The first round of the World soccer Cup has so far proved an uninspiring and tepid affair, apart from the incessant drone of plastic horns used by local supporters, which has generated widespread concern among broadcasters (the mind boggles what their reaction would be if it was thousands of Tibetan trumpets that were being heard) there has been little to excite sports journalists. The tournament has thankfully not been brought into question by the presence of a team from either communist China or Israel, both of which failed to qualify, although their involvement would at least have provided a chance for activists to raise the issues of Tibet and Palestine.
The absence of such an opportunity however should not discourage Tibetans from engaging with this soccer festival, and no doubt there are many who are following matches with great enthusiasm. The question arises of course which national side is most suitable to qualify for the support of Tibetans? A tough call, yet perhaps there are some favourites that stand out above the rest, however before proposing a number of contenders let us present those nations who definitely do not deserve any support from Tibet or the Tibetan Diaspora. In first place, a country that hopefully will not progress too far into the final rounds of the World Cup, England. No Tibetan with any knowledge of their nation’s history would be supporting England, which above all others knows the truth that Tibet was an independent nation, yet has for decades concealed the facts of Tibet’s territorial and political sovereignty while cravenly appeasing communist China.
Secondly, despite the considerable humanitarian aid offered to Tibet’s exiles, no Tibetan surely would be hoping that the United States of America advance with any success in this competition. The reason being that although cosmetic and cynical support has been displayed by various Presidential Administrations to the Dalai Lama, the United States had for decades actively promoted a policy which recognizes bogus Chinese claims over Tibet. In short the US, like England, is unconcerned with the political aspirations of Tibetans for national freedom, on that basis alone Tibetans may wish to question supporting the US soccer team.
So which countries most qualify for the support of Tibetan exiles? Well after much contemplation, and with no particular geographical axe-to-grind Tibettruth offers the following suggestions. Top choice goes to Switzerland, today’s victors against European soccer champions Spain, a country which, long before the United States chose to open its doors to Tibetans, allowed escapees from Tibet to settle and become Swiss citizens. A large number of Tibetans now live in the shadow of the Swiss Alps and have received nothing but kind hearted support, moreover while the Swiss Government has been careful not to upset Chinese sensitivities over Tibet, it has not dispatched its President to Beijing, to affirm in humiliating fashion, the lie that Tibet is a part of China, an act that will forever question Barack Obama’s commitment to truth, justice and freedom
So, with several weeks to go before the finals let’s get behind soccer’s underdogs, Switzerland, and hope that China’s major appeasers suffer a swift exit from the competition. This is the best we can hope for until such time, and why not have the dream, a Tibetan national soccer side stands proudly among other independent nations to compete for soccer’s greatest prize.
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