July 23, 2005

Inter Milan cancel England tour due to safety concerns: Wow. Needless to say, people aren't happy, and the old chestnut about "giving in to the terrorists" is already bouncing around. Is this just good, safe policy or total overreaction?

posted by sakana to soccer at 09:22 AM - 13 comments

Update: at least one (Leicester) of the clubs Inter were due to play is planning to sue. Everything else aside, four smaller clubs are losing a fairly significant (to them, at least) pile of money over the pullout.

posted by sakana at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2005

Normally, I wouldnt condone giving in to terrorists. However, each eprson (or goups of people) should be able to decide if they want to stay out of harms way. I really dont understand why they are planning to sue. Given to recent attacks in Egypt, on tourists hotspots, being cautious about travel would seem to be a smart thing to do.

posted by daddisamm at 10:31 AM on July 23, 2005

That's fine, as long as they are consistent, and don't do anything that puts them at statistically greater risk, like* get in a car (42K motor vehicle deaths), walk (15K deaths by accidental fall), clean their houses (14K deaths by accidental poisoning), eat (5.5K deaths by choking), live in a house made of wood (3.4K deaths by fire), or swim (3.2K deaths by drowning). Morons. What offends me is not 'we let the terrorists win' but 'we can't do simple math'. * all data for US, 2001; these are all the things that caused more accidental deaths than terrorism in the US in that year. If the 2001 US data are consistent with the UK's current year data, adjusting for population, terrorism has probably killed about the same number in the UK this year as bicycle accidents.

posted by tieguy at 11:55 AM on July 23, 2005

Well if a person doesnt feel safe, all of the statistix in the world are going to help them. The thing about a terrorists attack is that they can come from anywhere. A person with my cancer diagnosis has a 15% chance of making it 5 years.-- If I lived my life by the statistics-I should have just "cashed it in" along time ago. Fear generates differant responses. I dont blame anybody for changing the life style due to terrorism. I wouldnt do it, but I cant make that decision for everybody. Its a real touchy situation. I just dont think that the British "football" teams have a right to sue.

posted by daddisamm at 12:28 PM on July 23, 2005

Daddisamm, whatever you and I think is irrelevant--the only judgment which matters is the law in whatever jurisdiction specified in the contracts for these matches. On a less legalistic level, I wonder how the current fears/risks are different from the years when the IRA were actively setting off bombs in England or the Red Brigades and similar domestic terrorist groups were doing the same in Italy--were teams pulling out of matches then? If not why is this so different?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:35 PM on July 23, 2005

I wonder how the current fears/risks are different from the years when the IRA were actively setting off bombs in England or the Red Brigades and similar domestic terrorist groups were doing the same in Italy--were teams pulling out of matches then? If not why is this so different? I actually have personal experience regarding this issue (I promise, I'm not a know-it-all...I've just done a bunch of sports-related shit in my life!).:-) I toured England in 1974 with a select soccer team from Texas (think I've mentioned this before here) and we just went about the country (and Scotland) like any other group of teenagers on a field trip. We played ten games, drank in pubs, tried to find decent food, wondered why Snickers bars were called Marathon, visited the Bloody Tower...all during a time when fear was high. The fact is as kids we didn't know much about it. I have recently questioned the minds of our parents at the time; did they know the danger? Were Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley scaring the hell out of traveling Americans? Apparently not, would be my best guess. I've also asked myself what I would do if I had a kid wanting to do the same thing in today's world. I honestly don't know the answer. My initial reaction would be my first responsibility as a parent is to protect my child but when I look a little deeper the question becomes much more complex. So...I'm rambling...and don't know the answer.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:14 PM on July 23, 2005

Friendlies played today throughout England - approximately 40. Bombs - 0. Games abandoned at half-time due to a "security alert" - 1. QPR 3 Iran 0.

posted by squealy at 03:48 PM on July 23, 2005

The weird thing to me about all this is how incredibly vague Inter's statement is (it's link in the original article)-- you can even interpret it to mean that they simply think that something as frivolous as football should be made important right now. What I thought of right away, though, is how high concerned Italy is about terror at home (esp in relation to their presence in Iraq) right now-- right after the London attacks, they passed a law giving police more power, and there's been a lot of talk in government about Italy being the next target. I really wonder whether someone (Berlusconi?) went to Inter and asked them to just lay low and stay away from England for a bit, if only to avoid drawing further connection to a (perceived) alliance.

posted by sakana at 03:59 PM on July 23, 2005

If they got Brazilians on their team, I could see their point.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:17 AM on July 24, 2005

So, after all the gnashing of teeth, accusation of capitulation and threatened lawsuits, it's back on. Just a little misunderstanding there, England. Bygones.

posted by sakana at 08:03 AM on July 24, 2005

Texan, the Engineering team for the company I work at is in Israel (we're a startup, here's the self-link: RawSugar) and one of the guys was over here a couple of months back. We were talking about me possibly going to his office and I mentioned my fear of, well, not coming home with all pieces in the same place. His response was that even there--and aside from Iraq and maybe Darfur this is probably the most dangerous place right now--residents barely notice bombings as they happen. Not to say that afterwards everybody doesn't know about it but other than not too invasive precautions like being aware of the surroundings they just go about their lives. I suppose there are more metal detectors and visible security too but heck people still go to Israel for tourism. So for an Italian side to cancel matches without a reasonably explicit threat seems like (cliche time) giving into terrorism. OTOH I still haven't booked a trip to his office. But I think this perhaps explains why your team went on the trip.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:56 PM on July 24, 2005

I imagine the original decision was something like this... Inter Milan chairman: "We agreed to play who??? I thought you said Newcastle and Liverpool, not Norwich and Leicester! Is there any way we can get out of it?"

posted by BigCalm at 03:09 AM on July 25, 2005

You and me both, BigCalm. Not even English teams want to play Leicester.

posted by sakana at 08:50 AM on July 25, 2005

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