happy easter indeed...rioting over the weekend here - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-31-2005, 05:52 AM   #1
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Normal happy easter indeed...rioting over the weekend here

On Sunday night there was a World Cup qualifying match held here in Bamako, Mali against Togo. We had been warned ahead of time to not be anywhere near the stadium as big matches like that have been known to get a bit rowdy in the past. My boyfriend and I went out into town to get some money at the ATM machine only to find that it was not working (welcome to Africa) and so returned home on public transport. A guy sitting next to us was listening to the game on the radio and the score was 1-0 in Mali's favour. By the time we got to a restaurant near our house, thinking we would catch the tail-end of the game on the TV, the coverage had been pulled. Guys in the restaurant said that the score was now 1-2 and that fans in the stands had started throwing stuff onto the pitch and begun to rush the field. And then the national TV station stopped showing the match. We all talked about how stupid it was for "fans" to get so riled up as to do things like that, but I didn't know the full extent until I went into work on Tuesday. It seems that it sparked a full-scale riot that saw hundreds of shops and bars smashed, looted and burned, people robbed in the streets, cars burned, roads blocked, and traffic lights destroyed. On my way to work now it is a mess because of the missing traffic lights and the ensuing chaos (as if traffic here isn't chaotic enough!)

Several of the players on the Malian team also play in professional clubs in Europe and there was some fear that they may have been harmed because the fans were screaming for their blood and threatening to kill them. Thankfully they got out ok, but many of them are saying that they will probably no longer play on the national team.

What makes it all rather disturbing is that most of the vandalism seems to be completely unrelated to football and just young stupid men taking advantage of a moment of chaos to do harm. And that the police seemed unable to bring things under control quickly. It's rather frightening to think that one lives in a place which is overall very peaceful, but in which law and order could be so easily disrupted.

Some reports here and here

"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 03-31-2005, 06:21 AM   #2
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Very sad

It seems just like in the States, some people using sports as an excuse for violence.

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Old 03-31-2005, 08:08 AM   #3
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That's awful. It seems like sports violence is something that happens all over the world, not just parts of it.
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:13 AM   #4
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awful but least surprising
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:18 AM   #5
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wtf is it with international soccer fans?? they go crazy for their football.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:13 PM   #6
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football riots are not uncommon, unfortunately. to some people, football is a religion.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:50 PM   #7
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It troubles me to hear of sporting events causing this type of behavior; it's really inexcusable. Believe it or not, or college and pro sports in the South have been relatively free of rioting and the other mayhem that tometimes occurs elsewehere. I have never understood when the WINNING team's fans destroy the town after a victory. I have had the impulse to go down and have a conversation with the referees when they make stupid calls at football games, but always wisely kept myself in my ticketed seat. I am glad that you and Sul stayed out of harm's way.

My Metroplitan Statistical Area hosted the USA vs. Guatemala match which went off without a hitch amongst the 31,000 in attendance (which is really a good attendance figure for a non-Norht American football event on a weeknight here). The weather was great and tema USA won.

Your account of the potential threat to the Malian players who are alos in European clubs made me think of a pleasantly hopeful article article I read today regarding the Israeli team. They have two Israeli Arab players on the team who are often jeered and harassed by the team's own Israeli fans, but after scoring some key goals, they are becoming heroes. That is what sports should do, is bring people together, not drive them to rioting an dlooting.

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Old 03-31-2005, 09:24 PM   #8
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Very sad

It seems just like in the States, some people using sports as an excuse for violence.
Hey, we're not all Raider fans, OK?

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