Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Soccer Success Curse

So, Iraqi Olympic fairytale is over. Their soccer team can still fetch a bronze, but the victory against formidable Italians is very unlikely.

Iraqi soccer fans can take some comfort if they compare the results of some national soccer teams with the fate of their countries.

Italy won two consecutive World Cups – 1934 and 1938 – only to come out of World War as the most humiliated former Great Power. Argentina won 1978 World Cup and had this national triumphs replaced with national humiliation at Falklands four years later.

This part of the world also had its share of Soccer Success Curse. Yugoslavia won U21 championship in Chile and ceased to exist one year later. Red Star Belgrade, club known as the embodiment of Serb nationalism, won European Championship Cup only to have many of its fans, including Arkan, killed while fighting for the cause of Greater Serbia.

If we accept this logic, recent US troubles in Iraq could be explained with the surprisingly good results of US national team at 2002 World Cup.

However, it is still unclear how would Soccer Success Curse affect Iraq. Is the success of national team be reflected in military and political disaster for Allawi's government or the insurgents? Or could the defeat at the hands of Paragauay mark the turning point in Najaf crisis?


Post a Comment

<< Home