photo courtesy of http://sherepunjabradio.ca/
The Indo-Canadian Tournaments Association in Surrey has banned a soccer team from playing because too many of their players are "imports." The decision has provoked a lot of outrage and shock. Is this an example of discrimination or an effort to promote an ethnic-minority culture?
An ethnic-only league is no surprise, especially in a city like that of greater Vancouver. And the reasons for having ethnic-only leagues is understandable in its goal to attempt to increase participation against a minority. The Tournament allows imports, who are not of South Asian descent, to participate but with a limit of 2 per team.
The outrage stemmed from the rule on imports. It is being seen as discriminating against non South-Asians. But the Indo-Canadian Tournaments Association did not start out with the intention of being racist. The association started with the intention of promoting Indo-Canadian culture and bringing together and encouraging young South Asian migrants or descendants to promote their culture and participation in sports. For many years this tournament has been going on without a problem.
Do I think the tournament should amend the rule on imports. Yes. How? I have no clue. This is not a simple matter. It is understandable that a certain ethnic group would like to promote their culture and encourage participation in sports among its youth. But at the same time I think this can be doable all while allowing for other ethnicities to participate.
It is not simple to just make a judgment and decide whether this is discriminatory or not. What I can say for sure is that dialogue is certainly needed in order to solve the issue at hand. Many of the backlash was very emotional and a bit racist, which is not going to help, but will rather further the problem at hand. So I leave you with this: is this soccer tournament and its rule on "imports" an act of integrated segregation or cultural promotion?