone.
            Noone disputes Mr. Simunics right to his opinion as a private person and as a citizen, regardless how controversial. Someone representing his country on his national team can be held to a different standard regarding his behaviour tough (as long as he is wearing the national colours he can be expected to respect common standards of decency. What he is doing outside the stadium is something else). No free speech violated, therefore no free speech issue.
            Last edited by Voland; 12-18-2013, 01:38 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

              Originally posted by Voland View Post
              That verbal abuses, insults of all kinds ( including racial/political ones), divisive language and disrespectful behaviour (which the Nazi war call clearly is) have to remain out of international sports tournaments (and can be fined) has been common practice since the ancient greek olympic games, in case someone failed to notice (ever wondered why an olive branch is supposed to be a symbol of peace ?). It is also part of the charta of ALL international sports associations , and not really a surprise for anyone.
              Noone disputes Mr. Simunics right to his opinion as a private person and as a citizen, regardless how controversial. Someone representing his country on his national team can be held to a different standard regarding his behaviour tough (as long as he is wearing the national colours he can be expected to respect common standards of decency. What he is doing outside the stadium is something else). No free speech violated, therefore no free speech issue.
              Not saying free speech rights were necessarily violated, just that FIFA hates free speech, at least according to this incident. I also support the right of privately funded organizations to make their own rules regarding speech and what kind of people they associate with, such as a business's right to fire someone for being black or for a racist restaurant owner to refuse to service black clients. But if memory serves, businesses in Western countries, even the US, are restricted by law from doing so.

              Regardless, Nazi Germany hardly stood solely for verbal abuses and insults. That's like saying all the US stands for is hanging black people from tree branches and that the US flag should thus be banned from international sports tournaments.

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              • #8
                Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                I am not to wild about what is going on here with the suspension and all but what kind of dumbshit would do this in front of so many expecting good results? We are not exactly talking about a peaceful sport here, fans kill each other over much much less, and I am surprised this little stunt did not start a riot.

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                • #9
                  Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                  Originally posted by Slon View Post
                  Absolutely not. I support free speech.
                  So you'd have no problem with Tiger Woods sudenly deciding to become a massive public fan of Nazism?
                  I have a feeling the PGA would rather strongly disagree and ban him instantly.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                    Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
                    So you'd have no problem with Tiger Woods sudenly deciding to become a massive public fan of Nazism?
                    No, but you sound like you do (correct me if I'm wrong). Why do some people have so many problems with free speech?

                    I have a feeling the PGA would rather strongly disagree and ban him instantly.
                    Well, if the PGA is completely privately funded, then I'd support their right to do so, provided they violate no contracts with Tiger Woods.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                      Are you being serious?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                        Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
                        Are you being serious?
                        That I support the right to free speech? Yes. What is the popular opinion in the UK? That free speech should be outlawed and everyone should be a slave to the monarch? Or is opinion banned over there?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                          Originally posted by Slon View Post
                          Regardless, Nazi Germany hardly stood solely for verbal abuses and insults. That's like saying all the US stands for is hanging black people from tree branches and that the US flag should thus be banned from international sports tournaments.

                          Nazi Germany stood for many things for many people, but they require nuanced and knowledgable discussion. And a soccer pitch is about the least likely place to intend to start one. That Nazi ideology on the other hand not exactly supports the spirit of fairness, decency and respect between races and nations, that ALL international sports associations request as the base for competition ( at least DURING competition) is not even seriously up for discussion with a minimum of knowledge. A Nazi war call/salute in the stadium is therefore a statement in itself that arguably violates FIFA rules, even without going into lengthy discussions about past bloodthirsty regimes "accomplishments", free speech or what nations can be assumed to stand for.
                          Noone says he cant play again and noone (as far as I know) prosecutes him criminally. And noone denies him free speech. But as a player competing in international tournaments he has to accept the rules, or watch the World Cup at home on TV. Nothing more and nothing less. Just as your local sports association may ban or fine you for inappropriate behaviour.
                          Last edited by Voland; 12-19-2013, 01:47 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                            Originally posted by Voland View Post
                            You do understand that FIFA is the GLOBAL, not the european football association (that is called UEFA, and that didnt impose the ban) ? And the phrase in question may or may not be used out of context, in combination with the upright arm it IS the croatian Nazi war call, and the FIFA as an association is free to impose its standards (that are not exactly a secret).
                            Everyone involved is European, and so far only FIFA is complaining about this guy. And the upright arm is a universal sign of athletic victory. While FIFA is international, obviously some European busybody is assuming this is Nazi, because no one outside Europe would automatically associate that with the Nazis.
                            landon-donovan-goal-celebration-for-everton-62a0c336281ce3ef_large.jpgphillies-celebration-2cbfdfff2cd626ad_large.jpgBayern-Munichs-players-ce-010.jpg
                            All Nazis, right?
                            Originally posted by Voland View Post
                            It is irrelevant wether YOU (or I) consider this kind of behaviour insulting, but f.e. Jews, Serbians, Hungarians or other Balkan nationalities that suffered under the nazi-affiliated Ustascha regime.
                            I don't see any Jews, Serbians, Hungarians or other Balkan nationalities complaining about this. Just FIFA.
                            Originally posted by Voland View Post
                            Nowhere does the ruling say anything about Mr. Simunics right to his personal views by the way (nor is this a criminal prosecution). The FIFA simply fines him for behaviour considered unacceptable in its tournaments. And rightly so.
                            Is he going to get paid for those ten games?
                            Originally posted by Voland View Post
                            I assume you would not have a problem with american players showing KKK symbols or Germans showing the Hitler salute when competing on behalf of their country ?
                            Both would be undeniable endorsements of the Nazi party, and not at all what happened here.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Europe's last bastion of nationalism falls to political correctness

                              Originally posted by Slon View Post
                              That I support the right to free speech? Yes. What is the popular opinion in the UK? That free speech should be outlawed and everyone should be a slave to the monarch? Or is opinion banned over there?
                              Free speech is already outlawed in the UK.

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