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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Soccer fans don't smile

Soccer fans don't smile

The Editor,

As a dedicated, true blue, die-hard follower of the Glasgow

Rangers Football Club I find recent events that have taken place here both on

and off the football pitch deeply disturbing. Your front page displayed a cover

photograph that very eloquently emphasizes my first and most distressing point,

namely people (I cannot call them fans) clearly seeming to be enjoying

themselves. This is called an attitude problem and it should be remembered that

one is not supposed to "enjoy" the game. In all my years suporting Rangers I

cannot recall a single smile except when a member of the opposition is

stretchered off with a broken leg. The fans are there to chant bigoted or racist

songs to the tunes of long forgotten pop songs, not to clap and cheer because

they are happy. Cambodian players will never win anything without this kind of

encouragement because it has to be remembered that footballers are not noted for

their intelligence (Maradona).

I also noticed in the photograph that

there were women in the crowd, or at least women who looked like women. This is

unheard of and should be banned or at least discouraged by providing absolutely

no amenities for them. On a similar disturbing note I have personally witnessed

Americans attending games, they are probably the reason for all of this, they

should be permanently barred. The USA does not deserve to participate in our

"beautiful game". They should stick with their obscure sports played by freaks

(a World Series where only American teams take part?).

Moving onto the

behavior on the field. I have attended several games and have yet to see a

decent elbow in the face, headbutt or serious injury. Cambodian players are

obviously not giving "110%". What they need is to attend an Italian training

camp. There is also a noticeable lack of completely stupid haircuts.


has taken the Europeans and South Americans a century to bring the game into

disrepute, what makes Cambodia feel it has to buck this trend. This is the game

that is more important than life itself, play it properly or don't play it at


I will be submitting a project to UNDP shortly entitled

"Infrastructure Improvement and Rehabilitation of Football in Cambodia". We

will, unfortunately, not need any gender in development specialists but will be

providing techincal support from the Rangers FC supporters club. I am sure the

first Prime Minister will, as a "fanatical" supporter, support us ever more.

Never say die.

- Robert the Bruce, and his spider, Phnom Penh.



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