Football is more than a game

St. Pauli FC

I’m not crazy for football but to be honest I sympathize for Sampdoria FC and I hope the “cousins” supporting Genoa CFC 1893 won’t get upset reading this short story where, for once, football is not beautiful cars, beautiful women, claptrap and football referees with low vision.
We promised to ourself that we would not have spoken and written about italian football and indeed our story takes place in Germany and then in Lampedusa. The third and final part will be about England.

The St. Pauli was born in 1910 and his vocation has always been to pay attention on unlucky people.
Mixing the rough neighborhood of Hamburg, the air of a port on the North Sea, a pinch of punk, a little bit of free prostitution and the eighties. Here we have the St. Pauli Footbal Club, the second team in Hamburg, and in perpetual climate of relegation.
The headquarters is in the red-light district Reeperbahn, near the port, it’s a free zone for prostitutes, drug dealers and less lieutenants. Their own unofficial emblem is the Jolly Roger pirate flag, adopted by the club when a group of squatters gave it as a joke to players, two decades ago. It was the first football club to officially ban right-wing nationalist activities in its stadium, and to promote social campaigns: they organized a tournament for political refugees and hosted the world cup for unrecognised countries.
The turning point came when the company become owned by the theater manager Corry Littmann, the first openly gay president in the history of German football.
It soon becomes clear that the St. Pauli should be handled with care and that football is more aggregation and inclusion that budget or ranking.
Basically everything you would not expect from the football world!
Even a demure city like Genoa has a club named St.Pauli: “St.Pauli Club Zena”.

What does it have to do with Lampedusa? This story takes place between enlightened priests, penniless, prostitutes, sea air.
It seems a story told by Don Gallo.
Since early 2012 a lot of boats full of African migrants begun to face cold sea toward Lampedusa (Sicily,Italy) and unfortunately a lot of boats have sunk and migrants died with their dreams and hopes of better life.
Nowadays the situation on the island is at the verge of collapse. The European Union is thinning funding towards Italy and its reception centers. The Italian Government renews the temporary residence permits and allocates the funding for refugees. The Italian Government provides also to these desperate people a bit of money and the chance to go to the north where many of them are hoping for a reunion with their relatives in Sweden but money often is not enough and some of them have to stop between north Italy, France and principally Germany. This short story is about the first hundred migrants that the fate has forced to stop in Hamburg.
Thanks to the Winter Program prepared by the city remain without problems until 2013, when the Senate of Hamburg decided to return back to the sender “the Lampedusa’s Refugees”.
After spending months on the street they have been welcomed by the pastor Sieghard Wilm in his church. The whole S. Pauli community brought food and clothing to the Pastor and Same thing did fans of local football team. The Mayor did not approve that but where the solution is not taking by the shepherd,football finds solution. St. Pauli’s fans involved the club and they created a football team with 30migrants who they regularly train, play tournaments and live in the community.
Thus it was born the Lampedusa FC.

Lampedusa FC

The Clapton FC

The backbone of the Clapton FC are his fans: they are enthusiasts and they are many compared to the category in which militate the red and white. The Scaffold Brigada or Clapton Ultras is the main reason why the team Clapton is unique in the English Football Association.
The Old Spotted Dog, the stadium where the Tons have an example of correctness and social commitment, looks a little decadent although lately there have been many renovations. To reach it you have to get off the train in Forest Gate, in the deep East London, where the word redevelopment there does not exists. Leaving the station you reach the soccer field across ethnic shops, oriental restaurants and pizzerias not really attractive. On the way there is even a mosque.
The stand is an awkward scaffold positioned to protect 3 bleachers. The 400 and more supporters support the team every single game and they are amazing singing since the first minute of the game till the end. The small group of British boys, driven by a passion for football and for the social commitment, has revived this pitch left to decay, and now divides the Scaffold with Italian fans and Polish fans already supporters of St. Pauli. So football has become a social glue and not a pretext for clash.
During the season 2014/2015, for the first time in Clapton history, the Goal has been defended from Italian Gk Luca Pecorari who he was early playing for London Bari, an other English football team with Italian roots⁠⁠⁠⁠.
And the German soccer club is the social referencing of Tons of fans: stop racism and stop homophobia.




Fabio Palli

Spirito libero con un pessimo carattere. Fotoreporter in teatro operativo, ho lavorato nella ex Jugoslavia, in Libano e nella Striscia di Gaza. Mi occupo di inchieste sulle mafie e di geopolitica.

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