Thursday, December 20, 2018

Politics and The Game, Part Ten

1- Gheorge Popescu and spying 1986-1989
Romanian star from the 80s-90s, Gheorge Popescu, admitted in July 2009 that he had spied on his teamamtes for the Romanian Secret police (the Securitate) for three years starting 1986. He did say that even when he spied he only wrote good things about the players.

Photo From: Panini Holland 1991/92
(Gheorge Popescu)

2- Spanish Teams changing names during Franco’s Regime
After the take-over of General Franco in Spain after the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, some teams were forced to change their names. In March 1940, Barcelona changed its name to the more Spanish ‘Club de Futbol Barcelona’ since their original name ‘Futbol Club Barcelona’ was too anglicized. They reverted back to their original name in 1973.
Similarly, Athletic Bilbao were forced to change their name to the more Spanish Atletico Bilbao in 1941. They revered back to their original name after Franco’s death.

3- Sampdoria players and Jacques Chirac’s Nuclear tests, 1995
In 1995, France President Jacques Chirac started conducting Atomic Bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean. Sampdoria players protested against the decision and released this photo.

Photo From: World Soccer, November 1995
(Sampdoria players)

4- Celtic Glasgow and Chernobyl disaster, 1986
In the Fall of 1986, Celtic Glasgow were to meet Dinamo Kiev in the Champions Cup, at Kiev just months after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It was said as a precaution, Celtic traveled with their own food as they did not want to take any risks with the food there.

5- Sylvain Kastendeusch and politics
Former long-serving Metz player Sylvain Kastendeusch started working in the Metz mayoral office after his playing days. He worked with the division of youth and sports. He is currently the co-president of the French players union (UNFP).

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 60, January 199
(Sylvain Kastendeusch)

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