by Demetrios Rhompotis*
It’s especially disheartening when fascism and nationalism find ways to corrupt even sports! On the Soccer Zone USA page, along with the jerseys of the Albanian National Soccer Team that took part for the first time in the Eurocup, this June, the map of the “Greater Albania” with territories from Greece, Kossovo and FYROM appears on the top right side! It’s also sad that those who put that map there instead of celebrating their national team’s appearance in a major international soccer venue, they use it to promote irredentism, nationalism and ultimately fascism! I contacted the Soccer Zone USA page asking them to remove the nationalistic map. Please, do the same. I especially urged my Albanian friends to not only condemn this practice, but to be on alert so that the darkest elements in their midst do not highjack their country and their future. “Dreams” about “greater (teritorrially) countries” usually end up being nightmares. Remember what happened to Greece in 1922 and to Serbia in the ’90s. Smart people learn from other people’s mistakes …
*Demetrios Rhompotis is a journalist and Secretary General of the Central Committee of NEO magazine, published monthly in New York.
PS: 1) It’s flip-flop of the worst kind the fact that no guns will be allowed at the Republican Convention. When it comes to principles, Republicans are supposed to stick to their …guns!
2) Stupid aren’t those who do stupid things but those who insist on doing them!
3) Number 1 criterion for intelligent people is humor. Number 1 criterion for stupid people is lack of it …
My dear friend is comprehensively spot on in this brief post. There’s no doubt that ancient Jarred’s were rekindled with the Albanian soccer teams’ fans furling a provocative extreme nationalist flag showing areas under that nation’s rule much more expansive than its current borders. Unlike the issue of the name Macedonia to describe FYROM, Albanians are found as sizable minorities across other Balkan countries, including our native land of Greece. Any attempt to unite these disparate Alabinian communities with their ostensible mother ensconced in Tirana would be foolhardy, even downright dangerous to international peace and security in the region. Likewise, perhaps in another banner, was libelous lay stated Greek responsibility for an alleged genocide against Albanisns in the mid ’40’s. Demetrios well states the pathology of potential itredentism, as is not confined to Albsnis, as he must surely know: since the fall of Constamtinople on 1453, it has been an article of faith among Greeks to pine for the city’s return, for some, even by force of arms! Such intention would be stupid, of course, and I choose to absolve Greek hyper-nationalists of such a charge, by simply claiming that they are … Humorous!