The World Cup is coming! The World Cup is coming! If Sportscolumn isn’t exactly World Cup Central, consider it World Cup Penn Station. Or perhaps World Cup Hoboken is more apt. In any case, we’ll be covering a lot of the “other” football in the next month.
A column on ESPN Soccernet today detailed the security precautions (metal detectors at the hotel, security details, team bus without a flag on the side) and the hatred facing the U.S. team throughout the tournament. Players are subjected to chants of “Osama bin Laden!” and get rocks, bottles, and batteries thrown at them. The threat of violence is one thing but getting disgusting bodily fluids thrown at you is another. Buried in the last few paragraphs is this little gem:
Over the last decade, at matches in Latin American countries such as Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, U.S. players have been pelted with everything from batteries and coins to screws and saliva. In one match, former coach Steve Sampson said his players were bombed with bags of urine and animal blood.
Holy crap! That’s taking things a little too far. No matter what they say about football fans in Philly, Oakland or Cleveland, at least they’ve never thrown bags of urine at anyone. (Unless of course, someone used a beer bottle in Cleveland instead of walking to the john.)
We are humbled by soccer fans’ ingenuity for hate mongering.
[ESPN]: U.S. national team prepared for the hate