This article was translated by John R. Bopp
As you may have noticed, soccer is not one of our favorite subjects. Normally, we only bring it up when it’s connected to topics we do find interesting, such as when it’s related to the image of Basques in the world, and to extremely serious issues like what is included in the concept of “being Basque”.
We, for example, have vehemently defended the right of Iñaki Williams to take part, with no restrictions, in our Homeland, because, while it is true that we don’t really care about who is allowed to play in a soccer club, we do care about whether he is considered Basque. And that was the underlying debate that took place about whether he could play, or not, in Athletic Bilbao.
And that is a topic that interests us, that concerns us, the ease with which some decide to hand out, or not, the “Basque card”, depending on highly suspect criteria. A while back, we wrote an entry that we consider one of our most important reflections on the topic.
Today, we find ourselves before a new debate, which is really the same debate: can a Basque-descendant born in Germany play for Athletic Bilbao? Can a Basque-descendant born in Germany be considered Basque? Because, as in the Williams case, this is, underneath it all, the debate underlying whether Bibiane Scchulze-Solano, born in Germany to Basque parents, can play in Athletic, without breaking that “Athletic model”.
There’s an unwritten law that says that only Basque players, or players trained in our country, can play for Athletic. And like all unwritten rules, it’s been changed and adapted as times and society change.
We’re not members of Athletic Club, nor do we think we believe that being accepted or not is proof about whether someone is Basque. But the question we ask ourselves is simple: Hasn’t the time come for Basque from all over the world to have access to playing on a team that is so proud of only being made up of Basque players?
It seems logical to us that, for example, the grandchild of a Basque person who had to flee to the Americas in exile be considered Basque and, therefore, able to defend the colors of a team that only accepts Basque players.
As we said before, we’re not soccer fans, nor do we feel that we should decide anything on the matter. But it does seem reasonable to me that in cases in which the player, regardless of where they were born, has Basque origins and shows a strong connection to the team, then they should be incorporated as soon as possible.
El Intransigente – 1/7/2019 – Argentina
Escándalo en el Athletic Bilbao por la contratación de una futbolista alemana
El presidente del club vasco, defendió la incorporación de Bibiane Schulze-Solano y aseguró que su llegada cumple con la tradición del elenco español.