Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

FIFA Must Have Been On The Good Chinese Opium

Posted by Mike on May 15, 2007

In 2007, China is going to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup. How China handles the event could be a barometer of how well they will hold the 2008 Olympics. Early signs point to that this isn’t going to end well, as both FIFA and China have made a huge political mistake.

The United States fields the most prominent team in the world of women’s soccer. It is absolutely no surprise that they have qualified, and the Americans are certainly a favorite to win. The shocker for me has been the qualification of the North Korean National Women’s soccer team, representing one of our worst political enemies in the Post-Cold War era.


FIFA is going to love explaining this to the Americans. 

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue. For example, tensions between Iran and the US were very high coming into the 2006 World Cup in Germany; both teams qualified, but they were put in different groups and the Cup went on without a hitch. However, in the 2007 Women’s World Cup, the United States and North Korea have been placed in the same group, meaning that they must play each other at least once. What’s worse, their match is scheduled for September 11th, six years after the worst terrorist attack in America’s history.

It is unlikely that FIFA or China has deliberately done this to provoke a political incident on a sporting stage. However, it is an egregious oversight that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible, unless Kim Jong-Il is okay with an 8-2 loss at the hands of our beloved yanks. Then it’s so ON, baby!


Refereeing the game: Inspectah Hans Brix!


13 Responses to “FIFA Must Have Been On The Good Chinese Opium”

  1. Didn’t we get our butts kicked by Iran several years ago as well? I like to think that international politics don’t depend entirely on who beats who in soccer, but I could be wrong.

  2. Mike White said

    They don’t. Still, our relationship with Iran was different in 1998, and FIFA goes out of its way to prevent fierce political enemies from facing off in major men’s tournaments.

  3. Hmm… I did not know that. Sounds kind of silly to me. But that’s FIFA for you, I guess.

  4. ColonialKyle said

    Groups are a result of random drawings, from among teams of differant tiers (so 2 best teams aren’t in the same group). At least when it comes to the mens tournament. I’d assume it’s the same for womens.

    In many parts of the world Extrapolater, I think soccer is exactly what politics is based off of. We have a little bit of that here – no one in Wisconsin is going to be voting for Brownback anymore.

  5. Mike White said

    Thanks-that reminded me that the Ivory Coast pledged a temporary ceasefire in 2006, because their national team qualified for the World Cup. In countries like those, soccer is everything.

  6. Kevin said

    US also faced North Korea in the 2003 Women’s World Cup, held in the States. North Korea has consistently strong in Asia, and are quite possibly the best Asian womens soccer team, haven beaten China on many occasions. It’s really no surprise that they qualified. FIFA does its best to prevent games from teams that would likely boycott each other – hence the reason why Israel is considered apart of UEFA (Europe) and not the AFC (Asia). But in the tournament like the World Cup, all bets are off. As for the date, NK didn’t have anything to do with September 11th, and if anything it will only inspire the US players to play harder.

    I think its more strange that the US was drawn into the exact same group as the previous World Cup, being placed with the best team in Africa (Nigeria), best team in Asia (NK), and probably the second best team in Europe (Sweden). Granted, the US should be the best team, but this is definitely the group of death.

    I’d love to see Brazil get a draw this tough for the Men’s World Cup.

  7. onesorryblog said

    Aren’t most countries that are not one of our ‘worst political enemies’ on our payroll? But I guess that’s what ‘soccer’ in the U.S. is all about, isn’t it, throwing tons of money at a problem and demanding that the world take us seriously.

  8. Bill said

    North Korea 2
    US 1

    Mark it down!

  9. Mike White said

    Agreed, Kevin. The Sultans of Samba get it way too easy in the group stages.

  10. Frank said

    Like Kyle said, the groups and gamedays are random. If the US ball had been someone else then they would have fallen into that September 11th slot.

    Plus, what if sporting events were scheduled so that no country would play on a date with a terrible history? You might never be able to play a game.

  11. Mike White said

    I agree that the draw was random. Still, it’s quite a coincidence.

  12. The Sept. 11th date will make the US victory that much sweeter.

  13. […] team USA’s campaign in the Women’s World Cup is about to begin against North Korea. I alluded to this matchup a few months ago, when I thought it was a mistake to play a major political rival on this day; on the contrary, Abby […]

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