As the Slow Food ‘Cheese’ festival gets under way in Bra there is yet another addition to the ‘Slow Movement’ which has continued to gather momentum around the world since the rise of Slow Food in 1989. Slow Architecture, Slow Fashion, Slow Living and now Slow Foot!
Football may at first seem a rather surprising entry to join the Slow Movement. Yet corporate monopoly and corruption have changed the nature of the ‘beautiful game’ and already there are many who have been resisting and defending its simple pleasures for some time.
‘Philosophy Football’ has been going since 1984 in the UK, since when it has risked being sued by UMBRO (until they realised they had no money) and has participated in 15 tours across Europe exporting their alternative idea of football. In Switzerland the ‘Progressive Swiss League’ have been fighting corporate takeover by forming a league with 8 teams who play with no referee, in mixed-gender teams and sometimes bare-foot. Kicked off by Carlo Petrini, their representative team FC Levante Wibi, the Italian Writers national team, the Philosophy Football team and Featamania from Greece will be going head to head today, in a tournament that stands up for what they believe to be the true values of football.
Slow Foot hopes to become a permanent fixture and has chosen Cheese to launch this tournament because of the parallels with the Slow Food philosophy. It believes that the convivial, friendly nature of football needs to be reinforced. While John Foot was pessimistic about the realistic possibilities of being able to change professional football and reverse corporate takeover, the general view is that there is a need for active participation and the creation of an alternative culture celebrating the pleasures of good, clean and fair football.
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