Thursday, January 19, 2017

Politics and The Game, Part Seven

1- Claude Bez, Bordeaux and Dnepr 1985
Bordeaux’s quarterfinal match up with USSR’s Dnepr Dniepropetrovsk on March 20th, 1985 was marred by the Cold War Politics of the day.
Dniepropetrovsk had been designated as a ‘Strategic Zone’ because of the presence of Munition Factories.
As a result the match was to be played at Krivoï-Rog.
Bordeaux President Claude Bez would have one of his famous tantrums during this whole episode.
At the Bordeaux Airport he refused to board a Soviet ‘Aeroflot’ as was the standard.
He insisted that he was French and he would employ an Air France, there was no question for him to pay the Soviets.
Once in Kiev, the Soviet authorities insisted the players to go through Customs first. However, Bez once again insisted on the whole delegation and threatened to return to Bordeaux otherwise.
The delegation had to fly to Krivoï-Rog that had a Military airport.
A Local navigator had to fly with the Air France to keep the location secret to westerners.
Just before take-off the locals cancelled the flight due to a ‘Storm’ that no on could verify and tried to convince the Bordeaux contingent to take the train.
The Train would have left at 8 PM and arrive at the destination at 4 AM. Bez refused and they stayed at Kiev and tried unsuccessfully to postpone the match for one day.
After his discussion with Vice-Minister of Ukraine, Bez declared that a Soviet’s word counts for nothing.
He even insisted that if the match was not postponed they would forfeit.
However, the next morning Bez was convinced by his team to stay and the Bordeaux squad flew to the destination.
In a difficult match, Bordeaux tied the match after falling behind and won on a penalty kick shoot-out.

Photo From: L’Annee du Football, 1984
(Bordeaux President Claude Bez)

Photo From: Onze, Issue 112, April 1985
(Bordeaux delegation waiting for plane at Krivoi Rog)

Photo From: Onze, Issue 112, April 1985
(Dieter Muller, March 20, 1985, Champions Cup, Dnepr 1-Bordeaux 1)

2- Agustin Pinochet and Chile Television, 1987
During the 1987 Copa America, Chile’s Leader Agustin Pinochet ordered the dismissal of eleven workers of the Chilean Television.
During the Final on July 12th, 1987 vs. Uruguay (1-0 Uruguay win), they had shown on the stands protestors with signs that read : ‘Pinochet Assesino’ (Pinochet Assassin).

3- Internazionale Milano and Ambrosiana 1928
In 1928, Italy’s Fascist Authorities forced Inter to change their name to Ambrosiana. Due to Nationalistic feelings they were opposed to their name of Internazionale as well as its philosophy (In fact Inter had been founded with the intent to include foreign players).
A new uniform (all white with a Red cross) was also part of the change.
At the conclusion of World War II, Inter reverted back to their original name and main black/blue uniforms.

Photo From: Guerin Sportivo-La Grande Storia Del Calcio Italiana-1929-1930
(Pietro Serantino and Gipo Viani with Inter’s traditional black blue colors and Antonio Blasevich with Ambrosiana’s first jersey)

4- The 1991 Gulf War
On February 13th, 1991, Sweden were scheduled to play a Friendly at Tunisia. On January 25th, Sweden pulled out of the friendly due to security concerns resulting from the Gulf War.

5- Terrorism at the 1972 Olympics
Many feel that the 1972 Hostage-taking at the Munich Olympics as the primary reason for increased security and a distance between journalists and athletes.
Before journalists could mix in and talk and interview players with ease in their hotel rooms, etc, but after the attacks, all that changed and starting the 1974 World Cup, the delegations were guarded closely with more security.

Photo From: Marca, September 6, 1972
(Terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics)


  1. hello, your site is great. but there should be more linking-up between the parts of a series like this, and a better general view over the content



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