A historian's comments on current events, foreign and domestic.
Dear prof. em. Kaiser,congratulations on your insight into the Blatter matter. I had never expected him to step down. Neither had I ever figured you to be a 'soccer' fan (of course it's called football in civilised nations). It's a shame, and perhaps a sign of the times, that all great sports have fallen prey to commercialism and a kind of 'win at all cost' mentality. Football, athletics and cycling are rife with bribery, doping and a kind of mafia control that one usually finds in countries as Russia or Italy (the Astana team in the recent Tour of Italy was particularly dreadful and they will be worse in the upcoming Tour de France). Speaking of which, overall I have a sense that the 'healing impact' of the second world war and the holocaust has weaned away and we are forgetting important things. It would be good if we went back to fifties style progressive taxation and institutional/governmental approach. Sadly, the trend is the reverse. The question is, what cataclypse will follow.Football, meanwhile, has deteriorated as a game at all levels except for the really big teams in the biggest leagues. I have seen some great games by Barcelona and Munich this year, the rest was mainly meh. My theory on this is that with today's improved individual powers of speed and running there are too many players on the field, making the spaces too small. The ball has to be played at too high speed to be controlled, except by the technically most gifted. The solution would be to take two players out of each team, thus playing nine to nine instead of eleven to eleven. That would increase the space, slow the ball and bring football back to a game of space and combination that is more worth viewing.Of course this is impossible to bring about. It takes ages to bring goal line technology and video refereeing into the game. Fifa needs a lot more than just a new chairman.Many thanks for your columns, still just about the best thing on the interwebs. Greetings from the Netherlands.
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