July 06, 2006

Indonesia forfeits Fed Cup match to Israel: Team pulled by Indonesian government to protest Israeli actions. Let them win, that will teach them a lesson. Politics and sports, politics and sports go together like diamonds and quartz.

posted by graymatters to tennis at 12:06 PM - 2 comments

"We're upset at you, so here, have a win by default." Good grief. You go there, you utterly stuff them, then use your glory to condemn them.

posted by Drood at 01:53 PM on July 06

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "The team was ready and willing to play and understood, perhaps better than their government, that sport in its purest form is about building bridges." That's a nice sentiment. I don't want to get into the details of the grievances and action of the Indonesian gov't against Israel -- if it makes people feel better, think of them the Lilliputians and Blefuscuns, or vice-versa. The fact is, sports-politics boycotts are sometimes effective. "Undoubtedly, sporting isolation had a profound psychological impact upon white South Africans. ‘South Africans are extremely sport conscious. ... A severance of sporting contacts has sensitized them to their isolation from the rest of the world more than any other issue.’ (Shepherd 1977: 148.) The ‘truly transnational’ character of the sports campaign (ibid.: 149) clearly demonstrated to ‘every South African ... that his government’s policies are not respected abroad’ (ibid.: 151)." We don't have to like it. But every day governments refuse to do business or make contacts with nations they perceive as "rogue states," through trade embargoes, science, security, religion, sport, whatever. Sides dig their heels in. They're probably acting in ignorance, but they wouldn't be doing it if they didn't believe it had some sort of effect, even if it's a classic biting off the nose to spite the face.

posted by the red terror at 02:39 PM on July 06

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