While an 88th minute header by Derby County’s Darren Moore salvaged a draw against visitors QPR Tuesday night — the free-falling Stupor Hoops are winless away from Loftus Road over the last 6 months — the Guardian’s Steven Wells observes the the unique combination of American soccer and insurrectionist thought from his Philly perch.
In Duluth, Minnesota, you’ll find the Commie Soccer League (“all rules are democratically voted on”). In Chicago an anarchist team called Arsenal organise an annual ‘Matches and Mayhem’ soccer tournament. Baltimore is blessed by a “punk-rock soccer team” called CCCP FC (although since this stands for Charm City Cunt Punchers, the club’s political credentials might be considered slightly suspect by those of a feminist persuasion).
In Portland, there’s a game organised by self-described “lazy stinking leftist hippies”, while in Cape Cod the Socialist Saturday Morning Sandy Pond Soccer League have a website that plays the old Soviet national anthem. And I personally played in a 20-a-side indoor game between Philadelphia’s RASH (Red Action Skinheads) and SPAR (Skins and Punks against Racism).
There are leftist games in Winnipeg (“no refs, no masters!”), Calgary (home of Calgary Libre! FC), Wilmington and Austin. And in New Brunswick, Denver, Seattle, East Lansing, San Diego, Maine and Washington DC (which has a costumed Halloween game every October). And there’s been a Sunday anarcho-commie soccer game played in New York’s Tompkins Square Park for years now.
Why soccer? “The nature of the game is such that it allows people with different skill levels and abilities to play at the same time,” says Paul Royal of the anarchist Detroit Riot FC. “This is important because we lefties try to be inclusive and compassionate with our political beliefs. And because there’s is no better way to block off a street during a demonstration than with an impromptu soccer match.”
The US left’s curious love affair with soccer might have started in 2000 when the Washington DC based Anarchist Soccer League challenged the World Bank to a “soccer showdown”. The running dogs of capitalism failed to turn up and therefore forfeited the game. Unsportingly, they also failed to cancel world debt.