I do not follow football passionately. But, tonight there was a game worth changing habits. Earlier this night I visited a gym and while I was getting back home, I noticed everyone in the bus was silent, trying to hear a faint sounds coming from driver’s radio. The game has started. Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. France, can you imagine? My country’s team against world-wide favorite France! Euphoria was overwhelming.
Nobody in my home watches football games. But, when I came back, my main TV was turned on a live transmission from Stad de France.
Yes! My people have lived to have few moments of undisputed joy in their hard, struggling everyday life.
We did want a victory, I mean, who doesn’t?! But, still, we were rational enough to know it is France, one of the best world teams. A powerful victory with Luxembourg last week gave us some buffer to emotions, and subjectivity.
When Džeko scored a goal, with a move of best football maestros, we started to believe a victory was possible. But then that unlucky penalty was referred to French… We may judge and discuss was it really necessary, and if there was some true argument for such referee’s decision… but not here…
I actually want to notice how live transmissions can be revealing.
As I followed news of our people visiting Paris to cheer our team, I have not seen anything I could be ashamed of. Well, the fact is that so called “West” has imposed on us this feeling of shame, that we always have to apologize for something, which finally turned into a slight complex of inferiority. So, you could not see any mischievous behavior of our people, no excesses, nothing bad. In the end Paris is a great city which does not deserve something of such…
Stadium Stad de France, usually reserved for a top games of a national French team, was “occupied”. Many Bosnians (and Herzegovinians) were there, some living in France and surrounding countries, some from Bosnia, on an intentional vacation. The game itself was an ideal game to watch. No excessive, hooligan-like behavior… First half was teeming with quality game; more from the Bosnian team. The goal French had to swallow, came as an adrenalin shot, so they woke from numbness and gave us a game worth watching.
Unfortunately, the unfair referees also woke up, and failed to prove some referees can do their job fairly. Besides, the second half was flavored with our Bosnian spokesman on the transmission, telling that French colleagues are disturbing his work. “But never mind” he said. And we did not, until they shut him off, definitely. They say Bosnians are like cats, they always manage to struggle out of the problem. So, we had our other spokesman back online, though from Sarajevo, but online. Second half proved it were French who needed luck, not us. And they got some, with and unwise move of our team captain Spahić. French got penalty shot. And they scored it. Referees gave 4 additional minutes to the game, so the game ended with French stalling, and Bosnian team trying not to disappoint their cheerers.
You did not! Dragons, you are our pride!!!
Summary of the game, statistically is such that it was a stale-mate in favor of French, who will now go the Poland, avoiding the barrage. Bosnians will have to work their guts off through barrage to get to the Euro 2012.
Factually, it is French that have had a hard lesson. First of what the game looks like when players play for the joy of their own, and for the joy of their people. Not for money. Second, they have learned, once more, how prejudices are always fake. Bosnia and Hercegovina is not a puny little country from always turbulent garbage-yard called Balkans. It is a country which gave birth to honest, true, heavyhearted sportsmen, capable of reaching memorable scores. Furthermore, we now know that when professional, civilized French journalists reaches his limits on ideas, he improvises, badly, and he undermines his colleagues’ eager and joy like guerrilla. Nobody tells this in tourist guides.
Finally, it is Bosnia and Herzegovina where you play sports with heart. It is Bosnia and Herzegovina where you do things honestly, for the sake of giving your best, not so much for the result and money.