Monday, March 10, 2008

A different perspective on CFR

Actually this has nothing to with my previous post on CFR.

Every now and again I feel compelled by some strange force of habit/cultural upbringing/personal interest to make a post about football. This is one of them (though it does have a bit of politics thrown in), so if you are football-averse or even football-uninterested, feel free to stop reading now and go and do something more productive with your time.

This season's Romanian football championship has become a vector for nationalist sentiment thanks, in the main, to the patron of Steaua - arch scumbag Gigi Becali. This is because the league is being led by CFR Cluj who threaten to take the title away from Bucharest for the first time in 14 years and away from Wallachia for the first time in about 40 years. You can read some of the background to this story in this pdf file of an article in the February edition of When Saturday Comes magazine (you may recognise the writing style of the author of that piece)

Anyway, the nationalist rhetoric I mentioned there has not abated, with Becali and his odious kin ( a couple of cousins are also involved with football in various shady-ish ways) carrying on about stopping the Dirty Hungarians from winning the title. These would be the dirty Hungarians of CFR Cluj, a squad made up of (at the current time) 5 Argentinians, 2 Brazilians, 1 Canadian, 1 Frenchman, 1 Nigerian, 7 Portuguese, 7 Romanians (all of whom are ethnically Romanian), and 2 Swedes. Though maybe a club calling themselves CFR 1907 Cluj (which is the full name) is subtly (perhaps) highlighting the fact that they weren't born in Romania. It's a bit of a stretch though.

Anyway, at the start of the season I didn't have much of an opinion about who I wanted to win the league (other than knowing I didn't want Steaua to win it purely because of Becali, who is quite possibly the vilest, most repulsive man in Romania, and having a soft spot for Unirea Urziceni because they are coached by former Sheffield Wedenesday player Dan Petrescu). Now, after the waves of anti-Hungarian rehtoric launched by Becali and co, I am firmly behind CFR and hope they win the title by a street (and that Steaua don't even finish second and get a Champions League spot).

Current standings (22 games played out of 34)
CFR Cluj 52 points
Rapid Bucharest 44
Steaua 44
Poli Timisoara 42
Unirea Urziceni 41
Dinamo Bucharest 39

Haide CFR! (By which I mean the team, not the railway, though I would like that to improve too)


Gadjo Dilo said...

Yes, the club's original Hungarian name was Kolozsvári Vasutas Sport Club (K.V.S.C.), and the year of it's foundation, 1907, is proudly worn on shirts by its supporters. I cannot comment further.

Except to say, this CFRist salutes you! To the tune of Brown Girl in the Ring by Honorary Romanians Boney M:

Luptă CFR şi vei câştiga,
Luptă CFR eşti echipa mea.
Luptă CFR şi vei câştiga,
Că tot Clujul e de partea ta.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,

I'd be interested in seeing that article from WSC, but your link doesn't work. Any chanc you could email it to me?


Peter, Budapest