What fans do | Disdain for anthemic strains

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London | Farayi Mungazi of BBC Sport worries about Sepp Blatter‘s recent suggestion about banning pre-game national anthems from international football. On the idea that FIFA could commission a generic anthem, in accord with that presaging UEFA Champions League fixtures, Mungazi writes that “[n]ot only do I beg to sing a different tune, but I would rather pour boiling water directly onto my eardrums than hear any so-called football anthem.” Mungazi says that booing of national anthems—the problem that gave rise to Blatter’s original comments (see Nov 22)—is, in Africa, most prominent in Algeria and Tunisia. But the jeering “should not be taken so seriously. Players themselves brush it off as fans doing what fans do.”

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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