A Soccer Scandal

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I’m sure you’re all aware that soccer, or football, is pretty huge around the world. It’s pretty much our baseball. So you can only imagine how big of a deal a scandal would be if you found out people in the sport were cheating.

And that’s exactly what’s happening in the Jewish community in England.

The MSFL, a Jewish soccer league in England, from what I can tell from my research, is a pretty serious league. There are writers from the local Jewish paper who report on the games. There are players of the week. They have real uniforms. They travel to different cities to play. In short, from what I’ve read, it seem like it is a semi-professional league.

The only catch is, besides being talented enough, that you have to be Jewish to play. And that’s where the scandal comes in.

Some teams suspected that members of the Holy Mount Zion team were, in fact, not Jewish. It turns out, through some Facebook stalking, that they were not. But it would be one thing to just have your players say they are Jewish when they actually weren’t. But it gets more complicated than that. The two men accused of only being talented soccer players (minus the Jewish part) were using fake names while playing, in case people suspected that their names weren’t Jewish enough.

Their story fell apart though when their teammates would call for the ball using their real names (which they claimed at the time were just nicknames–you know, because when your name is Danny Potter, a natural nickname would for you would be Mariusz). The story officially came apart though when they were asked their birthdays–and they couldn’t provide the real dates.

That’s crazy to me. Why do their coach feel the need to give his spy players fake birthdays? Did he think that Jews are only born over Jewish holidays?

Posted on February 15, 2011

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