Peru's National Soccer Team Just Going to Sit this One Out, Thanks


↵
↵Among the union's complaints was the Federation's insistence on new, controversial "crotchball" rules.
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↵It's easy for we Americans to boast of civic pride when it comes to national athletic teams. Sure, it's awesome to represent the Stars and Stripes when it comes time for the Olympics, mainly because the USA is awesome at Olympicking (new word alert) and always gets a buttload of gold medals. Oh, but our soccer team, ahem, um... that's less important. We'll get 'em next year. Onward and upward or something.
↵
↵But in actuality, even our soccer situation could be so much worse. Take Peru's soccer (or, as it's called down there, el soccer) team, whose slide off the map of relevance has been as swift as it is catastrophic. Once a major force in South American soccer. the Peruvian national team is now sufficiently bad that beer commercials are essentially telling customers, "drink until you think that's Peru playing in the World Cup."
↵
↵The players' union isn't pleased about this state of affairs, naturally, and they're pretty sure the national soccer federation's poor leadership is to blame for most of it. To that end, they're threatening to ignore call-ups to the national team: ↵
↵⇥Initially interpreted as an attempt merely to oust Peruvian ↵⇥Football Federation (FPF) President Manuel Burga, the union has ↵⇥shown that its motives go deeper than just a personality clash.
↵⇥
↵⇥The players have sent the FPF an impressive document that ↵⇥includes a detailed analysis of what they believe is wrong with ↵⇥Peruvian soccer and contains constructive suggestions for ↵⇥solving the problems. ↵
↵At issue are complaints about poorly organized youth soccer, day games on artificial turf in extreme heat, and a giant tournament that rewards winners with "first division" classification, among a litany of other complaints.
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↵As you can imagine, FIFA isn't thrilled with this development, and a prolonged international ban is on the table if the two sides don't get their act together. Considering Peru gets wrecked by just about everyone they play, a ban almost seems like an enticement, not a deterrent.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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