Reunion island amateur footballers beat French professionals


This 4 January 2020 French-language video is about the unexpected 2-1 victory by the Reunion island amateur footballers of Jeunesse Sportive Saint-Pierroise in their away match against the French professional team of Niort.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

You have football cup tournament fairy tales and football cup tournament fairy tales. Far in the Indian Ocean lies the beautiful island of Reunion east of Madagascar. And there is a club called Jeunesse Sportive Saint-Pierroise, which has sensationally reached the sixteenth finals of the Coupe de France.

The largest and most important cup tournament in France is open to all clubs affiliated with the Football Association, including those from overseas. Then you talk about more than seven and a half thousand participating teams, which are initially sorted by region. …

The amateurs of Saint-Pierroise won 2-1 on Saturday against second divisionist Niort, after a journey of more than nine thousand kilometers. Nearly a hundred fans traveled with the team. …

But the most famous football player on the island is without a doubt playmaker and 38-time [French national team] international Dimitri Payet, now a teammate of [Dutch player] Kevin Strootman at Olympique de Marseille.

The performance of the overseas team Saint-Pierroise is not yet unique. In 1989, a French Guiana club managed to reach the last 32 in the cup. At the time, Le Geldar was stopped by FC Nantes of the later world champions Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly.

Saint-Pierroise will hear on Monday evening just after 8.15 pm who the opponents will be in the next round. It might be Bordeaux or Strootman and Payet’s Olympique Marseille – that would be something.

This map shows how far the Reunion amateur footballers had to travel to France

This 4 January 2020 French-language video shows Reunion football fans watching the game on TV and rejoicing about the victory.

Women’s football in Sudan after repression


This 13 December 2019 video says, about Sudan after the fall of the Saudi regime-supported, NATO governments-supported Bashir dictatorship:

Women’s football gains momentum in Sudan

*Sudanese female footballers have found their voice and are ready to take the sport to the next level.*

Racism in Ukrainian football, victim punished


This 13 June 2019 video about a Brazilian footballer, now playing in Ukraine, is called Taison Freda 2019 ● Ultimate Playmaking, Passes, Skills & Goals.

There is quite often bigotry and violence in Ukraine. Against Jews, against Roma, against LGBTQ people … And quite often, perpetrators are not punished, but get taxpayer-paid cushy jobs, like special adviser to the Minister of War ‘Defence’.

Now, it is against African Brazilian football players.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Soccer player of Shakhtar Donetsk stands up against racism and gets red card

A week after the racist incident against Mario Balotelli in Italy, the football grounds were hit again this weekend. This time in Ukraine. After the top match between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Kyiv (1-0), it was not about the match at all, but about the bizarre scenes in the last fifteen minutes.

Extreme right Dinamo Kyiv hooligans are nationalist, bringing Ukrainian flags to games. They participated in 2014 in setting a trade union building in Odessa on fire, killing 42 people inside.

The 31-year-old Taison Barcellos Freda, a player of Shakhtar, was bullied racistically by the supporters of the away team during the important game and had completely enough of that in the final phase.

Out of frustration, he raised his middle finger and kicked the ball towards the Dinamo supporters. To his own disbelief, Taison then saw the referee draw the red card for that action.

The Brazilian midfielder left the field in tears and his teammate Dentinho couldn’t stop himself from crying either. “My tears were of indignation, rejection, and helplessness,” Taison said on his Instagram account after the game. “I will continue to fight and keep my head up. Football needs more respect.”

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Portuguese trainer, Luis Castro, skipped the traditional press conference after the game, but made a statement about the issue shortly thereafter. “Expressions of racism are unacceptable. It is a shame for everyone, we have to fight against racism every day, every minute and every second.”

It is not the first time that Dinamo Kyiv has been discredited due to racism. In 2015, four black Dinamo fans were attacked by their own fellow supporters.

This was followed by a campaign by the club to combat racism. The sponsor name disappeared from the shirt and the text “Together against racism” was added instead. They played with that until the end of 2015.

But the campaign seems to have paid off. In fact, Dinamo supporters last Sunday mocked the campaign of their own club. Stickers appeared in the stadium with the text ‘Like to racism’. …

On Twitter, the world football federation FIFA and the European football federation UEFA are called upon to make themselves heard, but so far the football associations have been silent.

Meanwhile, the social media are also full of support for Taison. His compatriots Vinícius Junior and Neymar support the Brazilian and ask for respect in football.

In Italian football, racism on the fields has been a major problem for a long time. Apart from Balotelli, who wanted to leave the field last week after jungle noises from the stands in the duel with Hellas Verona, Romelu Lukaku also had to deal with racist acts by supporters.

See also here.

Iranian women see football match at last


This 10 October 2019 video, in the Farsi language, is about the round 2 football 2022 World Cup qualification match in Tehran, between Iran and Cambodia: goals and highlights.

This 10 October 2019 video says about itself:

Iranian sports journalist Raha Purbakhsh says she ‘can’t believe’ she will be among the thousands of women to freely enter a football stadium for the first time in decades to watch Iran’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Cambodia at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium. World football’s governing body FIFA last month ordered Iran to allow women access to stadiums without restrictions and in numbers determined by demand for tickets.

Iranian women football fans, ANP photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Tears of happiness by women in Iranian stadium

Around four thousand women have visited Iran’s international match against Cambodia in Tehran. For the first time in almost 40 years, women were in the stands during a football match in Iran.

Not entirely correct: on 10 November 2018, in the same Azadi stadium, hundreds of women fans attended the final of the Asian Champions League. It was between Iranian Persepolis and Japanese Kashima Antlers club teams. In October 2018, some hundred women were allowed to attend the friendly match of the Iranian national football team against Bolivia. So, this is the first time that there were so many women at a male national team match.

More than four hours before the kick-off, the first female fans were already present in the Azadi stadium. Some cried with happiness.

The admission of women is seen as a victory in the fight against strict [establishment] Islamic rules and against discrimination against women.

Iranian female fans at the Iran-Cambodia match, ANP photo

The world football association FIFA pressured the Iranian authorities to lift the ban on women in stadiums. Otherwise Iran might be excluded from participating in the 2022 World Cup.

The tragic death of Sahar Khodayari also played an important role. The 29-year-old Iranian set herself on fire in early September, after she was charged with having attended a match disguised as a man. A few days later Khodayari died. …

“The authorities are taking half-hearted steps to tackle discrimination against women who want to watch football. Instead, the Iranian authorities must lift all restrictions on women,” said Amnesty International director Philip Luther.

The World Cup qualifying match ended in a 14-0 win for Iran, much to the delight of the female supporters present.

Iranian women fans in the stadium, photo by NOS / Marcel van der Steen

Iranian women supporters at Iran, Cambodia, photo by NOS / Marcel van der Steen

Women’s football, the Netherlands 2-Russia 0


This Dutch video shows the highlights of the international women’s football match in Eindhoven between the Netherlands and Russia on 8 October 2019. This was a match in a group in which the winning team will qualify for the next European championship tournament.

The Dutch team won, 2-0.

Their first goal was by Daniëlle van de Donk. She was born 10 minutes away from the Eindhoven stadium and played her 100th international match that evening. She has been playing football since she was 4 years old, then in Valkenswaard football club. Her current club team is Arsenal in England.

The second goal was by Vivianne Miedema. She had to cry after scoring, as her grandfather had died last Saturday. She started playing when she was five years old, in HZVV. Arsenal is now her club team as well.