So, ahem, things have been quiet in these parts for some time. In part, we had our third child, my work commute is hellish, and I’ve just been in a nonfiction writing funk. It’s not that I’m falling out of love with soccer – it’s that when Real Madrid is winning three UCLs in a row, you come off as an arrogant whiner from pretty much every angle.
I’m kinda working on some reported features, which can take between 8 months to three years of investigation. And, as you may have heard, or seen on my Twitter, my wife’s home country, Nicaragua, has gone to Hell in a handbasket. And this has somehow affected soccer…
First, Costa Rican club Alajuelense has decided to not let Nicaraguan club Walter Ferretti use their stadium because Ferretti is historically associated with the National Police in Nicaragua, who have been the evil right hand of Daniel Ortega in brutally repressing unarmed protesters and civic leaders.
Second, back in April. CONCACAF canceled the U-17 women’s tournament in Managua due to safety concerns and all players and teams were evacuated.
Last, and not soccer but still sports related, the Ortega regime refused to allow journalists Yader Valle and Miguel Mendoza from entering the National Baseball Stadium to cover a game because these journalists have been critical of the regime. I know your gut reaction: oh no, who will record canned presser answers by players and coaches to inane questions and/or vomit out a game recap.
Still, beat writers must work a beat to earn their daily bread. However, the Ortega regime used the National Stadium as sniper’s nests to kill unarmed protesters on Mother’s Day after an opposition protest, so not entering that concrete cavern of killing is not necessarily a bad thing.