Friday, July 20, 2007

Chile's Poor Losers versus Toronto's Cops

Okay maybe that's a bit unfair, apparently the officiating was quite bad in the semi-final game yesterday. Nonetheless, as Steve at Far and Wide says, the team was getting pretty emotional about it. Now it appears that Chile's government is complaining about our police before anyone has accurately been able to assess what exactly happened.

Despite the fact that goons like Craig Bromell have been allowed on the Toronto police force, I still think the police should be given the benefit of the doubt, at least for the time being. Anyone who was in Toronto during last year's World Cup knows what chaos can erupt in certain neighbourhoods. The Portuguese community around Davenport started celebrating group play victories and didn't let up until their team was eliminated. People were sitting on the rollbars of speeding convertibles racing up and down Dufferin with flags. I had my car, err, baptized by the Portuguese flag - some guy was draping it over every car that passed him. Everyone was waving and shouting and generally carrying on. I avoided Corso Italia (for obvious reasons) and yet several blocks away you could hear the drumming and shouting.

Toronto has many soccer-mad ethnic groups, often with nuclei but a few blocks from each other. They will celebrate with abandon and yet there is little or no complaint about clashes between groups of fans or with the police. Toronto, its police, and its soccer fans know how to handle themselves, why did a problem occur only when Chile's U20 team came to town?

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