Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

"Sport is inseparable from politics"

El reivindicativo caso del Clapton inglés: “El deporte es inseparable de la política”

Kevin and Daniel moved to Barcelona from Ireland last Monday to see his first play team. They are not fans of Barça. Neither the Spanish. Nor of any other well-known Anglo-Saxon club that visited the city. They are followers of Clapton Community FC, at the same time as owners. As they are already hundreds of people inside and outside the neighborhood of Hackney, northeast of London.

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For those who do not know the equipment, it may sound strange, but that's the way it is. There are several cases in the football
English of club splits in the last times. Amateurs, annoyed by the management of their leaders, tired of their invisibility, who decide to refound them to regain control, even if this supposes start from scratch several categories below. Everything is agreed in a participatory manner. It does not matter if you donated 10 pounds or 1,000 to be a member. One person, one vote. Soccer by and for the people.

Ideal Republicans

The humble English team disputed a friendly with Jupiter, with which he shares his rejection of fascism

To the Dorney brothers, two Irishmen who touch the quarantine, they found it an organizational form according to their beliefs. From the neighboring island they could feel part of the project, encouraging the Clapton in its first season. They wanted to do it in person in the Catalan capital, since it was a special game for this club of 140 years of life. For this reason they decided to travel 2,000 kilometers by car - with the help of the ferry - to see the friendly against the Club Esportiu Jupiter. A party organized by the City Council within the events of the Republican Spring, which commemorate the proclamation of the Republic.

Jupiter, born in the working class neighborhood of Poblenou and linked to the anarcho-syndicalist movement of the city at the beginning of the 20th century, was a symbol of resistance during the dictatorships of Primo de Rivera and Franco. He lost the shield and the name in times of repression, so his symbolic choice for the match was conscientious. But why the Clapton as a guest? For sharing the same values ​​and the same social commitment, but above all for a shirt. Discreet always in the minor divisions of the cradle of football, the popularity of the tons has skyrocketed due to his second kit. The colors red, yellow and purple and the small stars of three points honor the Republic and the 60,000 women and men of 54 different nations that formed the International Brigades to fight fascism during the Civil War. The slogan "They will not pass!" Stands out on the back of the neck of an elastic that has caused furor. So great has been success in England, and especially in Spain, that stocks have run out. "They have already sold 15,000 shirts, more than some teams in the Premier League," says surprised Geoff Ocran. The manager-player of Clapton attends La Vanguardia to deal with several issues. The first, related to the shirt. Of the 16 design proposals for home games, this one came out winning because of its meaning. "We woke up on a Sunday morning and saw that many people talked about us on Twitter, including many Spanish media. We did not expect so much impact, "he admits.

Football, otherwise

Kevin and Daniel, fans and owners, traveled 2,000 kilometers to see their team play for the first time

In the field of La Verneda dozens of fans gathered, from here and there, proudly wearing the tricolor shirt. Most of the English, beer in hand, joined the Reducte GrisGrana, the most spirited antifascist group of the club, to live together the meeting. The 5-0 favorable to the Barcelonese was the least. There was a protest party between two teams that promote "civil and social rights," as well as "popular, humble and inclusive football," as defined by Joan Rión, president of Jupiter. At a time when the extreme right is moving steadily through Europe, the kingly sport also has something to say. According to Ocran, he must be tolerant and "fight against xenophobia, homophobia or sexism" as does Clapton, of the twelfth English division. Also the elitist soccer, represented by its players, considers that it has to raise its voice taking advantage of its influence. He gives the example of the recent episode of Moise Kean. The Juventus striker received racist insults from the fans of Cagliari ... relativized at first by his teammate Bonucci. "If you have a voice you have to condemn according to what type of behavior or, on the contrary, promote others if they reflect positive values. Football has to send a message to be the most popular sport on the planet. It is good that FIFA and UEFA try, but in the end the protagonists are the stars. Thousands of eyes observe them every day, "he recalls. Chosen by the fans as manager, Ocran, who like the rest of the team maintains an "incredible connection" with the stands, rejects the mantra that sports and politics, as long as they are not at the service of power, can not be mixed. "In real life politics can not be separated from sport or anything else. It affects everything. If the public acts in a racist manner, there will always be a political agenda against it. There will always be a mixture of the two. "

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