Saturday, September 29, 2007

Los Dogos: World Gay Soccer Champs!

Today, Argentina's Los Dogos beat the defending world gay soccer champs Stonewall (from the UK) to become the world's top gay soccer team. Yay! But it doesn't mean there haven't been a few bumps along the way.

On Friday, according to La Capital, a Buenos Aires councilmember asked the Buenos Aires Human Rights Commission to officially denounce the tournament. Jorge Enríquez argued that it was one thing for the government to respect what individuals did in private and quite another to allow events that promote immoral practices such as the soccer tournament.

Councilmember Facundo Di Filipo, chair of the Human Rights Commission, called Enríquez' statements homophobic and said that it exposed a point of views that should have been left behind in the 20th century.

In the meantime, the absence of a Brazilian team at the tournament was blamed by some on an unwillingness by Brazil to support a gay or lesbian team and on generalized homophobia in a land that is supposed to be not only soccer-crazy but also tolerant of gays and lesbians.

Celeste Gay, the team from Uruguay which was said to be a contender for the championship but ultimately did not reach the final, was also rumored to be writing a complaint letter to the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) calling into question the disorganized structure of the event and the prohibitive costs for some of the smaller international teams that would have wanted to participate (this according to AG Magazine).

Perhaps the most bizarre complaints about the event came in a scanned image from a newspaper that I have yet to identify (above) which says that some participants in the event were less than comfortable with the Mexican team's supposedly overtly affectionate way of celebrating each score with a kiss between playmates .

Ricardo Leon, director of Chilegay Deportes, traveling with the team from Chile, told the unknown paper "I haven't seen the Mexicans, but I can say that we don't do that. We are respectful athletes and we are representing our country, we did not come for relaxation."

Nestor Gamella, technical director for champs Los Dogos also said that he didn't like the Mexican team's field smooches. "To be gay does not mean being effeminate or ridiculous," he said.

Daniel Santoyo, a team member from Mexico's Tri Gay, didn't seem worried by the complaints raised about the kisses and might have added fuel to the fire, according to the paper, when he told some members of the press that during the tournament they were facing "very tall, very strong players and, well... also very handsome and blond and all that."

Despite all the kissing, El Tri failed to win a single match game but still went back home with a smile on their faces.

The final was seen by over 2,000 fans who, according to some reports, were drinking lots of Kilmes beer and eating something called choripanes. For those Argentineans among you, what are choripanes and are they as delicious as I think they might be just by name alone?

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