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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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#28 [url]

Apr 7 17 4:52 PM

The Panjab national team represents a minority originating from the Panjab/Punjab, a region in todays India and Pakistan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjab_(region)
The minority it refers to is listed in Minority Rights International Groups "Minority Directory" (one qualifying criteria for membership) as Sikh (http://minorityrights.org/minorities/sikhs/) in India, but happens to also originate from parts of Pakistan.

Seriously, I don't really get the issues you have about the qualification eligibility with the Panjab team.
- Many teams are not called like their "ethnicity", but the region they originate or refer to: Szekely Land instead of Szekler, Isle of Man/Ellan Vannin instead of Manx, etc.
The same is true for all FIFA teams, by the way. England still calls itself England, even though it does not represent the people that happen to roam around that part of the island, but only English citizens.
- The Punjabis/Sikh are religious minority, but also a linguistic minority, and an ethnic minority. Similar to the Uighur People not "only" being a religious minority in China, but as well being a religious minority.
- You mentioned that "playing a team selecting players of single ethinicity" is the opposite of diversity. That is a point you could discuss about forever and I completely understand that argument. On the other hand, that argument is valid for all national teams in the world. England wouldn't select a Scot or one of the Mongolians, but only English People. That is based on citizenship, which is often quite a random criteria and is often even bought up. Ethnicity is just one other concept and possible criteria to "group people" and I am not saying that it is worse or superior. I just respect that people should have the right to "belong" to multiple groups. I can be a Mongolian speaker, a Sapmi, a Swedish and a Sikh simultaneously. Why should I "force" anyone to only play football representing one of the many facets that puts him in a random box? We are happy to allow all those concepts and that's how Panjab found a home in us.
Finally, the term "diversity" is highly disputed and the whole concept is. Integration and diversity are contrary concepts, really, and none of them is scientifically proven to be "the best". Having a match of Panjabis vs. English players is surely diversity, as it shows the diversity of people. Having them mixed up would be integration.

Finally: Using "Asians" or "Southern Asians" is extremely weird. Is that common in England? How do you refer to Mongols, Kyrgyz and Indonesians then?

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#29 [url]

Apr 11 17 7:05 PM

DJLiesel wrote:
Finally: Using "Asians" or "Southern Asians" is extremely weird. Is that common in England? How do you refer to Mongols, Kyrgyz and Indonesians then?
It is weird, in my view Asian means Asian whether that person comes from Saudi Arabia or Hong Kong (or Australia if we play by FIFA's terminology).

I've not seen enough examples to know for sure but I think anyone outside of South Asian origin is known more by that specific country, so someone would be "British Japanese" rather than "British Asian". Officially it's a bit less strange, but note that "Asian" and "Arab" are still in different categories there.

I think that it just ends up relating to what is the most common origin of Asian expat, the USA think of people from Japan/China/Koreas as the "Asians" above anyone else.

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#30 [url]

Apr 11 17 9:30 PM

> Using "Asians" or "Southern Asians" is extremely weird. Is that common in England? How do you refer to Mongols, Kyrgyz and Indonesians then?

Yes this is the same point Matt made in the first place.  I suppose it is just lazy shorthand inherited from previous generations, and also perhaps partly due to the historical catch-all use of "Indians" being incorrect following Partition.  It is becoming an anachronism, albeit still commonplace.

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#31 [url]

Apr 11 17 9:40 PM

> The Panjab national team represents a minority originating from the Panjab/Punjab, a region in todays India and Pakistan

The team doesn't represent the whole minority though.  It represents (at most) the Panjabi community of Britain only.  Currently it is not attempting to select players from the wider diaspora. The PFA website itself tells us this plainly. 


> The minority it refers to is listed in Minority Rights International Groups "Minority Directory" (one qualifying criteria for membership) as Sikh in India

"Sikh in India" is not equivalent to "Panjabi community worldwide", and is quite different from "Panjabi community in the UK."

Not all Panjabis are Sikhs, nor vice versa.  So I don't know why you equate this minority directory listing of "Sikhs" (in India or worldwide) with the Panjab FA based in Birmingham and which itself states on its own website that it is currently only for British Panjabis.


> I don't really get the issues you have about the qualification eligibility with the Panjab team.

I'm basically just repeating the same issues I raised at the time they joined, and we debated those.  It's a matter of honesty, clarity (transparency if you prefer), and factual accuracy.  I'm not against Panjabis or Sikhs (or ConIFA).  I just think that this situation could be interpreted as a bending or breaking of the membership criteria to crowbar in this member. 

Besides, even supposing that the PFA was instead called the Sikh FA, and really did represent the full demographic of Sikhs worldwide, we know that Sikhism is a religion.  I am not in favour of religion-based teams, and you were previously opposed to them also.  That may have been just your own personal view rather than ConIFA policy, but as I can't currently see the membership criteria (aka internal regulations) published on your website, I don't know.  Maybe the regulations have changed.

Anyway, more generally, I would like to know whether ConIFA could/would review the membership of any member which fails to actually represent what it claimed or intended to represent when it joined.


> England still calls itself England, even though it does not represent the people that happen to roam around that part of the island, but only English citizens.
...
> England wouldn't select a Scot or one of the Mongolians, but only English People

I don't follow.  As you know, the English national team represents people born in England or with a parent or grandparent born in England (more specifically, the "territory of the FA").  This is not based on religion or culture etc, just history.  Just the geographical location at the time of birth. 

See the case of Joe Baker or John Bain if you want an example of England selecting a Scot (or e.g. Matt Elliott vice versa) - of course there are many similar cases.  Mongolians I don't recall.  Players born in e.g. Malaysia and India have played for Scotland and England though. 


> You mentioned that "playing a team selecting players of single ethinicity" is the opposite of diversity.  ... that argument is valid for all national teams in the world.

I can't think of many national teams (nowadays) which deliberately choose players of a single ethnicity (or deliberately exclude an ethnicity).  Such selections are a kind of discrimination in my view, and hardly different from selecting a team based on race, or sexuality, or something like that.


> I can be a Mongolian speaker, a Sapmi, a Swedish and a Sikh simultaneously. Why should I "force" anyone to only play football representing one of the many facets that puts him in a random box?

To me that sounds like an argument against teams such as Panjab, because someone playing for the Panjab team is indeed representing only one of his facets at the expense of his other facets.  If one of the Panjab players instead played for England (say) he would be representing both his Panjabi heritage and his English heritage simultaneously.  Nobody is stopping these guys playing football.  They are not sportingly isolated. 


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