By Freelance journalist Asger Røjle Christensen, Tokyo
Sport has united Korea in the past. But only for short periods of time and without securing lasting détente between North and South Korea. Asger Røjle Christensen describes previous and current attempts of sports diplomacy on the Korean peninsula.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has asked Avi Luzon, the president of the Israel Football Association, to “act with the utmost urgency” and intervene in the Israel state’s controversial internment of Palestinian footballers.
Sports federations are increasingly fed up with the way that athletes are affected by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The IOC as well as UEFA are applying pressure on Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinian athletes. And in Iran, there is simmering resistance against the government's policy that Iranian athletes can not compete against athletes from Israel.
Words fail when describing the performance and behavior of the French players during the World Cup. It is not sufficient to blame the coach - who was voted the worst coach since King Louis XVI of France. The players behaved like medieval fools. Now I suggest they go to Gaza to get rid of their reputation as national fools and contribute to the solution of a tense, international conflict.
The English FA are reported to have agreed to visit Trinidad and Tobago to play a friendly against the ‘Soca Warriors’ subject to two conditions; Jack Warner apologises for calling them an irritant, and an agreement is reached with Trinidad and Tobago players over World Cup monies owed from the 2006 tournament.