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Soccer Is More Than Life Or Death

870 words - 4 pages

Soccer has the power to unify, inspire, and promote peace among nations but it also has the power to cause extraordinary discord within a country and globally as well. Colombian national soccer is a good example. Colombia is divided into thirty-three departments and each department has at least one soccer team for a total of thirty-six Colombian league teams. The Colombian league is divided into two categories, Liga Postobon with eighteen teams and Torneo Postobon also with eighteen teams. Within these two categories, there are rivalries between teams that have reached such extraordinary heights that it affects the way the thirty-three Colombian departments see each other, in particular, ...view middle of the document...

In the 2014 preliminaries, el Centro Democratico led the polls by one hundred thousand voters for a few hours but Santos’ political party ended up with the most votes and the most seats in the Senate. The race was close with only a seventeen thousand vote difference. This small margin of difference makes me think of the one-win difference Bogota’s Millonarios has over Atletico Nacional. Millonarios has won fourteen Liga titles while Nacional holds thirteen. It is a known fact that “paisas” (people from Medellin) do not like “rolos” (people from Bogota). I do not think that el Partido de la U represents rolos and el Centro Democratico represents paisas, but the coincidence is uncanny. I believe the tension that exists between the region’s teams has underlying causes, mainly the disagreements between opposing ideologies: Uribismo or Partido de la U. Opponents of Uribe’s firm hand against the rebels have shown their dissatisfaction through twitter and have also sent out death threats. In 2013, a match between Millonarios and Atletico Nacional was cancelled and postponed because Millonarios fans killed three Atletico Nacional fans (Freeman). The political turmoil between the country’s main political parties which are strongly correlated to the country’s principle regions affect the regions’ soccer fans. I believe soccer fans are responding to the injustice of the system or their disagreements toward either party with violence in soccer stadiums.
Within the country, the soccer teams are strong rivals and this rivalry creates larger incidents of violence in the country. However, the National team, which...

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