Scottish football still playing the race card
After years of campaigns designed to kick it out of football, the ugly face of racism maybe making inroads back towards the beautiful game. And while those of us this side of the border may prefer to view it as a distinctly Little England phenomenon, there remains no cause for complacency.
While a sea change has clearly occurred in the Scottish game concerning black players — Rangers fans have been hailing Rod Wallace as a local hero after his recent Old Firm winner and Celtic supporters are still in mourning ever since Henrik Larsson broke a leg in career-threatening style last October - this season has also thrown up its fair share of unsavoury incidents.
On the field, Rangers’ Italian captain Lorenzo Amoruso caused a stir after being forced to admit using some colourful language towards Borussia Dortmund’s Nigerian star Viktor lpkeba. While off it, the press went for some lowest common denominator reporting over Craig Brown’s attempts to recruit lpswich’s West Indian star David Johnson to the national cause; ’Jamaica Mistake: Anger Over Scotland’s Reggae Rescuer’ was one tabloid reaction.
Phil Vasili, author of the forthcoming Colouring Over The White Line (Mainstream £15.99) spots a note of hypocrisy at the heart of the press coverage. 'There was all this fuss over Johnson yet there was a player in the under-21s who was born in the Ukraine, but there was never any talk about that,’ he recalls. ’You do get
'In Scotland, there have been black players since the Victorian period, so the notion that their presence is something new has to be tackled.’
the idea that there is this agenda but there is this contradiction all the time; in Scotland, there have been black players since the Victorian period, so the notion that their presence is something new has to be tackled.’
And, perhaps most intriguing of all was sacked Celtic head coach John Barnes's first public comments about his brief time in Scotland when he insisted that the Scottish media had been working to an agenda ever since his appointment last summer. He complained that his every mistake had been picked up on yet, less successful managers (he Cited Aberdeen’s Ebbe Skovdahl as the key comparison) were being let off the hook.
Were these the paranoid thoughts of a man who got lucky with his first managerial post or the considered opinions of an individual well used to recognising the acts of blgOtS \Vlth
scarves or typewriters? A typically nasty
moment came after Barnes made his name with a sensational solo effort against Brazil in 1984 only for his flight back home to be marred by taunting from England followers who refused to acknowledge the goal.
We’ve come a long way from bananas being thrown onto Scottish pitches at the feet of Mark Walters in the late 805, but the Amoruso/Johnson/Barnes tales hint that religious bigotry isn’t the only prejudiced emotion being expressed within the Scottish game. (Brian Donaldson)
Colouring Over The White Line by Phil Vasi/i is published by Mainstream E 75.99
B 111 l 8 t I] S News in bite-size bits
SIX SCOTLAND-BASED artists are on the shortlist for Beck’s Futures, a new art prize awarded by London’s ICA and Beck's Bier. Roderick Buchanan,Chad McCail, Lucy McKenzie, Martin Boyce, Cathy Wilkes and former List contributor David Shrigley take up six of the ten nominations. There's a first prize of £20,000 and a further
four awards of £5,000.
6 THE lIST 16—30 Mar 2000
Expect an announce- ment on 18 April. Full report page 78.
THE FIRST SCOTTISH theatre company ever to play Broadway is heading home With a rave reView from The New York Times. Children’s company ViSible Fictions hit the Great White Way with its acclaimed production of The Red Balloon, playing to delighted audiences at the New Victory Theater in Times Square. Writing in the
city’s most influential newspaper, critic Lawrence van Gelder called the 55-minute show ’funny, Suspenseful, trenchant and buoyant’.
THE BBC IS on the lookout for new talent, having launched a nationwide search for sitcom writers, comedians, 015, TV presenters, composers and programme developers. The Beeb's budget will
stretch to up to 40 people winning contracts of between three months and a year. Scottish auditions will be held at the SECC, Glasgow, during July. Details: www.bbc.co.uk/talent
SCORE DIGITAL HAS won the licence to broadcast digital radio in Edinburgh. The COmpany, which is already broadcasting test transmissions |.". Glasgow with a View to launching a full serVice
in May, Will go on all‘ in the capital in October The new digital broadcast medium is expected eventually to replace the FM and AM bands. By the end of the year Edinburin snou'd have 24 dzgitai channels, several of them co'iipiete'y new including country, As-a" and rock services Expect more new channels .h Glasgow shortly.
GLASGOW'S NEW MOVES festival and Edinburgh's
'The critic Brian Robertson said on television that I should be put in gaol for
- daring to write the
play. People were very proprietorial.’ Playwright, painter and designer John Byrne on the first production of ’Co/quhoun And MacBryde’, now rewritten for Dundee Rep,
‘We don’t have to sit on a Heal's sofa in Danny Baker’s bumprint hollow, mumbling our idea into our Volvics, until it sounds stupider than trying to give a chihuahua specialised relief in a strong wind.’
Writer David Ouan tick cuts out the middle men by taking ’docusitcom’ ’The Junkies" straight to the internet at
I. ‘/'.'/l v. the/unkies. com from 20 Mar,
‘The first day of filming EastEnders, l , was completely
The most surreal
shiting myself. k“:
' thing is that
the Elstree Studio
2 w , , / r we re ,/ . . . filming in ‘4
was where they filmed The Muppets. I'm acting a bit like a Muppet at the moment.’ Forbes Masson
-\/ v. ._ G 'A":)’J"L Costume design by John Byrne
Continental Shifts at St Bride's Fringe venue are competing for the International Theatre lnstitute's Excellence in Dance Award, along with three other UK hopefuls. The award will be made on 27 March as part of the lTl's contribution to World Theatre Day. This year's New Moves festival continues until Saturday 25 March See review page 61.