Macedonia, I Remember Them

September 6, 2006

england-soccer-ball.gifWhen Macedonia were drawn in England’s group for Euro 08, I remembered the name, but couldn’t place the face.

When I saw the headline “Macedonia gets racism warning,” it all came back to me.

I try to have long-term memory loss in order to keep up my optimistic and positive outlook, but I can’t help but recall how furious I was at the Macedonia supporters’ deafening monkey chants in Skopje back in 2003.

I know there are idiots supporting every team, but the sheer volume of the taunts that night made it seem as though there was little or no opposition to the abuse.

I’m sure that is probably unfair of me.

What is not unfair of me is to expect a much better statement from the Macedonian Football Association. MFA spokesman Zoran Nikolovski said Tuesday, “we appeal to our supporters to behave properly and avoid any unreasonable actions which could harm our position and result in harsh penalties.”

In such a progressive era, a sad statement indeed.

Maybe we missed the part about racism being just dead-wrong. Or the passionate plea to the people of Macedonia to show their greatness and to stand up against racist abuse. Or even a little something that makes it seem like this behavior is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Maybe it was in the statement somewhere, but wasn’t quoted in news reports.

But my guess is, with this kind of passivity, we are in for more of the negative abuse tomorrow. If I recall correctly, every time England possessed the ball, the whistles were deafening as well. Provided the player was some class of white, of course.

Unfortunately, after seeing this headline, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s match much less than I was just a few hours ago.

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