John Riceburg: The World Cup must die



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dead kids

expelling poor people from their homes?

if shooting children is expelling poor people from their homes then yes, they did that

how can anyone sit and watch this homo erotic war substitute in the knowledge that CHILDREN WERE MURDERED to make cities "safer" for players and fans alike!?!?!?

you people are sick in the head

and FIFA are crooks

you support crooks and murderers. football fans? haters of humanity more like

Theo Van Schopes more than 7 years ago

A little misguided

On the contrary, the World Cup brings people from all nations together rather than dividing as you say.

Of course there is a tiny minority who use it as an excuse for racism, but then these people have the same insular views throughout the year and not just during the WM.

The camaraderie and friendly rivalry created by the WM has led me to watch football and share a drink together with people from just about every participating country over the last 2 weeks, in the midst of a multicultural festival-style atmosphere that just doesn't happen at other times.

Your bitterness towards the WM, your lack of interest in football and inability to relate to the millions in this country who love this competition have, perhaps understandably, led you to completely mistake the camaraderie brought about by the World Cup, for racism and jinogism.

It's not a major surprise, given that there are a minority of football supporters who do give a bad name to the sport amongst those who are not interested but such people exist in all walks of life and its not a problem specific to football.

Additionally, you will see from the article you posted that the deplorable attack on the Gabonese woman happened at 11am on the Saturday and has nothing to do with football, in the same vein that other racist attacks that happen throughout the year are also unrelated to football.

I assume you simply failed to read the article properly, but to use such an occurrence as evidence in your article is rather insensitive anyway, regardless of the fact that it took place 12 hours before Germany took on Ghana.

StuYCFC more than 7 years ago

Dear John,

You have probably seen it but my response is just here. I would love your thoughts on it.

Sweetman more than 7 years ago


It's a good response, but I'm still convinced that you and four billion other people are flat-out wrong on this one :-) Ask me again in a month or so, but right now all I can feel is rage.

I actually don't think I would mind if the World Cup involved eleven randomly selected players against another hodgepodge group. Then you fans could talk about the technique and whatever, and the rest of us wouldn't have to deal with flags and 'Schland and all the non-football related stuff that makes it so unbearable.

John Riceburg more than 7 years ago

Thanks John...

... but it doesn't really cut it mate. but never mind, and try not to let it eat you up. It'll be over before you know it:) jacob

sweetman more than 7 years ago


is not scarrying me. but white-black-red
you should read our history, under the 3rd reich these colors - which we have now - were forbidden. imagine. read why we have the colors. you can like patritism or not. but come on, you will find it in ANY country. and relax, these flags will leave after the wm. you'll survive. and i can say yes to most comments i read here: yes we have a problem with racism.....and very very sadly not during the wm always. you must be actually a lucky person, if you haven't notice between the wm 2006, 2010 and 2014. or an ignorant one.....

dolledern more than 7 years ago

I'll have the World Cup, then.

No offence.

ppdc more than 7 years ago

Wish racism would outrage you more when it's non-WC related

It sounds like the author of this article likes it better when things are swept under the carpet. The World Cup is a catalyst which brings out and exacerbates things that happen all the time (such as domestic violence or racist incidents) but perhaps not in the "plain sight" of this author's vision. The fact is that racism, particularly against non white people is quite common in many parts of Berlin. Perhaps it just takes the World Cup for some people to be more vocal about it and for the author to see these things. However, it does strike me as a bit silly to see the World Cup as the problem and not the actual societal issues which underlay these things. Alas. As a Black American woman who lived in Berlin and is good friends with a Korean-American woman who still lives in Berlin, we faced daily incidents of discrimination and racism, especially being women, a good amount of the discrimination we faced was a combination of sexism and racism. Certainly did not need the World Cup for that. Whereas the World Cup also is an event that brings people together, I'm currently in Africa and I cant tell you that despite it being "bread and circus" it helps a hard every day life for some folks.

A black person who lived in Berlin more than 7 years ago

Cuba flag okay - but German flag not? Hmmmm....

So you had to remove your Cuban flag when you went to the anti-national football-match? So it's okay to fly that flag - but the German flag scares you? I lived in Cuba - and I gladly take a German flag over a Cuban flag any given day. Can it be that you lefty, hipster people have a problem with the global event World Cup because you didn't find a way to control that? From discussions with my very left friends I have the feeling that the "political correct" tend to try to indoctrinate other people... "You can't buy this - you must buy that"... But the football movement is not started and not controlled by the left groups - so you feel a little bit left out and that is not a good feeling. I understand that. But the World Cup is a sign of our global planet - everybody (other than the Cubans) can travel and the crowds just love it. Everybody (other than the Cubans) can watch the games in the TV or at public viewing and has a great time. This tournament is around for nearly a century - your post will not change anything. The event is here to stay. Learn to live with it. There are some things on this planet that you just can't control.

Christian more than 7 years ago

I thank the author for his courage!

Yes, I said it! I came to Berlin during the nineties and back then this "national pride" bullshit was kept to a minimum! It was basically brought by the immigrant-hating east Germans who wanted to mask their racism, because, you know, the former east Germany has been de-nazified by the Americans and these folks feel no guilt whatsoever, because, you know, "it was all alone Hitler's fault". Meanwhile all the "intellectuals" were worried about the so called "islamization" of Germany instead of reminding these east German nitwits of their guilt, an now, "we have the salad" as Germans would say, because during the WM you can't tell the difference between the drunken soccer douchebag and the drunken immigrant-hating nazi scumbag anymore, but at least when you talk about it, these scumbags come out of the woodworks to attack you and tell you to go back where you came from, well guess what? Some of us immigrants have been living in the "BRD" long before you came along.

My 5 cents, and kudos to John!

Ibinillathinah more than 7 years ago

east germany

your general statements about east germans are nothing else than are pure racism.
" immigrant-hating east Germans", i feel offended to read this. and i wonder what you have been doing in berlin all the many years ever since the nieties to have such a narrow-minded perspective.

Bern Sen more than 7 years ago

Too many

Yes there are too many people in Berlin ..

C more than 7 years ago

in addition to eyerything else

Are you sure you've lived here long enough? People get attacked everyday, flags have been raised in Berlin long before 2006, and a hipster bar surely is the last place one should look for tolerance. Football is just one way for many people to express how excited (or how stupid) they can be about things; you cannot seriously assume that football is the source of people being crazy! And - to add to your body anecdotal evidence - it's nice when fans of opposing teams meet before and after and display good sportsmanship.

Nikolas more than 7 years ago


I think we'll pick the World Cup, and you can go back to your Land of Freedom, where there are obviously no problems with immigration or racism, there's no wasted taxpayers money, and no one has any national pride whatsoever.

Seriously, Europe as a CONTINENT is immensely into its football. PROPER football. It's the chance when we all come together to support our teams. You should get used to it, matey.

Lauren more than 7 years ago


Wow, an American upset with another country for over doing nationalist fervour? Bit rich I think. I don't think a couple of racist idiots mean all Germans should not be proud to get behind the national team. Silly article.

Stuart more than 7 years ago

Both steaming

You may think this is a bit rich, but your attention was a bit poor. Please read paragraph 4, he was unhappy with American nationalism as well.

D more than 7 years ago


i expected a lot, but found a very dull piece of writing that wasn't even funny or polemical – let alone substantial. there's so much to say about this topic that is important and urgent, so why not at least try?

Henning Lahmann more than 7 years ago


Agreed, though I'm not sure where your line of thought comes from. Nationalism is pretty disgusting in general, and the world cup and other soccer events just seem to bring out the worst around here. Seems to be an area where Nazis openly take to the streets. WOuld have liked more focus on the matters in the second to last paragraph, especially incidents in Berlin.

D more than 7 years ago

Could somebody

Well, at least now you know what it feels like to be subjected to your blog.

Drew Portnoy more than 7 years ago

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