Segunda-feira, 12 de Julho de 2010

Catalonia ‘wins’ the world cup

By Vasco Martins

 

10 June 2010. Approximately 1 million people take the streets of Barcelona calling for greater autonomy for Catalonia. The next day, Spain wins the world cup. How can these two very different but related events be connected?

Football instils national unity, familiarises people with the country’s symbols and gives a sense of belonging, of national glory and pride. Those who advocated Catalan autonomy on the 10th of June did not stop from celebrating the Spanish victory on the 11th, whilst failing to realize the contradiction in such action.

Football is a demonstration of patriotism, civic nationalism, internal union and belief in one’s country. National teams always adopt national symbols. When the Spanish took their flags, hymns, songs and t-shirts to celebrate in Barcelona, they didn’t find chants of protest but people holding on to the very same symbols in support for the national team.

The timing of this world cup victory was crucially important to counter the voices of autonomy in Barcelona. The media will not be paying attention to further developments, as all eyes will be focused on the national team. Moreover, the people of Catalonia will not feel the momentum of having 1 million people protesting in the streets of Barcelona, but instead the heat of winning the world cup, of being part of the country who won the epic tournament.

For now, the Spanish national team managed to roll back the media’s attention and deny the political profits of having 1 million people protesting to the Catalan leadership.

publicado por IPRIS às 15:27
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