NATO is hijacking the World Cup in front of us and Canada, currently ranked 38th best in the world is as much an integral part of that process.
Mahammed Bakr, Mohammed Ramz Bakr, Ahed Atif Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr would have enjoyed the 2022 Qatar World Cup had they lived, watching their generation’s Peles, Maradonas, Puskás, Di Stéfanos, Ronaldos, Bests and Messis dribble past players before scoring impossible goals, as only icons like Maradona, who single handedly destroyed the entire English defense, can do.
Kids dream of dribbling, keeping the ball at their feet, sliding and slithering like an eel through defenses before launching a blistering shot worthy of Eusébio, Portugal’s Black Panther, who is not to be confused with Lev Yashin, Russia’s Black Panther, whose name goes first onto any Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) team sheet.
Lev Yashin is universally considered history’s best ever goal keeper, head and shoulders above any other. Not only did Yashin, who served as a child in the Battle of Moscow, save far more penalties and keep far more clean sheets than any other top class goal keeper but Yashin re-invented the role of the goal keeper from passive observer to undisputed King of Defense. When strikers half the age of Messi and Ronaldo pit their wits against their opponents’ keepers, it will be a re-run of Yashin trying to stop the force of nature that was the Brazilian teenager Pele.
Pele, now much older and slower, will probably put in an appearance. But Yashin, even if he was still alive, could not, because Yashin, the Black Spider, who kept a clean net, is Russian. And Russians, like Gazan waifs, no longer fit into FIFA’s business model.
CSKA Moscow‘s Igor Akinfeev is Russia’s current keeper. He probably grew up with dreams of emulating Yashin or Spartak Moscow‘s Rinat Dasayev, who is universally regarded as the second GOAT goalkeeper, second only to Dynamo Moscow‘s Yashin.
Three great keepers, tens of millions of wrecked dreams not only in Russia but worldwide, all because The Beautiful Game must be beholden to the world’s most amoral people, who crushed the childish dreams of Gazan cousins Mahammed, Mohammed Ramz, Ahed Atif and Zakaria Ahed Bakr like they were a cigarette butt.
Following Bashir Assad’s 2014 Presidential victory, I crossed from Syria into Lebanon with two Hezbollah members who were packing heat. On entering the largely Shia Beqaa Valley, German flags were fluttering to the left and Brazilian flags to the right. When I asked Ali, the one who spoke English, who did he hope won the World Cup, he replied that he supported Germany. When I protested that he should support Iran, who are also in Qatar 2022, and who were also in that competition, he explained, as Iran had no hope of winning, he was with Team Germany, even though most of his Hezbollah mates were with Team Brazil. To Ali and his pals, just like to the murdered Gazan cousins Mahammed, Mohammed Ramz, Ahed Atif and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, football was just a game, a harmless diversion, a daydream to while away an hour on a Mediterranean beach before tea or an Israeli air strike blew the final whistle of the day.
Iran, hopefully, will again acquit themselves, as North Korea famously did in 1966 until Portugal’s Black Panther demolished them, Roy of the Rovers style. Though there is an obvious political undertone to Group B, which sees Iran pitted against the United States, Wales and England, it is as nothing compared to why the United Kingdom is allowed enter four teams for the competition and Lev Yashin’s Russia are excluded, as if they were the Bakr cousins kicking ball on a Mediterranean beach.
Not that we should be too hard on England, who always get a high seeding to ensure they get an easy group and thus qualify with their latest batch of eternal bridesmaids. Criticize England all you like but their Prime Minister, their future King and their former captain were all well and truly shafted when Qatar was chosen over England to host the 2022 World Cup.
And not just those three stooges but also England’s legions of fanatical football supporters who must see their 2022/3 season destroyed by having a Russia-free tournament implanted into the middle of their own season and that of their European equivalents. Perhaps the Russians are better off out of it as their players will not have to contend with heat induced heart attacks, as Group D’s Denmark whose Christian Eriksen, recently recovered from a heart attack whilst playing for Denmark, must fear.
Perhaps Eriksen will be the new Bert Trautmann, that German World War Two paratrooper who enjoyed a stellar career and a broken neck, while playing in goal for Manchester City, whose (many Jewish) fans idolized him, just as earlier generations admired Yashin and today’s generations might have admired CSKA Moscow’s Igor Akinfeev had they been given the chance.
Despite massive protests against him Trautmann, who won the Iron Cross for his services to the Reich and the FA Cup for his services to Manchester City, was given the chance all of Russia is now denied. Fascist Canada, which is one of the many Five Eyes countries Qatar is showcasing, shows that this goes far beyond petty vindictiveness. The Canadians cancelled a friendly match against Iran, who also made the finals, for some trumped up political reason their masters in the Pentagon concocted. As the Canadians are in Group F with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco, they’ll most likely return home on December 1st, after they lose all of their group games to what are three formidable adversaries. Instead of playing a friendly with Iran and thereby better calibrating what they must do to survive into the next round, Canada instead dances to Uncle Sam’s tune, boycotts Iran and thereby makes a further mockery of the whole event.
Make no mistake about it. NATO is hijacking the World Cup in front of us and Canada, currently ranked 38th best in the world (two spots below scapegoated Russia), is as much an integral part of that process, as was FIFA’s earlier shafting of England over hosting the 2022 finals.
FIFA has rearranged their entire tournaments to ensure a greater presence from North America, where Mexico traditionally had the field to themselves as well as from the Antipodes, which are firmly in the NATO/Five Eyes camp. Although there may be plausible financial arguments for that, these have to be balanced against keeping even a whiff of integrity in the game.
The 2022 World Cup should have been held in summer in England, not in Qatar in the middle of Europe’s football season. The 2026 competition should not have been awarded to the USA, Canada and Mexico, who now all automatically qualify, and nor should it have been expanded to include 48 teams (sans Russia?), instead of 32. As well as excluding ab ovo Israel and Saudi Arabia from bidding for the 2030 World Cup, FIFA must be brought back to first principles. The tournament exists to help determine who are the best exponents of The Beautiful Game, who are the best Eusébios and Yashins of our era, not which are the best exponents of the foreign policies of those whose missiles zapped the four Bakr cousins.
Ghosts of Auschwitz Past
FIFA’s current American, Canadian, Saudi and Israeli ringmasters have nothing in common with the ghosts of Trautmann, Yashin, Maradona, Puskás, Di Stéfano or Hakoah Wien, who gave us our modern game. Founded by fanatical Austrian Zionists Fritz “Beda” Löhner and Ignaz Herman Körner in 1909, it produced several Olympic champions and it dominated Austrian football prior to the Anschluss, after which the club was closed down and its personnel and players persecuted, imprisoned, murdered or exiled.
Hakoah Wien SC brought bread, circuses and muscular Judaism to the masses on a scale no other club had ever previously done. As Hakoah means “the strength” in Hebrew and as they were a linch pin of the Maccabi Zionist movement, their “muscularity” is not in doubt. And neither is their Zionist zealotry. Hakoah was the first football team to market itself globally by travelling frequently where they would attract thousands of Jewish fans to their matches against local teams in cities as far apart as London and New York. Support for Hakoah spread rapidly around Europe as Jews as far away as Russia and the United States avidly supported Hakoah Vienna who took advantage of such support by setting up very successful tours and friendlies where they preached Zionism, while the Hakoah wrestling team protected them from Nazis, naysayers and ne’er do wells.
On the team’s 1923 trip to London, they beat West Ham United 5–1, thereby becoming the first continental club to defeat an English team in England. In the 1924–25 season, Hungarian-born goalkeeper, Alexander Fabian, broke his arm. As the rules at the time did not then allow substitutions, Fabian put his arm in a sling and switched positions with a forward. Seven minutes later, Fabian scored the winning goal, clinching Hakoah’s league championship in true Roy of the Rovers style.
Hakoah’s brightest star was Béla Guttmann, who is the subject of David Bolchover’s The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory. Guttmann was Hakoah’s last manager before the Nazis closed the club down in 1938. After the war, Guttmann went on to win trophies as a manager in Hungary, Portugal and Brazil before cementing his place in football history by winning successive European Cups with Benfica in 1961 and 1962.
Guttman is far from a Jewish one-off. European soccer before the war was dominated by Austria and Hungary, and soccer in Austria and Hungary was dominated by Jews. The main rivalry in Hungary was between MTK Budapest, still to this day known as a Jewish club, and Ferencváros, its Hungarian nationalist rival. From 1900 to 1930, over half of all MTK’s players, and a quarter of those who appeared for Ferencváros, were Jewish. When Guttmann made his debut for the Hungarian national side in 1921, he was one of six Jews in the team. This was a time when pioneers and visionaries in both countries were transforming football from a simplistic, physical contest to the sport of sophisticated tactics and formations we know today.
Although Hakoah preached the Zionist supremacist mantra on their money-making tours, it was as managers and coaches that Hungarian and Austrian Jews really made their mark. Guttmann and Izidor Kürschner both coached in Brazil and are credited with shaping Brazilian football before its first World Cup win in 1958. Hugo Meisl managed the Austrian national “Wunderteam”, the best in Europe at the beginning of the 1930s, and created the pre-war Mitropa Cup, the first European competition to pit clubs from different countries against each other in the way that the Champions League does today.
Lippo Hertzka managed Real Madrid to their first league championship win in 1932 and did the same with Benfica four years later. Richard “Dombi” Kohn coached Bayern Munich to their first championship in 1932 and then won the league in Holland for Feyenoord, where there is a street named after him. Lajos Czeizler won the Serie A title in Italy with AC Milan in 1951 (their first since 1907) as well as winning the Swedish league five times with IFK Norrköping and coaching the Italian national side. József Künsztler still holds the record for championship wins in Cyprus, having won it eight times with Apoel FC (to add to his one Greek championship win with Panathinaikos). Imre Hirschl won the Argentinian league twice with River Plate and the Uruguayan league with Peñarol. When Guttmann escaped from a Nazi detention centre in 1944, alongside him was Ernő Egri Erbstein, who coached Torino to successive Serie A titles before tragically dying with all his players in the 1949 Superga plane crash.
Max Scheuer, who captained Hakoah in its famous victory over West Ham in 1923, was murdered at Auschwitz, as were two of the club’s Jewish founders and six other players. Árpád Weisz, who won the Italian Serie A title three times as coach of Inter Milan and Bologna — and was the first foreign coach (and still to this day the youngest) to win it — was murdered at Auschwitz. Lipót Aschner, club President of Újpest when Guttmann coached them to success in the 1939 Mitropa Cup, was deported to Mauthausen but survived.
Popping the Palestinians
The Israel Football Association was a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) group of FIFA between 1954 and 1974. Because of the Arab League’s boycott of Israel, several Arab states refused to compete against Israel. The political situation culminated in Israel winning the 1958 World Cup qualifying stage for Asia and Africa without playing a single game, forcing FIFA to schedule a playoff between Israel and Wales, which Wales won, to ensure the Israeli team did not qualify without playing at least one game. Israel was expelled from the AFC group by a resolution initiated by Kuwait, which AFC adopted, by a vote of 17 to 13 with 6 abstentions in 1974. To circumvent this ban, Israel was admitted as an associated member of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in 1992, and was later admitted as a full member of the UEFA group in 1994. Supporters of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement have advocated for Israel to be expelled or suspended from FIFA, without success. On 24 August 2018, the President of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA) Jibril Rajoub was fined CHF 20,000 (US$20,333) and banned from FIFA matches for a year for inciting hatred and violence against an Argentinian team proposing to play a friendly match in Israel.
Though Israel, whose Beitar Jerusalem team proudly boast that they are the world’s most racist team, has been amongst the most vociferous proponents of boycotting all things Russian, they are revealingly quiet on the fate of the four Bakr cousins and of those Palestinian footballers they routinely maim and Jordanian weight lifters, like the legendary Nader Afouri they tortured in the most unspeakable of ways for over a decade.
Still, Israel fits into NATO’s business model and Russia does not. NATO controls the field and Russia does not. The Five Eyes get to strut their stuff and Russia, the Bakr cousins, and Nader Afouri do not. Who are we or the ghosts of Gaza, Auschwitz or Hakoah Wien to argue on behalf of the Once Beautiful Game?
Play up! Play up! And Play the Game!
The sand of the desert is sodden red, —
Red with the wreck of a square that broke; —
The Gatling’s jammed and the Colonel dead,
And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.
The river of death has brimmed his banks,
And England’s far, and Honour a name,
But the voice of a schoolboy rallies the ranks:
‘Play up! play up! and play the game!’
Henry Newbolt’s Vitaï Lampada, The Torch of Life, which legendary Olympian athlete Sebastian Coe once quoted to good effect, brings back those balmy days of empire, when the British bulldogs ruled the roost. Although sports existed in China and Egypt well before Moses was in short pants, and there is, of course, the original Greek Olympics, the concept did not permeate the English language until the late Middle Ages, when it meant pleasurable pastimes and activities, which it derived from the French “desport”.
As sports became more popular, governing bodies emerged to codify their rules, the oldest of which appears to be the Marylebone Cricket Club, founded in 1787 to properly codify the laws of cricket, the imperialist game Vitaï Lampada refers to. The growth of professional sport through the 20th century, and the rise of international competitions like the modern Olympics in 1896, spurred the growth of federations to regulate the regulators. Today, though there are dozens of different entities that determine what is and what isn’t a sport, modern sport cannot be divorced from the Empire. British-codified and British-influenced sports are everywhere, from track and field, swimming, boxing, rowing, sailing, soccer, badminton, tennis and even table tennis. No less a figure than Baron Pierre de Coubertin acknowledged that one of the main reasons for the success of the British was the way in which games were used as a form of educating the population, both at the elite level but also among the unwashed masses, who were likewise imbued with the spirit of playing up and playing the game as they bayoneted the Mahdi on the sands of Sudan.
As the British Empire spread like a crimson pox throughout the world and as those pious hypocrites “thanked the Lord that we have got the Gatling gun and they have not”, the British got Olympian notions about themselves. England’s toffs played their games at Harrow, Eton and the sands of Sudan. Just as the Romans had done in their time, so also were there imperial contests between England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in such spiffing sports as cricket, croquet and rowing.
The French globalized this circus by starting the modern Olympics and Fédération Internationale de Football Association, today’s FIFA. Coubertin, FIFA and many others took the British imperialist ideas about the importance of sport, its moral values, the importance of gentlemanly amateurism and developed almost an international philosophy, which caught the Zionist Zeitgeist, as well as the imagination of every conceivable group under heaven, who desired to play up, play up and play the game, with or without the Queensbury Rules.
We read of British and German soldiers playing a Yuletide football match during the Great War. We read of entire football teams joining the colors and making suicidal charges across No Man’s Land in The Great War. We read of how the Frazer-Ali match stopped the Vietnam war as all sides sat down to watch it. We think sport can be a healer. But we do not think of those German and British officers who persecuted their footballers or of the American top brass who persecuted Ali. If we did, we would have to think of gallant little Israel, for whom torturing sportsmen like Nader Afouri and murdering future Black Panthers like the four little cousins Mahammed Bakr, Mohammed Ramz Bakr, Ahed Atif Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr is only a bit move in their own devilish game. We would think of Portugal’s Black Panther, of Pele against Yashin, Trautmann, Akinfeev, Dasayev, Hakoah, dreams of glory on Gazan beaches and Donbas schoolyards, Maradona, Puskás, Di Stéfano, Messi, Ronaldo and weep that FIFA’s NATO/Five Eyes business model ensures their unbridled magic will never be seen again.