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Cries of Joy and the Horn – fm4.ORF.at

Cries of Joy and the Horn – fm4.ORF.at

One professional group was particularly happy with Türkiye's European Championship victory over Austria: taxi drivers.

Column by Todor Ovcharov

There were jubilant shouts in Vienna yesterday after Austria lost a football match to Turkey. The taxi drivers, many of them of Turkish origin, were delighted. They honked their horns and shouted even more than they did on New Year's Eve. This would not have bothered anyone if the defeat had not been so bitter for the Austrian footballers. The euphoria following the victory in the preliminary round was probably too great. They saw themselves, if not as European champions, then at least in the semi-finals. There is no doubt that the Austrian footballers fought hard until the very last moment. But sometimes the match is won by the one who scores in the first minute.

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They may not have been better, but they were at least on par with Turkey, which is also a much larger country. The question remains: does sport unite or divide people? In this game, the question is more complicated. There is a large Turkish community in Austria. So you can’t help but be happy that the third-largest immigrant community is jubilant. Because we live in a democratic country that knows how to accept victories and defeats. There are legends about what happened to the North Korean players after the 2010 World Cup, when they finished the group stage with 0 points and a goal difference of -11. But Austrian footballers don’t go back to North Korea, or even to Turkey. I’m sure that if the Austrians had won, the taxi drivers would have been honking their horns too.

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At the end of the day, football is just a game.