We’re not spilling any secrets when we discuss how the traditional rivalry between the two leading Basque soccer teams is part of our country’s social tradition, to the point that some, or more than some, encourage these sporting rivalries to make the leap from the world of sports, where they should stay, and enter into the public and political spheres, breaking up our national cohesion. The truth is that these Unionists who hide, deny, or justify the imbalances in the treatment certain areas of Spain receive when compared to others take, as their launching point for the anti-Basque actions, certain aspects that, with all due respect to those who are passionate about the sport, are really no more than minor matters with little to no effect on the reality of the people of this country.
That’s why we were so happy to find a news item in the US website Bleacher Report, which we’ve cited before, titled “10 Most Touching Moments in World Football History”. Why? Because the second of those photos commemorating unique moments in history is when those two Basque teams walked out onto the pitch on December 5, 1976 carrying an ikurriña, held by Iribar and Kortabarria. Keep in mind, that flag was still technically illegal, but still, they went out demanding the freedom of the Basques with the one flag that joins all Basques together.
It would be wonderful if, every time we’re tempted to give the details more importance that they deserve, to remember this picture. Quite ironic that we need to be reminded of this by people from abroad.
Bleacher Report – 8/5/2013- USA
10 Most Touching Moments in World Football History
Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad have historically been sworn rivals. The two Basque clubs have fought each other tooth-and-nail for local bragging rights over the years, but in 1976, the rivalry was put to one side.