No Kick Off

The half-told story of why British Asians make no goals
Corner Flags & Corner Shops
By Jas Bains By Saniev Johal
Victor Gollancz Price Not Mentioned

THE title of the book comes from the fact that a percentage of Asians in Britain are highly visible as owners of corner shops, and invisible as far as playing professional soccer is concerned. Question: Why can’t Indians play soccer? Answer: Because every time they get a corner they put a shop on it.

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The book’s subtitled The Soccer Experience , but with over 4,000 full time Asian professional soccer players in the UK, the authors could find only one Asian playing professionally: Jas Jutla, who plays for the almost anonymous Greenock Morton Soccer Club.

So if Asians are not playing professional soccer, what’s this book about? Well.... It’s about the racism that’s stopped them but it’s also about any links between soccer and the British Asian community that the authors can find. So we have a tedious account of a study (yawn) entitled, "Asians can’t play soccer"; an account of an inept amateur Punjabi soccer team from Coventry combining their holiday in India with games against local college teams; and we even get an interview with an Asian policeman who does duty at a soccer ground!

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