Thursday, 28 June 2007

Victory off to China but should they be going?

Melbourne Victory is off to Hong Kong to face the Chinese national team on Wednesday, 4 July at the Sui Sai Wan Sports Ground and will compete for the Mayors’ Cup against Melbourne’s sister city Tianjin Teda on Saturday, 7 July at Tianjin Teda Stadium. Whilst this is a great thing for an Australian domestic team to do, should they really be going to China?

They say that you should never mix politics and sport but I am of the opinion that the Melbourne Victory should not be going on this tour because of political reasons. My reason is that undertaking this tour, one that is also promoting closer business and sporting ties is ignoring some important facts about China. We are ignoring the fact that China is not a democracy; it violates the human rights of its own people by placing those who have differing opinions to that of the state into labour camps or 'gulags'; it has invaded Tibet and has illegally claimed it as its own; and it does not respect Taiwan as its own country and often threatens invasion.

Others may come back to that saying mentioned before that politics and sport should not be mixed but it has in the past. During the apartheid era of South Africa all sporting ties were cut and currently sporting ties with Zimbabwe are virtually non existent due to the actions of the Mugabe government.

I am all for increasing our ties within the Asian confederation that we now exist in - but should we be supporting a nation such as China with its current beliefs just for economic benefit. Do not the same opportunities exist with South Korea, the home of our major sponsor, Samsung. or even Japan. It is something to consider.


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