Sunday, August 26, 2012

Separatist Football Update: Carnage at a Dagestan-Netherlands Match, Alderney vs. Sealand, Barotseland’s National Team

Dagestan football matches are almost as dangerous as Dagestan
Dagestan–Netherlands Football Match in Moscow Leads to Brawling, over 100 Arrests.  The Russian Federation’s Republic of Dagestan, in the North Caucasus region, is called by some the most dangerous place in the world, plagued as it is by daily brutal violence from organized crime, Islamic militancy, clan warfare, and a Salafist separatist Caucasus Emirate movement.  Nonetheless, its collective nose was put seriously out of joint by a June 30th ruling (reported on at the time in this blog) by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) that  Dagestan is too unsafe to play host to games featuring the Dagestani team, Anzhi Makhachkala.  Although Anzhi is ranked fifth in its league, it must still find a new stadium for “home” games.

Thus, it did not really advance Dagestan’s attempt to overcome its branding problem—its association in the public mind with mindless violence—when an August 23rd match in Moscow between Anzhi and the Alkmaar Zaanstreek (A.Z.) team from the Netherlands led to an eruption of ethnonationalist violence.  First, on the day before the match, Anzhi fans brawled with supporters of the Zenit St. Petersburg football club in front of a McDonald’s restaurant in St. Petersburg.  Seven Russians were arrested in that incident, and three Dagestanis were injured.  As the Moscow Times described the mêlée, “Dozens of youths with faces hidden under hoods broke into the veranda of McDonald’s restaurant screaming and sweeping all before themselves.  The terrified visitors ran in panic inside the restaurant .... Those who did not manage to escape were beaten indiscriminately.  The perpetrators were beating one man from Dagestan on the veranda and then dragged him onto the street, where they continued the execution. Two passers-by tried to stand up for the victim, but the assaulters said that the immigrants ‘rape our women.’”
Then, 80 fans were arrested during the match itself for shouting vulgarities and national slurs at players and for throwing lighted flares onto the field.  Later, after the game, brawling in the Moscow metro between Dagestanis and ethnic Russians led to 40 arrests.  Meanwhile, in Dagestan on the day of the match, things were relatively peaceful.  A gang of Islamist terrorists attacked a military checkpoint, killing one soldier and injuring three policemen.  For Dagestan, that’s a quiet day.  (I almost forgot: Anzhi beat A.Z. 1-0.)

BFF Forever! Lozi Found Barotseland Football Team with National Aims.  Football organizers in Zambia’s Western Province have founded the Barotseland Football Federation (B.F.F.), with aspirations eventually to join the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) as a full-fledged national member.  The Barotse, also known as the Lozi, have long been seeking to secede from Zambia, thus restoring a boundary between what were separate colonies in the days of British rule.

Alderney Footballers to Face Sealand in North Sea Micronation Grudge Match.  The Alderney F.A. football (soccer) team is preparing for an August 25th exhibition match against Sealand F.A., the team for the unrecognized Principality of Sealand, a crumbling sea derrick off the coast of Essex, England, which has been de facto independent since 1967, though recognized by no state.  As in Sealand’s May 5, 2012, exhibition match against the indigenous people of the Chagos Islands (reported on at the time in this blog), the Sealand squad will include the television comedian Ralf Little, star of The Royle Family and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.  Alderney is the third-largest of the Channel Islands between England and France and is the second-largest in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a United Kingdom Crown Dependency.  Alderney, which is three square miles in area, is a vast supercontinent compared to Sealand, which is a mere 6,000 square feet and, technically, does not meet the international legal definition of a “territory.”

[Also, for those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with a forthcoming book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas to be published by Auslander and Fox under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements, Independence Struggles, Breakaway Republics, Rebel Provinces, Pseudostates, Puppet States, Tribal Fiefdoms, Micronations, and Do-It-Yourself Countries, from Chiapas to Chechnya and Tibet to Texas.  Look for it in spring 2013.  I will be keeping readers posted of further publication news.]

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