Friday, June 29, 2007

Football fuss

So much for hoping that "the beautiful game" could unite the world...and/or proof that Franklin Foer's thesis in "How Soccer Explains the World" is accurate. In that the game reflects politics and globalization in a microcosm.

Armenian-Azerbaijani Soccer Matches Canceled

BAKU/YEREVAN, June 26, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has ruled that the qualifying matches between Armenia and Azerbaijan for the Euro 2008 soccer championship will not take place.

Europe's soccer governing body said in a June 23 statement that it had decided to cancel the two matches "as no suitable compromise can be found." As a result, both teams will receive zero points.

The two matches were to be played in September. But the soccer associations from both countries couldn't agree on where.

Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been sour since the early 1990s when they fought a war over the predominantly ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia did not object to the matches taking place in Armenia and Azerbaijan. But Azerbaijan wanted the games held on neutral territory. Baku said it would be difficult to guarantee the safety of the Armenian players on Azerbaijani territory.

(full article)

1 comment:

pedro said...

Why is Armenia being punished for Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to follow UEFA's rules? Armenia is willing to host the game with security guarantees, so if Azerbaijan decides not to show up, then they should lose the game. I recommend contacting info@uefa.com and raising this question. Armenia's football federation and foreign ministry should also raise this issue and ask why they're being punished for Azerbaijan's irrational behavior.