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#21 [url]

Mar 15 17 9:05 PM

Surely playing against a team which selects players based on a single ethnicity, it is precisely the opposite.
On paper yes, although in the UK there is that certain stigma against those of a South Asian origin being involved in football. Whether it's by lack of participation by that community or lack of opportunity given to them (or both), the announcement of this match is going to take some English people (including some of Punjabi origin) by surprise if they've not heard of ConIFA before. Hopefully seeing something like this helps change some perceptions, familiarity = normalisation etc..

In an ideal world there should be no need for this match to 'prove' anything, of course, just play for the sake of it and all that.

For the quote, maybe you can be generous and chalk it up to both FA's trying to use this as a platform to address the situation I mentioned above. It's not exactly what the Panjab FA's original goals were going by the start of this thread, but if it has a positive impact on that 'British Asian' front then the [hopefully temporary] mission creep can be forgiven.

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#22 [url]

Mar 16 17 1:00 AM

> For the quote, maybe you can be generous and chalk it up to both FA's trying to use this as a platform to address the situation I mentioned above.

Well you have in that first quote (from the FA website!) an unnecessary implicit admission of some sort of lack of diversity and opportunity in football*.  The FA just decided to acknowledge this itself, in advance, unbidden, perhaps due to some sort of guilt complex.  Anyway, what better way to address any such issue than by playing against a team which excludes every ethnicity but one.

*I don't deny that an issue may exist, but such issues are societal and need to be addressed more thoroughly than staging a couple of football matches and waffling about "diversity" without actually doing anything about it.


"Enabling talented players from every diverse community to play in a match like this just one of the ways we hope to make football truly a game for all,” said Laurence Jones, The FA’s Head of Leagues and Clubs.

And here you have an explicit statement that the FA aims to increase diversity all round by exploiting a low-key jolly involving a representative team of the FA (with no Asiatic players, most likely) against a team selected from only British Punjabis, but pretending to somehow represent all "Sikhs in India".

A focus group made up of bored primary school children would easily come up with 10 more effective ideas than this for the FA to fool around with.

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#23 [url]

Mar 16 17 1:48 AM

Of course, from the Panjab FA's point of view, they have done brilliantly to arrange this match. It reminds me of an earlier suggestion that ConIFA should try to help the Zainichi set up a match with a South Korean national team, but it seems that this never materialised.

While the FA may think that it is "doing its bit for diversity" or whatever, we all know that one Sikh player in the England national team would do a lot more than to have a C team play against a contrived team of British Sikhs.

I tend to think that the FA doesn't quite understand who it is dealing with though. After all, we have heard before what the Panjab team actually represents:

DJLiesel: "The Panjab team is a team representing the Khalistan movement "
...
DJLiesel: "The team applied initially with the name "Khalistan FA"

So we're not in any doubt about what it really wants to represent. However we also heard some fudgy variations of what it was supposedly representing, apparently in order to crowbar a way in via the ConIFA membership criteria. And from quotes such as those in the FA website article posted above, it seems the Panjab FA representatives are quite happy to give contradictory or incomplete versions of what they stand for, as convenient. Some of these could be taken to interpret the Panjab FA as a sort of "British Asian in Football Awareness Group", which may be what the English FA believes it is. That is a long way away from the pro-Khalistan basis under which they applied to ConIFA. Not convinced the English FA would be so keen on that.

For reference here is the thread where we discussed the criteria under which the Panjab FA qualified (or didn't qualify) for ConIFA membership:
http://roonba.fr.yuku.com/reply/33983/New-ConIFA-members

It would be interesting to see if ConIFA review this case (or any other member) in the event that the objectives differ from what was originally intended/claimed. However I note that the ConIFA Eligibility criteria
(or "internal regulations") are not currently available on any ConIFA website - despite that the constitution clearly states they must be published on the official website. Obviously we can still view the original version, which was after all created on this forum, but this isn't the same thing.

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#24 [url]

Mar 16 17 8:06 PM

If it wasn't clear already what our answers would be if asked whether the cup was half-full/empty... smiley: roll

I mentioned that 'familiarisation through participation' partly because it was fresh on the mind, I coincidentally wound up watching this movie the other week (nothing special, nothing terrible, since you asked), Sikhs playing ice hockey in Canada would appear to have a higher level of cultural differences to bridge than football has. So on second thought, maybe Bend it Like Beckham is a more relevant example... perhaps The FA could put some money into a remake/sequel for their next bright idea on the 'diversity' front?


A focus group made up of bored primary school children would easily come up with 10 more effective ideas than this for the FA to fool around with.
In fairness it's one (lip service-y) idea specific to this situation, they *probably* have other initiatives, just need to avoid the stigma of going too far in the opposite direction and handing out opportunities to fill quotas, like many things balance is key. But then again this is the organisation that thought a good way to promote participation in women's football was to put posters on cubicle doors in the ladies'. My "Bend it Like Beckham 2" idea is looking better by the second...


While the FA may think that it is "doing its bit for diversity" or whatever, we all know that one Sikh player in the England national team would do a lot more than to have a C team play against a contrived team of British Sikhs.
Agree completely, I guess Danny Batth is closest to that right now. Even just having a Panjab player playing for England in this match would send out a big message. Think that would still fit within the 'balance' I mentioned above provided the player was good enough, although from this list I can only see one player (Dillon Bains) at a similar level of club to where the England C players generally come from.


I tend to think that the FA doesn't quite understand who it is dealing with though. After all, we have heard before what the Panjab team actually represents
You need to be careful a quote like that doesn't get taken out of context...



Side note - Not a fan of the term "British Asians" generally being limited to a single part of the continent. Straight-up discriminating against all those British Mongolians (and others).

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#25 [url]

Mar 17 17 2:03 AM

Agree with last point.  Clearly a misnomer.  You can write to the BBC Asian Network about it.

Regarding player selection, you have referenced the British-based list but of course the Panjab FA supposedly represents Sikhs in India (or worldwide) according to ConIFA, so there may be players at a higher level abroad which could come in.  The "England" team for this match can just field anybody really, as it is a friendly without eligibility checks.  They could field Roy Chubby-Brown as goalkeeper if they want.


> But then again this is the organisation that thought a good way to promote participation in women's football was to put posters on cubicle doors in the ladies'

Surely the second bullet point is the more patronizing one.  The first is just bog standard (excuse pun) advertising practice.


> You need to be careful a quote like that doesn't get taken out of context...

I would rather have some response to the actual arguments.  If somebody wants to contest something, let's hear it.  I have asked plenty of the questions which nobody else seemed to want to ask (for whatever reason) - see other thread.  We didn't really get a proper resolution on how the Panjab team was qualified to join ConIFA.  We got several iterations of unconvincing attempts to fudge them in via the minority criteria.  The fact that Sikhism is a religion seems also to have been swept under the constitutional carpet.

Does anyone think the English FA would have been so keen on a hypothetical match "England C vs the Khalistan FA" ?   And what do the AIFF make of all this?


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#26 [url]

Mar 17 17 7:28 PM

nfm24 wrote:
> You need to be careful a quote like that doesn't get taken out of context...

I would rather have some response to the actual arguments.  If somebody wants to contest something, let's hear it.  I have asked plenty of the questions which nobody else seemed to want to ask (for whatever reason) - see other thread.  We didn't really get a proper resolution on how the Panjab team was qualified to join ConIFA.  We got several iterations of unconvincing attempts to fudge them in via the minority criteria.  The fact that Sikhism is a religion seems also to have been swept under the constitutional carpet.
Stand down, wasn't being serious there, just a joke on how the words could make the PFA out to be some kind of divaish/intimidating "you don't know who you're messing with" figure.

I'm definitely not the person who would have the answers to this situation, my Supp GB idea's just made me sympathetic to seeing why they might seem to be changing their goals (or at the least adding them on to existing ones). But yes it would be interesting to see what they are trying to be at their core, is it for Khalistan, the historical region of Panjab, the language, ethnicity, a 'British Asian' awareness group, or what? Nothing wrong with touching on the other points if they believe in the cause and feel they can help make a difference, but for clarity purposes there should be a main description that they want to represent above all others, because in theory there could be separate teams set up for each of those 5 things I listed.

On closer review their mission statement does keep it rather vague, I'd place them as a 'historical region' team myself but it could help to have a confirmed base surrounded by any sub-goals they wish to promote.

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#27 [url]

Mar 17 17 11:40 PM

Yes, to summarize, it is really a question of the possible differences between :
(a) what they claim to represent publically
(b) what they really want to represent privately or long term
(c) what they currently represent in practice  (i.e. the demographic available to select the team)
(d) what the English FA thinks they represent

I'm not seeking to be confrontational about this subject, but it does bother me that these ethnicity/diaspora based teams have scope to mix up all of these things as convenient to them (not necessarily maliciously).  Bending the wording a little would be fair enough, but to have such contradictory versions is too far.


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