Friday, 9 October 2009

War and peace

A friend spoke to me this morning in urgent tones: we have a problem, if there’s any violence they won’t let us in! We were just about to start a rehearsal, which although always loud has never ended in violence. It took me a minute to realise he was talking about football; specifically about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s World Cup qualifier against Estonia. A fatal shooting at a domestic fixture last weekend has clearly put the national team and its fans under special scrutiny. All this comes at a time when Bosnia and Herzegovina have a very real chance of making it to South Africa next year. For a nation whose Premier League is played by part-timers this is no small achievement. That it might be snatched away by some mindless crowd violence is a tragedy that it’s sadly all too easy to understand as an English football fan.

And so on the day President Obama has been controversially announced as the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner I would like to suggest that he sprinkle a little bit of the magic that charmed the Nobel committee in the Balkans!

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