Playing long balls into empty space since 2012.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Australian Soccer 'Invaded by Migrants'?

A piece by Ted Glover in the Sydney Sunday Herald in 1950 screamed the headline "Soccer is Invaded by Migrants". It's a bizarre concept that flies in the face of conventional understandings of soccer history in Australia which see soccer as a game of and for migrants. Glover was not as concerned by the migrant invasion as was the sub-editor who came up with the headline because his article celebrates the arrival of continental European footballers to Australia who will boost the stocks of the game. Glover does make the point however that "the Government wants migrants to avoid forming into groups, and, as a result, there will probably be some opposition should such clubs seek League status."

This piece from the Advertiser in 1951 clarifies the general fear of migrants altering soccer for the worse. It also disturbs two comfortable assumption about the history of soccer in Australia. First it shows that the fear of 'wogball' sometimes came from within the game. Secondly, it shows that the attempts to 'ethnically cleanse' the names of Australian soccer teams go back to well before David Hill and Frank Lowy's more recents efforts to de-wog the game.

Migrant Soccer Teams May Go By PIVOT 
Two suggested alrerations to the constitution of the S.A. Soccer Football Association which have been submitted by the Prospect Club for consideration at the annual general meeting at the Tramways Hall on Wednesday, will have far reaching results if carried by club delegates. 
The adoption of the first of the two sugges tions will mean the disbanding of many new Australian clubs, and the absorption of their players by other clubs. It Is suggested that rule 9 be altered to read: — 'That clubs and associations in SA. playing soccer footbull and being otherwise qualified according to the rules of this association, shall eligible for membership subject to the approval of the executive council, who shall have the power to admit or reject such applicants. To qualify for acceptance, clubs must bear the name of a SA suburb, town or district. or the name of a recognised SA business, industry or organisation. In addition,   clubs so accepted will be allowed to have registered not more than five senior players in any one season who are not of British or Australian birth. (The Advertiser 16 November 1951, p 6)

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