Monday, May 07, 2007

Blood Upon The Grass

While reading this blog , i went to this blog and then to this blog and was pleased to see this rejection of nationalism and the nation state . Something , of course , the SPGB have always been advocating and have been villified for doing so by the apologists of Lenin's anti-imperialism theories . So it made a nice change to see those Left - wing heretic's re-appraisals .

Anyway , it was all this discussion on nationalism that recalled my Road To Damascus conversion and my disillusionment with the "Tartan Army" and the Scotland national football team .

In 1973 , Pinochet's fascist soldiers beat , tortured and murdered thousands in the Santiago football stadium , A few years later on the road to Argentina , Scotland played a warm up game against Chile and played in that very same blood soaked stadium . Russia , remember , had earlier forfeited their place in the 1974 World Cup Finals by refusing to play a qualifying against Chile , yet the mandarins of the SFA , ably supported by all football's 90 minute nationalists insisted - no politics in sport . The Scottish team lost my support , for what that is worth . Nor do i take any pleasure in celebrating that great Archie Gemmill super-goal against Holland - the studs of the same boots trampled over the memories of Chilean workers . I now even happily chuckle when England beats Scotland .

Anyway , when checking some facts i came across this song by Adam McNaughtan .

September the eleventh
In Nineteen seventy-three
Scores of people perished
In a vile machine-gun spree
Santiago stadium
Became a place to kill
But a Scottish football team
Will grace it with their skill
And there's blood upon the grass
And there's blood upon the grass

Will you go there, Alan Rough
Will you play there, Tom Forsyth
Where so many folk met early
The Grim Reaper with his scythe
These people weren't terrorists
They weren't Party hacks
But some were maybe goalkeepers
And some were centre backs
And there's blood upon the grass
And there's blood upon the grass

Victor Jara played guitar
As he was led into the ground
Then they broke all of his fingers
So his strings no more could sound
Still he kept on singing
Songs of freedom, songs of peace
And though they gunned him down
His message doesn't cease
And there's blood upon the grass
And there's blood upon the grass

Will you go there, Archie Gemmill
Will you play there, Andy Gray
Will it trouble you to hear the voice
Of Victor Jara say
Somos cinquo mille -
We are five thousand in this place
And Scottish football helps to hide
The Junta's dark disgrace
And there's blood upon the grass
And there's blood upon the grass

Do you stand upon the terracing
At Ibrox or Parkhead
Do you cheer the Saints in black and white
The Dons in flaming red
All those who died in Chile
Were people of your kind
Let's tell the football bosses
That it's time they changed their mind
Before there's blood upon their hands

Officials of the SFA refused to meet a delegation of three former prisoners of the Chilean military regime who called at their headquarters in Glasgow. About 70 per cent of Scottish professional footballers voted in favour of the national team playing Chile in June. Only ten per cent were opposed.

An officer thought he recognized Victor Jara , pointed at him with a questioning look and motioning as if strumming a guitar. Victor nodded. He was seized, taken to the center of the stadium and told to put his hands on a table. While his friends watched in horror, rifle butts beat his hands to a bloody pulp. "All right, sing for us now, you ---," shouted the officer

Eternal Shame on Scottish Football

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