O desastre francês
O desastre que foi a campanha da selecção francesa no Campeonato do Mundo da África do Sul trouxe um outro assunto à atenção em França e na Europa: a integração racial no continente, como escreve John Hoberman na Foreign Policy:
[…] The denigration of France’s North and sub-Saharan African athletes has been a favorite theme of the French extreme right for years. […]
But after the mostly black French soccer team’s defiance of its white leaders in South Africa, Le Pen’s racist critique of multiracial sport has entered the French political mainstream with a vengeance. […]
That the French national team has become a symbol of society’s divisions is particularly unfortunate, given that in 1998, France’s World Cup winning side was eulogized as the fulfillment of the official French policy of racial and ethnic integration. Zinedine Zidane, its outstanding player and the son of Algerian parents, played star roles both as an athlete and as a model citizen who seemed to incarnate the success of the French model of ethnic integration. This doctrine discourages multiculturalism in favor of the doctrine that skin color and ethnicity have nothing to do with being a French citizen. Paradoxical as it may seem, the triumph of these “black-blanc-beur” — black, white, and North African athletes — was hailed as a sign that French society was immune to multicultural divisions. The resulting national euphoria was embraced as a welcome respite from the country’s persisting anxieties about the social and cultural consequences of large-scale immigration and the spread of Muslim populations throughout Western Europe.
The current World Cup debacle has undone the utopian fantasies of 1998 in a spectacular fashion. […]
No mesmo artigo, Hoberman escreve que só a Alemanha poderá “salvar” a França, uma selecção que, como escreve o irlandês Stephen Glennon na Der Spiegel, com a sua mistura étnica, juventude e talento cai facilmente nas boas graças de todos; quem sabe uma reedição da França de 1998:
[L]ast week showed Germany’s new face. Mesut Özil received a pass from Bavarian born Thomas Müller in that vitally-important group game against Ghana, gracefully picked his spot and drilled the ball into the back of the net. He was congratulated by his teammates — a Brazilian, a Ghanaian, a Polish-born German and a number of ethnic Germans. Millions back home in Germany went crazy.
It was a moment when any underdog — whether Turkish, Polish or even Irish — felt like they had come home.
Com a História a repetir-se, como a selecção de Zinedine Zidane, esta “nova” Alemanha também tenha os seus detractores nas extrema direita alemã.