Monday, November 13, 2017

Politics and The Game, Part Nine

1- Holland and Switzerland 1979
Holland hosted Switzerland in a UEFA European Championship qualifier on March 28, 1979 (3-0 Dutch win).
In the second half, the match was interrupted for a few minutes after two protestors ran into the field holding a banner about the treatment of political prisoners in Switzerland.

2- Carlos Caszely and the Pinochet Regime
Chilean star Carlos Caszely was publicly opposed to the Augustin Pinochet regime in Chile.
He played in the Spanish League at the onset of the Coup (Levante and RCD Espanol).
It was later discovered that his mother had been tortured because of his open opposition.

Photo From: Mondial, New Series, Hors Serie 13, 1982
(Carlos Caszely)

3- Jean Castaneda
Jean Castaneda, France and Saint Etienne goalkeeper from the 80s, ended up in France due to the Spanish Civil War.
His father Juan was from Barcelona (also a goalkeeper). At the end of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s he joined the French Army to fight the Nazis.
He was taken prisoner by the Germans. At the end of the war, he stayed in Lausanne before coming to Saint Etienne where Jean was born.

Photo From: Onze, Issue 65, May 1981
(Jean Castaneda)

4- Jesus Gil and Marbella
Atletico Madrid’s controversial President Jesus Gil ran for and became the Mayor of Spanish Resort Town of Marbella.

Photo From: Calcio 2000, Issue 36 Suppplement, November-December 2000
(Jesus Gil)

5- Team Name Changes under Mussolini and the Fascists in the 1920s
In addition to Internazionale Milano being forced to change its name to Ambrosiana-Inter, other clubs such as Genoa and Torino were forced to change their names by the Fascist Authorities because their names were too western/british and not Italian enough. 
Genoa changed their name from ‘Genoa Cricket and Football Club’ to ‘Genova 1893 Circolo del Calcio’.

Torino changed their name from ‘Foot-Ball Club Torino’ to Associazione Calcio (AC) Torino’.


  1. During the interwar period, others Italian top-club had to change their names, according to the Mussolini regime's pressures. In addition to Inter and Genoa:

    * 'Bologna Football Club' became first 'Bologna Sezione Calcio' and after 'Bologna Associazione Giuoco del Calcio';
    * 'Foot-Ball Club Juventus' became simply 'Juventus' ("saved" for its Latin origin, language tolerated by the Fascism);
    * 'Milan Football Club' was first transformed in 'Milan Associazione Sportiva' and finally totally italianized in 'Associazione Calcio Milano'.

    Besides, clubs like Catania, Ternana, Venezia, Vicenza and others added the adjective 'Fascista' to their names.