Friday 22 Mar 2019 | 20:28 | SYDNEY
Friday 22 Mar 2019 | 20:28 | SYDNEY

Great moments in football nationalism


Sam Roggeveen


18 June 2009 10:36

Iran's national football team played a World Cup qualifier against South Korea in Seoul last night, and six players sported green wristbands as an apparent mark of support for presidential candidate Musavi. The BBC reports most players removed the wristbands for the second half of the match, apparently at the request of coaching staff.

Closer to home, Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has pulled off the PR move of the year by mastering the Australian national anthem on television. Verbeek may not ever build the personality cult that surrounded his predecessor and countryman 'Aussie Guus' Hiddink. But Verbeek has been a somewhat cold and brooding figure, so this will do him no end of good with the public.

Clearly the guy can't hold a tune and he makes more than 'only one mistake', but it's a pretty good effort. I've known Dutchies to do far worse: some will sing 'Advance Australia Square' and, in a rather brilliant malapropism, substitute 'our land abounds in nature's gifts' with 'our land abounds in nature strips'.