Talk:European Union/Sports section

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This does not belong on a trading blocks talk page. NOT one of us asked for a political union. Sports belong to nations. They want the end of nations and the Federal States of Europe...for the fifth time (wont happen by the way). They tried lauding up all of "The EU Golds" in The last olympics. Nope. 86 percent of those entire medals were British. EU tried putting that flag up. LOL. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DoctorDecker (talkcontribs) 07:24, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Start of dispute

Out of interest, why is there a picture of Anfield Road under the sports section? Liverpool is hardly representative of Europe as a whole! You'd think one of the major European capital stadiums (Wembley, Stade de France, Olympiastadion...) would be shown... Anfield Road is out of place in this article.

I really don't like this section of the page, in fact I agree with the above as well, you'd be forgiven for thinking at points in this page that there aren't 27 sovereign countries in an international organisation, and instead one big giant happy EU family. Anyway, to my point, under the Reform Treaty sports has been given special status. See Anybody know anymore on this? --Simon 13:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Neither do I but we're in a practical minority. On the special status though, I had read they had wanted to do that but hadn't looked into since they released the agreement. I think we can bring this in. - J Logan t: 10:10, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Agh, I read it again and it just reads SO cringeworthingly bad. I think "members" should be "Member States", so as to remind people that there are countries involved here and not some horrible federal machine, and the bit about which sports are most popular should have the wording changed ever so slightly to acknowledge that there are different sports popular in different countires. Its a farce. I mean jeez, in Germany handball is popular, whilst in England rugby and cricket is popular. In Poland, Italy, Greece etc they prefer volleyball, there IS NO COMMON sport culture aside from arguably football in Europe, and I think its so bad that I'm tempted to edit it myself. Surely something can be done! --Simonski 21:41, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm not sure what J Logan meant by "practical minority", but I'm fairly certain we're in an "actual majority". It seems to me that most editors of this article have not been happy with the Sports section, with many (if not most) wanting to get rid of it altogether. I know there's at least one editor who likes it, but I doubt there's more than two. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 21:46, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Re Members, not sure how "members" is federal, it is a common name for international organisations. State is far more federal, and that word is missing. IMHO it is the least federal option.
Re practicaly minority. You see according to the voting distributions under the Treaty of Nice, there is one user around here who has a higher voting weight than all the other users, in addition to a veto, and he supports sections like sport and will blindly revert over and over as soon as he realises what's been done. - J Logan t: 08:38, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
"Member States" reads different from "States", I know its a minor difference but it reads so much less federal than simply 'members'. Either that or "The individual countries of the EU" should be used. Will the user then here that supports this sport section speak now or forever hold his peace? The section just needs sorting out so badly. --Simonski 13:09, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
"The individual countries of the EU" is a tad long winded isn't it? I mean so what if it sounds federal, in may respects it is so I really don't see much point in changing anything on that.
And chances are he won't, sometimes I doubt he knows how to use a talk page. Want to know who, just look in the three archives covering the attempt at GA and see who we all complain about most. My view though, we can scrap culture and sports all together. - J Logan t: 14:15, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The term 'Member states' is probably more useful. In this case not the political membership is meant but rather the country in its entirety. Concerning the section (Sports & Culture) and its content incl. images: It´s a standard section with standard content and a standard image. The sections are sourced, neutral and the content is filled with common knowledge. See also 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 for comparison. Everything is fine. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Is that you Lear21?? The wording and content are very much like you. Please sign. Arnoutf 15:03, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd be suprised if it isn't. - J Logan t: 16:26, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Aha, he is currently blocked, is this block evasion? Arnoutf 16:55, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Think it is. I was wondering how we've been getting word done of late. Now you note as soon as he comes back he will restore the Sports section no matter how many people agree to remove it. And that will happen in the middle of the FA candidacy which is not he best time I think you'll agree. Which is why I am prepared to live with a bit of a dodgy subject for now. I mean its inclusion is debatable but it is references and is linked in. A bit. - J Logan t: 17:45, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, the five articles you have given us for comparison are articles for COUNTRIES, independent states, and not a supranational body made up of 27 sovereign nations. So no, I'm sorry, its just not the same and the sections contain some pretty darn pointless information that needs to be trimmed. Who cares if Prodi said that the EU countries should carry flags in the olympics? There are probably a few other important people who have said similar things, such as there should be a European Super league or something, but for every person who says this there are several who also disagree. So stuff like that has to go. --Simonski 13:59, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no need to remove the paragraph about popular sports in EU countries. It corresponds with the image and it therefore indispensable. Lear 21 12:06, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, it's just a list of sports that happen to be played, if everyone added their favourite sport (which is what will happen if a president is set) the article would be nothing but a list of sports. SouthernElectric 12:30, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It is a standard information of the most popular sports. It will remain as it supports the visual content presented by the image. A random adding of further sports hasn´t occured in the past and won´t happen in the future without citation. Lear 21 13:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

It will remain only if the consensus agrees, can I remind you of the 3R rule. SouthernElectric 13:12, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The idea that the text must remain because of the image is a tad odd, the logical solution would be the removal of the image too. I agree with above arguments that the list of popular sports is unneeded and potentially problematic. Serves no use in this article and should go. - J Logan t: 14:21, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the image and the image caption, the image to a popular/commercialised but specialist sport and the caption to sports neutral text (apart from identifying the sport). SouthernElectric 14:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Why bother, the section is so small there isn't even room for the image to fit in properly. I agree it is an improvement as it is more generic but I still don't see the point in including anything there, it isn't helping understanding of the text so why force it into such a small space? - J Logan t: 14:56, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
No image is important and nor should it be on a web page (for various reasons, even graphs should have a textual equivalent that imparts the important information contained within any graph), images support the text by acting as 'eye candy', it's precisely because the sports section is so small that it needs a supporting image. SouthernElectric 15:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
"images support the text" this implies an image can and should only be inserted if it has an equivalence in the text. Neither of the social, nor the economical importance (caption) not cycling are mentioned in the text; hence the image does not support the text, and following your own argument should not be here (this image is like using an image of an elephant to support text about a space station) Arnoutf 15:28, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It does as it's a sporting activity, but you don't need to mention football to show a football stadium's sports field (which seemed to be rational behind Lear 21's edits), if the textual content was talking about a circus the image could well be of an circus elephant, just as a section talking about business or economics could have an image of a financial stock exchange, bank notes or a factory production-line without actually mentioning them. SouthernElectric 15:42, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I (obviously) disagree. Your argument opens up room for the wildest associations. For something to be support something else (and I agree an image should support the text) it should either be a graphical representation of the text, or a relevant example that can be directly linked to the text. With your reasoning you migth as well have put up an image of chariot racing, after all, that is a sport as well. In my opinion your reasoning is flawed in that you think something only marginally related (as is cycling, economy and social to the text of the section, which deals with football and Olympics) can support. Arnoutf 16:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, chariot racing could be used as the image if chariot racing was popular (or a state/EU backed) sport within the EU, it would be equally legitimate to have a picture of hurling as it would to have a image of football players regardless of the main textual content - in other words as long as it's a sport played in the EU it's valid (with the said, sports neutral, caption). Eye candy is used to add interest to otherwise dull, un-important or easily missed textual content, you don't need eye candy were the text holds up on it's own, such as the Geography section as we all know that there are sea-shores and mountains within the EU, so if the sports section doesn't need an image the Geography section sure doesn't.SouthernElectric 17:07, 8 November 2007 (UTC) Edited @ 17:27, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
So if I like chariot racing it is popular in the EU, and I can put up the picture. That is not very convincing. If you however provide in text reference to cycling, yes then I would agree with the image. You will need a source linking it to the EU in the text, and that is not there now; so the cycling picture and its caption are useless.
On the other hand, the geography mentions the seashores and the mountains, so there they are indeed illustrative of the text. If you don't see the difference I don't know how to explain it differently. It is not the same. Arnoutf 18:22, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Straw man arguments, you removed an image that you didn't like being there, you didn't revert back to the earlier image, you didn't find an alternate image, you simply removed the image and caption completely - then got upset when someone used your rational to remove other images that do not need to be in the article, or are you seriously suggesting that an image of anything mentioned in the textual content can be added legitimately. Images can and do stand on their own, they can be used to bring added information that is not critical and does not bloat the textual content, such as the image of the Euro bank note, no mention of bank notes but there is a picture of bank notes... Oh, and one other thing, the nice thing about internal wiki links is that if someone really doesn't know what the Tour de France is they can follow the link and find out! SouthernElectric 20:51, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I would prefer no image at all. Yes I get upset if people intentionally misunderstand and abuse a fair argument. None of the images stand as alone as the cycling image you inserted, you don't have to believe it, but you are not even willing to try. Arnoutf 21:08, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I don't like token images, such as the Euro bank notes, does that give me a valid use of WP:BOLD to remove them, and that image is very much like the cycling image (reasons indicated above), what if someone doesn't like the images of José Sócrates and José Manuel Durão Barroso should they be allowed just remove them? As for that image standing along, are you seriously saying that most people don't know what the Tour de France is, the most belligerent petrol-head might detest cyclists and cycling but they will surely know what the Tour' is! SouthernElectric 21:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Just to chime in quickly, I think we *should* have a section on sports, and I'm non-committed on whether we should or should not have an image. —Nightstallion 18:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the image of football was accptable (although IMHO not necessary), combination of cycling and caption was not as it did not link to the text in a clear way. Arnoutf 18:45, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
So a sporting event doesn't link to a section about - err - Sport, yeah, right. Also, without the caption just what is the present image about, football, rugby, hurling, hockey, there was enough information in the caption to link both the image and the text, just as in the original/current image. SouthernElectric 21:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Football linked better because it was previously mentioned in the text. With no specific sport mentioned I don't think it matters but football had a higher position as it was the most popular. Regardless, I still don't think it is needed with the section's current length, it is untidy.- J Logan t: 09:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Err, a sport doesn't link to section about - err - sport?! SouthernElectric 11:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The section is completely useless, and would be better just put in a section on Competition rules and how under the Reform treaty sport has special status, etc etc. There's nothing useful to say from a cultural perspective on sports and the EU, and just because articles for COUNTRIES have a sports section, doesn't mean that this supranational organisation deals with sport on any relevant matter, outside of economical matters such as Freedom of Movement, Bosman etc. You'd probably infer from the article (in particular in how it used to read) that UEFA etc are related to the EU, which is of course not the case. As for the image, who cares what it is, if you're going to have a sports section and wish to keep an image, I hardly see how on reading the section anybody is going to go "but why is that picture there, it makes no sense?". On the contrary, it actually goes well, if you're going to keep this section. The page is supposed to be encyclopedic though, and rambling on about how Romano Prodi thinks we should all wave EU flags at the olympics etc is just completely irrelevant. If you're going to have this ridiculous section then the way it reads now is fine and succinct. --Simonski 10:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Straw poll on inclusion

Okay, straw poll. How many people - except of course Lear who we all know will start an edit war over this like last time - think we need the sports section? - J Logan t: 11:32, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I say it's not needed, much better to have a section on (business) Competition rules / regulation. SouthernElectric 11:41, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I second that, I'd like to see the section removed. Doing the above would be far more informative for those who don't know much about the EU. Is he entitled by the way to just keep editing the page back to how he likes it? Aren't there rules against that? --Simonski 12:23, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree as well, it is not necessary, the relevant information can go to competition rules/regulation as SouthernElectric suggests.Arnoutf 18:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Sport is an integral part of every EU member state. First and foremost Football is the sport NO. 1 concerning amateur sport, spectator attendance, player salary, etc. This article draws major layout features from the Country template because of many well argued reasons. The sports section is a standard section among comparable articles and contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the EU member states. The stated claims are of almost common knowledge and have to remain in this article, like the section itself. A simple NJET-statement is not convincing, likewise polls are rejected by Wikipedia policy. all the best Lear 21 21:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

This response by Lear21 is the reason why there is a sports section. Just quickly the counter-arguments to Lears arguments, to summarise thousands of lines of discussion and not reiterate them. (1) Every seperate member state does not imply the EU, (2) there are no comparable articles. Arnoutf 22:21, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed Arnoutf. Anyone suddenly swayed by Lear's very powerful and well thought out argument there? I would like to remind Lear though that the country template was dumped for "many well argued reasons" and as A says, there is nothing comparable. Sport as an area of the EU is so tiny that space is better used for more relevant aspects. I doubt someone who wants to read about the EU will be desperate to know that hockey is popular and Prodi suggested flying the EU flag in Beijing. And on polls being against policy, well it is a test of opinion so we can clearly see people's positions. I know you don't like them because you never win but I don't think your record on upholding Wikipedia policy is that respectable either.
So, anyone else want to comment. - J Logan t: 09:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm in favour of including the small section on actual sporting activities in the European Union. I'm sure many people around the world are interested in reading about which types of sport Europeans are interested in. I don't see why this article must confirm the impression that the EU is just a faceless, bureaucratic creation with no 'real' content - because many people thinks otherwise. And I don't see why "it has to be noted" that there's is "a big difference" between 'the EU-level exclusives' and 'Pan-European things'. I think for examle that UEFA Champions League should be mentioned in a sentence about cross-border activities. - S. Solberg J. 10:57, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
But were should that sort of rational end, should BMW, Renault or Ford be mentioned in a section about the automobile industry too, what about the railway companies, after all they are major economic players within the EU - just like businesses that make their profits from sporting activities are - the correct way to cover these issues is for them to have their own articles that link back here when EU regulation (or what ever) are included in their text. Token inclusion is not encyclopedic, people interested in say football are far more likely to 'look-up' "Football" and then work their way here should they wish rather than start out here and then work their way to football. Also, what sports would be listed, any list will (I strongly suspect) just end up a list of editors favourite sports -m do we really want lists of anything in this article? SouthernElectric 11:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
That (a list of favourite sports) was indeed what happened (some time ago), and it sparked a debate as national sports where only marginal in other countries (e.g. in the Netherlands: Football, Field Hockey, Speed skating, Lawn Tennis and Cycling would likely be the top 5, which is apparently not the top 5 in the whole of EU). So I agree with SouthernElectric we have to be very careful.Arnoutf 12:11, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Football is unquestionably the most popular in total. How about:

The most popular sport across the EU is Football, which similarly to many other sports has both local, national and European-level championships and branches. The European-level body for football respectively is UEFA.

- S. Solberg J. 12:58, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
On what bases, spectators or economic benefits, your suggested content lives better in an article about football or UEFA (with a link BACK HERE) than it does in this article, should the VW group be mentioned solely because it makes the most popular (total, cross group, production figures [crass assumption but so is any any uncited claim about football]) cars? - I have no problem with either being mentioned within a business or regulative context but simply mentioning popular sports, cars or what ever is nothing more than tokenism. SouthernElectric 13:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well this is basically the same debate as before. The current text was the compromise of that debate, where not too much focus was placed on (unsourced) popularity of certain sports, but where the relation/friction between international sports federation and the EU (UEFA-FIFA/IOC) was given (with references). I can live with the recent texts (which were grudging compromises from different POV's), but would not care if the whole section disappears (however, there is however clearly no consensus for that). Arnoutf 13:53, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm not sure you are correct in your last remark, there are seems to be more people (who have expressed an opinion) who are either anti the sports section or indifferent to its inclusion, with only two people auguring for it's inclusion. I'm not against mentioning sport within the article as such but I am against how it's being done at the moment.
I would go even further, the general content within the "Culture" level 2 heading should (IMO) be a level 3 heading under "Demographics" with "Education and research" moving (at its present level 3 heading) to be within the level 2 "Economy" heading (in most states Education and research are closely linked to the economy and business sectors). See my sandbox for how it looks - I've removed the sports content but in a live version it would be rewritten into the Economy section, probably under a new regulation sub heading as suggested in above. SouthernElectric 14:32, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

<restart indent> There is something to be said for that. Although Culture is not truly a demographic issue (for example the cultural capital has nothing to do with demographics). Also the EU sponsored Erasmus program is more focussing on cultural student exchange, than direct economic advances. The framework programs for research on the other hand would fit nicerly in the economy section (splitting Educ & Research is in my opinion not a good idea). So there are some problems with your proposed structure, although in my opinion not more than the problems in the current structure. I think the problem with every structure is that it creates black-and-white boundaries that do not exist in real life. Arnoutf 14:48, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Arnoutf that too much is outside economy, even though it may seem logical to include it under there. The main problem with the culture etc areas are they cross too many boundaries in attempt to build the section. Perhaps research could be moved under economy and education remain with culture as things like Erasmus are part of the pan-EU culture. Actually, I wonder if it could get it to work if we rewrote culture along those kind of lines EU acts which have influenced culture? That way we can talk about sports - particularly football with a quick note on its popularity - in the light of Boseman and free movement, education in students moving around Europe (I know Café Babel have a few articles on Erasmus culture) and perhaps some other things like... cross border beer shopping. Okay I need to think that through a bit more for examples, but how about that? We could talk about European culture while linking it firmly to the EU to avoid disputes on its presence? We would also avoid the problem of mixing pan-European culture and pan-European Union culture by making such a link in the text. Flights! That's another one, the EU made it cheaper to fly around so there are lots more people flying within Europe on holiday leading also to thinks like the EHIC and the Euro on that general freedom of movement idea. Oh and the common market leading to more good circulating, a lot easier to get hold of traditional foods from the other side of Europe because of that leading to a greater mixing of culture (I for one haven't had an English breakfast in years, much prefer a continental one). Come on, if we can get enough examples this could be really good as it would be a direct effect on real people's lives and culture because of the EU. - J Logan t: 15:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

In response to Arnoutf´s (1) and (2). EVERY member states is the EU. The EU is EVERY member state. There is NO contradiction. There is NO spaceship Brussels consisting of a single, hermetic bureaucracy. EVERY step of EU evolution has been decided by its member states, NOT the Commission decided, neither the parliament. STOP separate EU institutions from decision making the member states. UNDERSTAND that there is NO gap between these 2 spheres. Therefore it is justified to name and include major cultural or sportive traditions encompassing many member states. The Culture section and the Sport section will be kept. Lear 21 16:52, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

If the EU is every member state then the EU allows soft drugs, gay marriage, speed skating is the second most popular sport, and Queen Beatrix is head of state (ie your argument is obviously flawed). We all know your opinion on the sports section but consider WP:OWN, in other words, you saying that something will happen is totally irrelevant to any discussion.
As I also said, but carefully ignored in your response is that the recent version is a compromise as no consensus could be reached. This does mean that I (grudgingly) respect your opinion, please be decent enough to acknowledge your opinion is only an opinion not a fact (as I do for mine); and respect my opinion as well Arnoutf 17:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Apparently Lear is attached to the following text. I challenge him to make it stick by providing evidence for each fact in those few lines (this might be found in a few refs, but all issues need to be covered, with un ambiguous relation to EU). Also please remove the weasel wordy phrasing, that makes the text inherently unverifiable.
Sports, including spectator sports, are popular in EU countries[citation needed], the most popular being football[citation needed]. Other sports are favourites in fewer countriesweasel words, such as basketball[citation needed], ice hockey[citation needed], rugby[citation needed], handball[citation needed], and motorsports[citation needed].Arnoutf 17:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, why will it be kept, because you say so, go read the WP rules... SouthernElectric 17:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't believe somebody actually said that things like the Champions League should be mentioned. THEY'VE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EU. Honestly. There is a HUGE difference here between what sports are played in Europe, and what are popular in certain countries, and what the EU does in relation to sport. That sort of thing, that a number of people have mentioned above, would belong in an article like "Popular sports in Europe", which itself is a pretty pointless article. Someone talked earlier about not giving the impression that the EU is just some faceless, bureaucratic creation, well I'm afraid this site is supposed to be an ENCYCLOPEDIA, and if the EU has actually almost no involvement in sport, then people can hardly just claim it has (most of the time by assuming that Bosman means that the EU is a champion of sports etc - the reform treaty only serves to underline the irrelevancy of sport to the EU). This is not a bloody page advertising the great things about the EU, its supposed to be a page informing uninformed people about the European Union. Telling them that people like to play Handball and football in Europe not only makes the article longer than necessary, but is just so unrelated to the need for an EU article that it hurts my brain that people need to be told this. --Simonski 17:26, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I just want to stress that a 2nd time - UEFA has absolutely nothing to do with the EU. Absolutely nothing. Apart from the Bosman ruling, we are talking here that the EU has absolutely no involvement in football. I hope thats clear. Surely the recent thing in the Reform Treaty has pretty much underlined the fact that the section is pointless. I mean if you have the EU saying itself that Sports will be pretty much irrelevant under EU law from now on, there's not going to be any clearer sign anytime soon that this section is as useful as the pointless religion and culture bits. I don't know how you guys have coped with people like Lear in the past, it would seriously just frustrate me to the extent that I'd just leave Wikipedia to people like him to give people false/pointless info. --Simonski 17:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
You say "what the EU does'", but when I say "the EU" I don't mean just the actions of the European Commission. Citizenship of Germany = citizenship of the European Union. No, EU institutions have little to do with Champions League, other than some rules, but I was talking about the EU with citizens, not just bureaucrats in Brussels. I believe this article should mention what is common for EU's citizens, not just for its national leaders. And then you might answer: "But there are Russian teams in Champions League. If Champions League must be mentioned, it must be in the Europe article." - But Israel (Asia) is UEFA member, etc.. The point is that teams from every member state is participating in Champions League; ergo; it's a common thing. Personally I won't die if UEFA isn't mentioned, but I think it would be a suitable replacement for a controversial selection of popular sports.
It is common knowledge that football is the most popular sport in the world and that football is extemely popular in Europe. Do we really need a reference for the fact that football OBVIOUSLY is the most popular sport in this union in total? - S. Solberg J. 19:21, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I am sure football is the most popular sports in the EU, but in principle a reference for each fact is required when asked for; although in the special case of football, where it is mentioned alone, I could live if it is not provided as it is indeed reasonably obvious. In the context of a section with many other sports however, each and everyone (even football) needs a reference.
The UEFA/champions league is indeed a difficult issue. It is a problem , are we European citizens (I feel that way) or are we EU citizens (I feel a bit that way as well) or are we citizens of our states, counties, provinces or municipalities (personally I feel that way as well). The football union has (of course) no ties to any legal or geographical system, so the fit is difficult; where to put that is difficult because of that reason. National competitions fall logically with the country articles, individual clubs with the municipality. But in the case of the UEFA this is not so obvious. All things considered I would prefer it would go to Europe over EU though, as Norway, Switzerland, Ukrain, etc, also are in the champions league (all non-EU numbers but European countries), with Israel being the sole exception. Arnoutf 20:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
"It is common knowledge that football is the most popular sport in the world and that football is extremely popular in Europe." is as valid as saying 'More people do not watch, let along go to, football matches than do' - unless one can cite some figures they are both just opinions. SouthernElectric 20:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not obvious, it is an assumption. And the mentioning of UEFA would be misleading as people might draw a link between the two that is not there. So, as no one seems interested in using the link system I suggested above, I would oppose such inclusion.
However. I do understand that people want to go beyond the institutions. An article about a country does not need to be limited to the actions of the government in sport and culture. Now, the immediate reaction is to say there is no link between the EU and culture, however perhaps we are making the link the wrong way, we are seeing the effect of the EU on culture when we should be seeing the effect of culture on the EU. Perhaps if we talked about culture in the context of its development of the EU? If this were anywhere else in the world we would not have the same politics, institutions, policies and so on.
That could be another link for its inclusion, it would however be hard to write. Failing this, I do sympathise with Lear and SSJ, as I stated above it is important and I do agree that the EU is more than politics and policies. However in relation to culture and sport I have never seen anything acceptably written on European culture. If someone can come up with a good article about European culture then I may change my position, but otherwise it simply isn't worth having.
Finally, perhaps any advocates of the sports and culture sections should look at improving the sports and culture articles as a basis for inclusion and so the data is there, clear and cited, rather than talking about possibilities. Perhaps it might be enough to link to a good article about it? - J Logan t: 20:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
From what I've seen, "Europe" is a term in football clubs that means Champions League, the Euro Cup and the EU's free flow of players. (No, Electric, i'm not bothering to find sources for all my arguments on talk pages) Isn't it striking that there are European Championships in almost every sport? There will perhaps never be a dedicated EU football championship, but I believe we can use the link between Europe and the EU on this one, simply because it's possible to write a sentence that underlines that this is a typical common thing for the culture of EU citizens and member states.
Sometimes i feel that the content of these discussions are lightyears away from real-life. I'm not an EU citizen myself and I guess I've spent more time on EU-pro- or neutral websites than and eurosceptic blogs. I can't say how 'European' people in the EU feel they are, but I have a sense that newspapers and political leaders aren't afraid of using the sentence: "EU citizens". - S. Solberg J. 21:02, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
EU citizenship is fairly abstract to many I think (I live in the EU). The Euro, the absense of border-controls, and the flag probably give the most feeling of citizenship (I have no sources for it, just my feeling). But then again, Desmond Morris already noticed that people can be member of many 'tribes' depending on situation. For example, in many situations I feel more familiarity to the Norwegians compared to e.g. Romanians, as both the Dutch and the Norwegians are N-W Europeans, however with regard to e.g. Whaling I feel happy to be part of the EU which endorses the moratorium as a large block. I think it is that way for many. Reality is shades of grey, and nuanced. Arnoutf 21:18, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Further debate

My own inclination is that sport is not of significant relevance to the EU, or vice versa. I do not consider the simple fact that lots of sport goes on within the EU as sufficient to justify writing about it. Might as well discuss TV stations in each of the member countries. Even more people probably watch star trek than play football? I don't have anything against sport, but it is generally something which people organise for themselves, with the occasional stadium paid for by government (?). I do not see that this article ought to discuss aspects of the member states which are not relevant to the activities of the EU as an organisation. People may wish the EU to exist in its own right, but even if the article is stretched to cover what people believe the EU to be (civis EU sum?), I doubt very much a poll of citizens would put sport very high on the list of what comes to mind when thinking 'EU'. Having said that, I just asked here if anyone had a different view, and it was suggested that sport helps bring people together, one of the original aims of the EU. Make of that what you will. Arguably some similar debate might apply to 'religion', but religion may have a sufficient political aspect that it does influence the way the EU operates? Sandpiper 21:33, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Two interesting points, it's probably more valid to suggest discussing television than sport, much work is being done by the EU to harmonise TV content regulation and access to cross border transmissions (such as the [TWF] television without frontiers initiative), secondly; when this statement was made above "I just asked here if anyone had a different view, and it was suggested that sport helps bring people together, one of the original aims of the EU. Make of that what you will." the first thing I thought of was the Eurovision song contest, no one seems to be suggesting that should be mentioned but it's got as about as much to do with the EU as UEFA has, on top of that unlike the tribal rivalry that can surround football (and other field sports) the Eurovision song contest has actually achieved more to bring people together than any sport has. SouthernElectric 22:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. - S. Solberg J. 22:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
You disagree about what?... SouthernElectric 23:08, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
All of it I suppose. Look, other articles do not need sections to be linked to the government to be included, while we are not comparing country articles and the EU they are not totally different. If we have the section but just on EU activies then link to a page on full cultural information in the hatnote? If that is okay I'll work with Lear, SSJ and anyone else in improving such an article. - J Logan t: 08:44, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
This discussion once again shows how difficult it is to place EU in conventional structures.
I think JLogan's solution is workable, the new pages allow much more space to explain the subtle differences between Europe, EU and UEFA/Songcontest (which include Israel). Trying to summarise that on this page will either results in incorrect information, or a very lenghty explanation. So I would agree with JLogan: Culture (incl TV, nice addition SE); and Sports treated here (mainly/almost exclusively) from the EU regulatory POV with a clear reference to the content in the related articles, which we will work on to improve in parallel. Arnoutf 09:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Why don't we have a section as well on the favourite cheese of the citizens of the EU? Or the most driven car in the EU? Or how about whether more EU citizens drink wine or beer etc? Hopefully you get my point. They're all irrelevant and unnecessary in an article on what the EU is. I mean jeez, to quote the page "Sport Policies of the European Union" itself, "The European Union plays a minor and mostly indirect policy role in sport, because (a) sport is normally considered to be outside the competences conferred by the member states to the European Union and (b) sport is in general organised internally, on a European continental level (which is not the same as the level of the European Union), or globally". And as to the fact that there are "European Championships" for a number of sports - there are also the South American Championships (Copa America), the Asia cup, the African Nations cup etc. So you see, whilst yes, the UEFA Champions League is a great example (and I say this as someone who loves the tournament) of something that shows what EU citizens have in common, it is just as relevant as the fact that we all share a common liking of the "Dancing with the Stars" format programme or red wine etc. UEFA = not EU, and therefore Sport section = pointless. --Simonski 15:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Unlike Cheese, Sport is a major cultural phenomenon of daily interest, media coverage and involves highly profiled sponsoring activities. Keep in mind that EVERY member states is the EU. The EU is EVERY member state. There is NO contradiction. STOP separate EU institutions and policies from the member states. UNDERSTAND that there is NO gap between these 2 spheres. Therefore it is justified to name and include major cultural or sportive traditions encompassing many member states. The majority of Football Clubs within EU member states have won the UEFA Champions League and that is relevant therefore. Lear 21 16:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Cheese plays a more important role in my daily life than sports; and is an important cultural issue in Netherlands, Denmark, France, Spain and Greece.... ;-)
But without kidding, Lear21, we know your opinion, but apparently most are not convinced. This can mean 3 things. (1) You are wrong (2) You fail to provide convincing arguments (3) The majority of involved editors is mad (cf. I am not wrong, the world is wrong). In all cases it is a problem for your point of view. Either agree you are wrong or provide convincing arguments, convincing enough even to convince the mad (if you think that is the case). It is clear your current "I says, so it is clearly so" is not convincing so YOU will have to change your arguments. Providing high quality sources for your point of view may achieve this, repeating your statement like a broken grammophone won't. Arnoutf 16:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, actually television is far more a "major cultural phenomenon of daily interest" than sport ever has been - (in the UK at least) one would be hard pushed to find someone who has not been influenced culturally by television! Please just accept that you are not going to get your own way on this, you will either accept that you do not have the consensus of the editors or you could well end up with an indefinite hard block on all your IP addresses. SouthernElectric 16:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sources: Quote: "...the EU is ... is far more than a free-trade association such as ASEAN, NAFTA, or Mercosur, and it has many of the attributes associated with independent nations: its own flag, anthem, founding date, and currency, as well as an incipient common foreign and security policy in its dealings with other nations. In the future, many of these nation-like characteristics are likely to be expanded."[1] Sports: 1. IX Professional Soccer [2], Ten Highest Paid Soccer Player [3], [4], World’s most watched TV sports events [5], Formula One World Drivers Champions 1950 - 2007 [6] Lear 21 16:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

No no, all joking apart here, I'd like to seriously have Lear tell me how Cheese is less important to the EU than football, or what cars everybody drives. Considering there is more EU involvement/regulation/funding in things such as farming, its more relevant for starters. More people drive cars in the EU than watch football, no? Your arguments are now making no sense. I think what I'm getting is your point is "The EU is at the end of the day every member state". Yes, well done, that is right. But it doesn't explain to us why a section on sport, an issue almost completely unrelated to the European Union as an organisation, is worth having. Every country has a club that has won the Champions league and therefore we should have a sports section? Oh dear. You should really be ashamed of yourself if you're wanting it to be the situation here where people read the EU page (not knowing much about the EU itself), and come away thinking that UEFA etc are related to the organisation. (And by the way, the source you just cited sounds like it was written with the assumption that the Constitutional Treaty was going to be brought into force - But instead it was killed eh) --Simonski 16:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok this is getting ridiculous, Lear is obviously going to keep editing/changing the page back to the way he wants it. Can something be done about this? Its people like you Lear who are the reason that Wikipedia will never fully work. Please contribute more usefully. --Simonski 17:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

@Simonski and SouthernElectric: None of the stated arguments have been answered. None of the sourced material can be questioned. Your deleting crusade has an end now. Both of your edit records indicate no serious history in the related EU issues. Your sabotage to the article has an end now. Both of you does not seem to have the capacity or knowledge to counter any serious argument. Inform yourself better and come back later. all the best Lear 21 17:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Just because I've not spent the past year or whatever fixing the article, does not mean I have no background on EU matters. *edit* ... but I also happen to be in the middle of a Masters in European Law, having just graduated with a degree in Law with European Legal Studies. So there's your background, mate. I'm afraid its your vandalism that is going to come to an end. Please point out your points that haven't been answered exactly? In the meantime, stop trying to put your bit back in. Why don't you do everybody a favour and worry about editing the German version or something. --Simonski 17:48, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
While I appreciate Lear's effort to find sources, it does not say explicitly that the UEFA final watchers where inhabitants of the EU (it might have been mainly Russians). Also the other references are not directly supporting the text as it is given now, so if we decide to keep the text, it needs to be aligned with what the references say. In other words, the references are indeed not questioned (although the formula1 page seems a bit trivial); but they do not support the text as you (Lear) inserted it; hence the text can still be questioned.
With regard to Lear's "Both of you does not seem to have the capacity or knowledge to counter any serious argument" -- this is about the most explicit example of the pot calling the kettle black I have encountered in my life. Lear, no argument is serious enough to convince you that you maybe wrong, so please don't accuse other editors of that. Lear21, # of edits is not necessarily a pre. Simonski, please leave language out of it, that has nothing to do with the quality of content and is getting fairly personal.
The main issue is and remains: Should there be a sports section at all. (PS agriculture where you would might find the cheese has its sections). The only source provided by Lear to that account is the CIA-factbook, which indeed is talking about the constitution. Summing up the arguments (trying to be neutral) it comes down to:
Yes sports and culture are essential to show the EU is more than a set of treaties and a bureacracy; hence it should be included
No it is impossible to distinguish between Europe, EU and member states, there is no specific EU sport/culture; hence it should not be included.
I think this Yes-No is the basic problem, and it is working towards a compromise between these to points of view that we should work. Arnoutf 18:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, check your own history, you're the one who has had a block for disruptive editing, vandalism, 'illegal' posting whilst banned and abusing/legal threats to an admin when you were blocked, personally if I had your history and wanted to catty on contributing to WP I would walk away from this right now - you are against consensus even if you do cite your edits, just because something is cited that does not mean it has top be in the article. SouthernElectric 18:22, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
You're not going to get any more of a compromise than what is there already. And ok, take the Cheese example out then if its in the agriculture, and replace my cheese example with the motorcars or SE's television one - where is the television/motorcar section? Its amazing that we have to compromise with this one person (no UK-EU jokes here please! :P), I honestly have no idea how you guys manage to avoid using er.. harsher language when dealing with this guy. I wanted to stress though (and I took it out actually) that the native English comment was not to be taken as in "non-natives can't contribute as well" or anything, it was more instead a point on just the standard coming out there from that guy. Also, I was checking out the French version of this page - its so much better and comes across as far more encyclopedic. And guess what - no sports section! Or any of the other similarly pointless bits. --Simonski 18:31, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I actually think also that everybody needs a reminder that this is Wikipedia, an objective encyclopedia, or at least its supposed to be. I can't help but feel at times that some people are letting their view of what the European Union is, drift over into the article. It is not our job to make sure the EU comes across as more than just a set of treaties and bureacracy, it is our job to give facts on the European Union and what it does (It doesn't do Sport). If you want to do the former, get a job working for the Commission. --Simonski 18:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

For the record: The decisions of admins blocking my account did violated several Wiki policies, which I´m not inclined to comment here. The most significant fact remains: All the content or edits I have argued for are still present, because of a simple reason, they are well argued and sourced. If you find any source that proofs in EU member states : (1) sport has no significance like other Western countries, or(2) football is not the national sport in the majority of member states, I´m the first one who deletes the questioned paragraph. The questioned paragraph is standard content in a standard section. Again: The EU is its member states and the member states are the EU @Simonski: Read [7] Lear 21 19:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Responses to Lear "they are well argued and sourced" - this is your opinion, many editors (myself included) disagree with this
"If you find any source that proofs in EU member states" - You want the information in, you have to find evidence that convinces us, not the other way around (see e.g. the recent EU was the idea of the Nazi's discussion; where that section was removed because no convincing reference were given, rather then us giving references to prove the opposite).
"(1) sport has no significance like other Western countries, or(2) football is not the national sport in the majority of member states," even if we find these, this is irrelevant, as you do not make a hard connection from the topic to the EU. I could also demand a section on grasses as this is likely the most frequent plant in the EU.
"The questioned paragraph is standard content in a standard section." - For a country article (ie a sovereign nation state, this goes) The EU is not a standard country, hence this argument is irrelevant.
"Again: The EU is its member states and the member states are the EU" Nobody denies that, the issue is what we should choose for exclusion, and what to leave out, as space is limited.
From your link to CIA factbook In the future, many of these nation-like characteristics are likely to be expanded. Thus, inclusion of basic intelligence on the EU has been deemed appropriate as a new, separate entity in The World Factbook. However, because of the EU's special status, this description is placed after the regular country entries. The EU has some country elements but is special, in the future is not a good argument as wiki is no crystal ball; also CIA factbook does not mention sports at all.
Summarising, six of your arguments in that very brief bit of text are not as straightforward as you make them appear, or in some cases even argue against, rather then in favour of your ideas; hence inclusion of your text is not beyond reasonable doubt. In this light will you lease be the first one who deletes the questioned paragraphArnoutf 19:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Part 2

One remark in general concerning this article: Over the last year one observation became apparent: No matter what section, no matter what written content has been illustrated with UK related Images, only editors from ONE country have questioned the quality or existence of the specific content. This is getting foreseeable and remains insincere. Lear 21 19:33, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Should I say thanks for you not being able to distinguish my Denglish from UK English ;-) Arnoutf 19:35, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Exactly Lear, you're just digging a hole now, and even if it was true, would it really be that surprising? Wouldn't it be more likely that the French version be criticised more by French editors, the Dutch version by Dutch editors and so on and so on? Editors will obviously be most active in their own language, sorting out the problems that might be left behind. Considering the content of the page, and its arguably pro-EU if anything bias, your comment makes no sense. Can you explain why there is no sport section in the French version for example (or am I giving him ideas here?) and why that doesn't make the French editors there terrible people?

If the EU are the Member States and the Member States are the EU, then don't you realise what you're saying Lear, you're effectively saying the Member State Wikipedia pages should be merged with the EU page, perhaps having a section on each country? Is that what you'd like? Actually by the sounds of things I wouldn't put it past you. But guess what, that is not how encyclopedias currently present the situation. I get the impression you need a simple example to get it through to your head - Flour makes bread for example but bread and flour are two entirely different things. --Simonski 20:10, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Certainly not, I´m tired now of talking to people who live decades in the past and can´t distinguish significance from minor relevance (cheese and cars). The only arguments I hear are what the EU is not instead of identifying the reality. Very unconvincing. These editors will not and can not identify facts and sources even when repeated. That´s why further explanation and arguing appears useless. All arguments have been stated thoroughly. Lear 21 20:03, 11 November 2007

I agree with your opinion that all arguments have been stated thoroughly; but a large number of non-arguments have also been stated thoroughly. Anyway, living in the past is the fate of any encyclopedia as living in the future is crystal balling. I think the main problem is the parallel development over the last decades of EU, Europe, UEFA, etc. which makes relations between these difficult.Arnoutf 20:11, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Living in the past? Sounds like Lear is living decades in the future, quite distanced from reality. Last time I checked the EU law book I was reading was from this year, and it sure as hell makes clear that things like Sport are just not what the EU is about. I'm sorry but I'm just not going to rest until its clear on this page that things like UEFA are nothing to do with the EU. We're talking about completely misinforming individuals who visit the page here on what the organisation does and I can't believe this is even being debated. --Simonski 20:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that what Lear is trying to say is that although he respects your opinion that sport is outside the primary competencies of the European Union, he feels that due to the integration occurring within its jurisdiction that there is an increasing level of cultural interaction leading to a notable level of cultural homogeneousness. In such a case it may be worth noting this in the article, as has been conducted with articles relating to other jurisdictions which have achieved a similar level of homogeneous culture. Sport is a particular example of of this culture, as demonstrated by parallel organisations such as UEFA and related high profile events and organisations demonstrating the level of integration surrounding this field. Hence, although cheese is an important commodity it is but a commodity like any other on the market while Sport can serve as an example of the increasing cultural connections as a by-product, and indeed influence upon, the European Union. I do however disagree that this should have a high profile on the main page. But we could acknowledge life outside directives? - J Logan t: 20:27, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

By the sounds of things you'd draft a mean directive yourself there! :) Yes, there is life outside directives so to speak in the EU, but I would very much debate whether UEFA etc are 'parallel' organisations. If anything, its seemed from the outset that UEFA and co have been doing their best to avoid having to deal with the EU etc (and I think you'd find opinion amongst football fans on the positive/negative impact of EU law on European football a very divisive issue). If the EU was to turn around tomorrow and claim credit for the success of football and how its "grown", I don't think I would be alone in laughing in the face of whoever came out with the statement. Its completely coincidental, and nothing to do with the EU organisation itself. Football/sport is not another ERASMUS style example of the great things the EU can do, lets be clear on that. I'm not saying the EU has no cultural/social involvement, and I would resent it if people tried to read that into my previous comments, but what I am dead set on making sure people know is that sport is just something that has almost nothing to do with the EU. If you want to go on about how popular football, handball etc is, go write a page on "sport in Europe". --Simonski 20:38, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Whilst I can see what you're getting at I do feel that it will be the thin end of the wedge, were will it stop, arguably TV has done far more than sport has ever done to create a homogeneous culture so should we have a 'media' section? SouthernElectric 20:41, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

@ Simonski: The last time I checked UK law, it was nothing said about a capital named London, but still the British call it their capital, strange. UK has´nt even a constitution like any other civilised country and still it is not a banana republic. There is reality outside the legal system. It can happen to you too. Lear 21 20:46, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, the last time I checked your post, it still had no point. Are you really insistant on preventing this EU Wikipedia page from ever achieving FA status? Its shoddy editing like you're advocating that is stopping it from getting any further. Why do you insist on comparing the EU to a nation state? The EU is very, very different in that sense in that if its not stated to be within the EU's powers, or indeed implied, the EU has no competence over the matter. Now there is a very big difference, and one you seem to be missing. --Simonski 20:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
@Simonski & SE: Well that is why I do not support the inclusion of sport here, but something in the cultural domain at least just to give a more human face. I did not claim the influence of the EU on sport was positive! Just that there was influence, and I am aware UEFA have a less than favourable opinion of the EU.
@Lear: What are you talking about, how does the capital argument apply to sport? - J Logan t: 20:51, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough Logan, and I agree, things like the EU's Erasmus programme are fantastic, great things and areas where its clear that EU citizens can share a great European experience. But the fact just remains that the fact that we all like football, all watch this or that programme etc is just coincidence (particularly with sport) and not relevant to a discussion on the EU's influence over culture. At the end of the day apart from the Bosman ruling and the indirect impact of freedom of movement, the EU has had little influence over sport (though of course these two instances are definitely worth mentioning within a section on freedom of movement or something) It is so important here to not cross the line and start misinforming people, which sadly Lear seems so hell bent on doing. --Simonski 20:56, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Simonski, the current state of what is now called EU has already achieved a degree, which is going beyond your focus on the legal system. The EU influences daily life on personal, regional, national, European and global level. The EU is a space, entity, living room, ensemble of member states which has already merged politics, economy, culture and interests. This has to be exemplified in this article. Lear 21 21:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, in your life (or indeed your Member State) perhaps. Its amazing that you can speak for all the EU citizens here. I would challenge your claim, and say outwith the four fundamental freedoms, that it hasn't. Give me an example exactly of how the EU has been involved in sports, other than just happening to be a supranational organisation that involves a number of countries where they just happen to be popular. I'll tell you what the EU has done exactly - nothing. Not from a legal point of view, not from a cultural point of view, not from any point of view. You make it out as if without your sacred sports section that the EU article would come across as all about EU law. What absolute nonsense. Stick your sport section in the Culture section and be quiet you very silly person. --Simonski 21:30, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think JLogan proposed a workable idea. Give a short section to sports and culture on this main article. Perhaps Eurovision TV should be mentioned as well, as European Broadcasting Union overlaps EU, and in symbols is closer to it then UEFA (it has 12 stars in its logo). However, I think it should short sections, and be carefully sourced whenever any but the most trivial facts are mentioned. Lear, while football/soccer maybe considered trivial the line "Other sports are favourites in fewer countries, such as basketball, ice hockey, rugby, handball, and motorsports" is inherenetly subjective. To overcome this you have to quantify "favourite" and have to give each country for each sport. I would strongly advice to remove that line as that already might help towards a solution of the current revert-war. Arnoutf 21:39, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think if Lear gets his way here it will be the most disgraceful thing to happen since Sarkozy took the reference to Competition out of the Treaty. This article will never get FA status with irrelevant things like this sport section. It would easily be accomodated within the culture section and I'm yet to hear why some lunatic federalist should be able to determine whether the entire world gets mislead into thinking the EU played some part in sports. --Simonski 21:47, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sport happens in EU member states. EU member states make the EU. Ergo: Sport happens in the EU. Very easy, very logic, nothing wrong. Talking to Simonski is listening to a Pre-Maastricht-Dinosaur. Lear 21 21:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Lear, but that is no argument. Sex happens in EU member states, shitting happens in the member states. Both probably more ofthen then sports. Where are the sections.
While I see some value in adding a culture/sports section to give something about the special nature of EU-citizens your arguments to get it done are really not satisfactory; please try to think of a more compelling reason why sports and culture should be singled out. Arnoutf 22:01, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear I don't think they have descriptions for your type yet, you give even the most hardcore Europhiles a bad name. As I said, flour and bread. EU = the Member States acting as one, the Member States do remain a seperate entity. Tsk tsk, this is basic stuff we're talking about now. If you go down your route, yes, sports are played within the countries that make up the EU, great, but the problem is this is an article on the EU, and on an EU level, there has been no involvement in sports. If you have stuff like your bit in the article, it not only becomes full of irrelevant info and unnecessarily long, but also puts itself in serious danger of no longer being an objective article, and instead one with an inherent bias on how you view the EU personally. It'd be like writing a bit saying "All people in the EU consider themselves proud European citizens". As for the section on crapping, I seriously wouldn't be surprised if Lear has prepared a draft already. --Simonski 22:15, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
THE POINT of this discussion is to debate what to do with the sports section. It's the editors who feels that this article should contain only what EU legislation is about, versus the ones who feels that we should mention what ordinary citizens of the European Union actually have in common. Right now it's a mix between both things. (minus Lear's favourite section on the most popular sports) I feel it should stay that way, simply because Wikipedia should relate to and reflect the realities of real-life. We all agree that the EU is something between the United States and the Council of Europe. I'm pretty sure most of us agree that the EU is more like a federation than an ordinary organisation. Isn't it real-life consensus that European citizens have many things in common? It's hard to find things that differentiates the culture of Europe, and the common culture of the EU. But it's easy do differentiate the culture of the people of the Middle-East and the people of Europe. I've got the impression that it would be 'politically correct' to mention what EU citizens have in common, due to the degree of European integration. The EU is today more than an economic community. I don't see why this article must underline that there's allegedly "no such thing as an EU identity".
I think we should add a couple of sentences to the current sports-section that explaines that EU citizens have a certain degree of common sporting interests. (Notably in football) And that all EU member states participates in pan-european (NB: that doesn't say that it's EU-only!) sporting competitions, the Euro cup in football respectively. (or we can have an equivalent sentence on EU teams in the Champions League instead.) - S. Solberg J. 22:13, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that might be a workable solution, although Simonski is right to say that the sections from demographics downwards are hardest to write in a fair and unbiased way, just because that is where national, European and EU identity start to mingle. I think that is (sadly) a given of the article and the in-between state the EU is currently having. I think both the EU-is-strictly-its-laws as well as the EU-is-one-happy-family editors have to find a compromise (to Lear21 in advance, a compromise means accepting some losses in your opinion to get at consensus, you can trust (read the above) that some other editors will see an article that does not meet their first choice either). Only by getting these two views together can we get a fairly balanced article. I think the sports section (minus Lear's list of sports) was a fair effort to get there (ie to a compromise), although embedding in overall article maybe improved. Arnoutf 22:28, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Harmonize crapping legislation I say. No seriously, I think then if there does have to be a compromise then I would say the sports section as it is (without Lear's bit) is the only form I'd be happy with a sport section having. I still believe moving whats been said either to the bit on economy (which by the way, needs more said on the four freedoms, I can't believe there's barely anything on it, the most important part of the EU) or culture would be far better. And why the Nou Camp suddenly replaced Anfield as the picture, without discussion, is also a bit odd. Why is the Nou Camp more acceptable than Anfield? Why because Lear said so of course. This is Lear's article on the EU by the way, incase you didn't know. But anyway, I would be completely opposed to any mention of the popularity of sports in the EU as it would be far from a compromise, rather it would instead take yet another piece of objectivity away from the article. --Simonski 22:34, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Putting it into economy might be one way of embedding it better; so that is basically what I meant. I think acknowledging that football/soccer is the most popular sport (without the others) can do not much harm, especially as it contrasts between the USA and the EU. Arnoutf 22:36, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

The section as it is now, plus 2 referenced sentences on football, plus Ssolbergj sentence on participation of all member states in UEFA, minus popular sports (handball, rugby, etc.). Then it is acceptable. By the way, Liverpool gets it image back, when Sibiu is replaced as Cultural Capital in 2 months. Lear 21 22:49, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Ok, that shows some willingness to compromise thanks for that. Sadly your closing line "Liverpool..." may not be making this compromise easy to accept for some other in terms of WP:OWN. Arnoutf 22:52, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

There is no preference on either Barcelona or Liverpool. Both images have the same degree of content quality, resolution and aesthetic appeal. Lear 21 23:00, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

What on earth, excuse me but how was that a compromise from Lear? The language used was his usual "its my way or the highway". Lear you should be ashamed at your excuse for "discussion", this entire debate has been a complete shambles and you are a complete disservice to this very important article on Wikipedia. He has basically just said it is acceptable if the section reads as it does now plus Solbergs two sentences similar to the ones Lear was trying to put in the first place. I think we are treading very dangerous waters here and should there be a reference to sport in a misleading manner, I'll be the first to tag it as being suspect of bias. It seems the compromise here being tabled out is very one-sided, that side being the one that has plagued this article for a while now. (I mean Arnoutf it could be pointed out that your US/EU comment highlights maybe your views on things, views which would arguably be your own rather than an objective view, if that makes sense) You acknowledged the problems with the demographics onwards section, lets make a start at fixing it! --Simonski 23:10, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Having read the above I am now somewhat convinced that sport ought not to appear in this article at all. The fact that many citizens of european countries have an interest in sport, and that many european countries belong to the EU is entirely a coincidence. The two are not related in any that is relevant to this article. I was also bemused by the repeatedly quoted comment above that' the EU is the member states, and the member states are the EU'. I doubt the majority, or even the minority of british citizens would agree with this. Perhaps because it is not precisely apparent what it means. Uk citizens almost certainly regard themselves as british first and Europeans a dim second, even the EU friendly ones like myself. The eurosceptics do not consider that they have anything to do with the EU at all. I personally, as a Europhile, do not regard the EU as making laws within the UK, or influencing them or any other aspects of life in any significant way which would be materially different to what would happen if the EU did not exist, but instead Europe was a bunch of cooperating states with occasional summits between their leaders. I am extremely sceptical of the influence of the EU as an organisation beyond the obvious requirements for any state in the modern world to cooperate with its neighbours. The alternative to friendly cooperation is unfriendly cooperation, and Europe had quite enough of that. But even when Europe was a continent of stark rivals, legal system, cultural ideas etc etc were all changing and moving in generally the same direction, together. So I am very skeptical at any claims that the EU has made a major difference to this. However, I am entirely happy for an article such as this to list where officially the EU as an organisation has been empowered to act on behalf of its members. This does not include sport. Sandpiper 23:29, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Well said. And I want to add as well, I consider myself Pro-European too. Otherwise I wouldn't have bloody chosen to study EU law for the last 6 years. I have an EU flag up in my room, love things like the Erasmus programme, and generally am a supporter of the EU. But having studied its institutions and how it works for so long I know there are so many major flaws in it, and believe it to be a very out of touch organisation. Furthermore I certainly consider myself Scottish well ahead of classing myself as a "European". Only one look at the Project European Union member list on Wikipedia and you see instantly that the place is dominated by young federalist type thinkers. That is why I just can't sit here and have people such as Solberg and Lear advocate the placing of irrelevant information on such an important page on Wikipedia. People from all over the world will read this article, and it is SO important here that no bias is allowed to leak into it. --Simonski 23:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
If football goes in I want motor sport mentioned, namely F1, there can be no more 'European sport', many races are within the member states, most of the engine builders are EU based/owned and most of the teams are based in the EU etc. etc. etc. Do I really need to go on - football can't be mentioned simply because if one sport is named it opens the door for ALL other sports being mentioned, either on a spectator numbers base or a income / expenditure bases. I would prefer no sports section, if sport has to be mentioned then it should be with either business/economy or as part of a EU regulative section. SouthernElectric 00:08, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Part 3

Now, there are 2 Pre-Maastricht-Dinosaurs. Maybe your perspective broadens with this one Talk:European Union/inclusion in lists of countries. Lear 21 23:58, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Says the guy who is so opposed to focusing on the true successes of the EU, the four fundamental freedoms and Competition Law. But why talk about these areas, where the EU has changed people's lives, allowed true free movement of products and people, and allowed some of the biggest companies in the world to grow (ie. Ryanair, Easyjet), no no, lets talk about football and sport, something the EU has had absolutely no involvement in. Lear, as I said, you really should be ashamed. Your compromising skills are as poor as your debating ones. --Simonski 00:14, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
We understand that you, Simonski is in the EU-is-strictly-its-laws-and-the-actions-of-the-commission category. Now I've written numerous deep explanations for why sport should be included, and your answer is (in essence) " the EU has had absolutely no involvement in sports" - which in itself is false. Sandpiper writes that "The fact that many citizens of european countries have an interest in sport, and that many european countries belong to the EU is entirely a coincidence.". Is it a coinsident that football is popular in Europe? Is it a coinsindent that coffe is a popular beverage? The point of including a sentence on actual sporting activities would be to explain to wikipedia readers what is COMMON FOR EU ('s member states') CITIZENS. That would be the normal reason in any article about political entities with a certain contact with its citizens.
Instead of writing long sentences dissing Lear and short-stories about how 'European' you feel, I suggest you instead absorb the arguments you disagree with, and try to talk directly about the text. My sentence proposal was by the way very different from the previous 'top-ten popular sports' list. - S. Solberg J. 01:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I just noticed your comment here Solberg, no idea why it was out of sync, but anyway, to respond, you make it out as if I haven't countered all your points which I have. Read the goddamn pages upon pages above on why it would not be objective to put in what you want, and why on top of that, UEFA etc have nothing to do with the EU. You never answered my point for example that wow, there was a European Championships for every sport, but not only was there one for South America, one for Asia etc as well, but that the European ones always included teams like Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia etc. Those countries are of course, our well known EU member friends. Oh no wait, THEY AREN'T AT ALL. --Simonski 15:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Make no mistake, I worked in ALL sections, plus the introduction, plus the infobox, plus the references. YOU are the one, who focuses on a single dimension here. The legal perspective is only one of many. Lear 21 00:29, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

That explains two things 1) The quality of parts of the article, ie. the lengthy, babbling intro. and 2) Why you are so defensive about this article, as if it was your property. I am focusing on the bigger picture, the objective picture, whilst you are clearly not budging from your narrow minded perception of the EU and how it must be shown in the article. Anybody who does not conform to your view is a "Eurosceptic". Its disgraceful. Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Establishment, these are things that go beyond law, don't you get it? And how many times do I have to say that I think things like the Erasmus scheme are important, and that there IS a cultural aspect? Your link there above, the only thing it broadened was my already high suspicion that this place is dominated by those with federal tendencies, and you in particular Lear are letting your views seep into the article. Together we could all work to provide an objective stance. Sadly you seem incapable of doing so. We are going round in circles here and it begins to bore me. This debate has only served to highlight to me that the situation with the editing here is completely flawed. Such a shame, such an important article. --Simonski 00:43, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, that makes no difference, WP works on consensus, no one person owns an article, don't like that fact - the door is behind you. SouthernElectric 00:52, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Having looked at the various arguments and various sources, I have personally come to the conclusion that there should be a section on sport, but it should concentrate on the role of the EU, incuding surveys etc. carried out by the Commission and explaining the special, very limited, role of the EU as such. As I see it, this should include the following

  • The Community has no direct powers in the area of sports as such (this is stated explicitly on the EU web site; so it should be uncontroversial, even for non-lawyers).
  • Until now, sport has played a subordinate role in the European Union institutions. The Sports Unit within the Directorate-General Education and Culture was/is responsible for co-operation with various bodies on matters that affect sport.
  • Sport has been addressed as an economic and health factor, e.g. with respect to sports injuries (costing 4 billion euros in Germany alone; survey commissioned by Commission (?) )
  • MEPs have long been pressing for more action with regard to sport
  • The EU Council's Nice Declaration stressed the importance of sport.
  • The Commission's White Paper on Sport (July 2007) and the follow-up documents show what action is planned in this respect ("Pierre de Coubertin" Action Plan).
  • There may be other changes resulting from the IGC / Reform Treaty
  • There is a long list of cases/decisions involving sport (which could be detailed elsewhere)
  • Possibly: An EU survey looking at existing data showed that different sports are most popular in different countries, football being most popular in some and swimming in others)

In particular, I don't think we can ignore the Nice declaration and the Commission White Paper.

I think I can provide appropriate citations but will not go to the bother of checking and formatting if it becomes clear that the whole lot will get deleted.
Here are some general sources:

I'm not sure if that puts me in the camp of the rampant federalists or the pre-Maastricht dinosaurs in some eyes, but it is meant to be correct, NPOV, and substantiated.--Boson 01:00, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Part 4

Not sure about rampant federalists or the pre-Maastricht dinosaurs but (from a skim read, it's getting late here...) some of the above bullet points might put you in danger of crystal ball gazing, in other words, what might happen has no place here SouthernElectric 01:07, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

As long as they are presented as such, I don't think reporting on current policy and existing declarations and plans counts as crystal ball gazing. The Nice Declaration exists; the Commission White Paper exists (July 2007); the Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan exists; the advocacy of MEPs is documented in the reports cited; Court/Council Decisions are listed in one of the cited reports, as well as being documented elsewhere; the report cited on sports injuries and other economic effects is from 2004 (if I recall correctly). I would need to go back and check the sources for the exact locations and exact wording, but the facts should be corroborated by other sources.--Boson 07:41, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
We almost had something there, well I say there I was reading for several minutes after "there". Perhaps we could cease the discussion on;
  • Pre-Maastricht Dinosaurs: Lear, they are talking about competencies where as you want cultural elements, that is detached from the development of the EU itself. A people cannot be a nation if they do not consider themselves as such, that there is a lack of such recognition gives their argument validity in that sense.
  • Federalists: I do believe it gives a disservice to federalist in the comparison made. Desiring the inclusion of a sports section is not exactly a federalist agenda, I for one can think of more worth while things to advocate to that end.
Can we perhaps have the the main data on sport (boseman) under Economy, with a side reference to footballs popularity (as in discussion effect, mention notable on football, in brackets stating that is is very popular - with the citation Lear was kind enough to provide) and anything extra under culture. That way the data Lear is seeking is in there, but there is not such a high profile "sports section" and indeed in sections of the article which are more likely to be read. - J Logan t: 08:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, despite what the parliament and others have supposedly pushed for, the recent draft of the Reform Treaty makes it about as clear as its going to get that the EU is not generally to involve itself in Sport. I am still absolutely confused as to why references to sport, and in particular football, need putting in. Like I said, it is hardly the case that without such references the entire article becomes all about economics. Find something else cultural that the EU is actually involved in. And quick already, this discussion has been far too long! Desiring a sports section is not federalist per se of course, but it would heavily touch upon the neutrality of the article surely. Using Boson's ideas would present a danger of going down the route ie. of having the article read like the editors are very keen for the EU to get involved in sport even though it is not involved just now. Like I've been saying a million times, what we think of the EU is irrelevant here, as this is an article on what it does. And the "EU is the Member States" argument doesn't buy it, for the bajillion, zillion reasons spouted earlier. But otherwise I generally like Logan's suggestion. I still think there should be 4 subheadings for the four freedoms in this article. --Simonski 09:51, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Some of the above suggestions about what might be placed in a sports section are rather scraping the bottom of the barrell. We are not here desperately hunting for things to make this article longer. Quite the opposite, seeking things to cut. Sport is just about as irrelevant to an article about the EU as you can get. Not that you can't write a perfectly good article about sport in Europe (which is really the title people seem to want to include), it just doesn't have any good reason to be reproduced here.
We have veered into federalism, and with the suggestion above to have a look at the discussion about whether the EU should be considered a state. I had a look at the United nations article, and it did not mention sport, the Un role in sport, or sport played in UN member states. The UN makes laws binding on its members. Has a big organisation, a council drawn from the members and a standing president. Has an army, a foreign policy, is far more pro-active in the affairs of member states. But do we claim to be citizens of the united nations? I don't see why the UN is in a different class to the EU. There are other multinational agreement organisations. The UN, like the EU draws its authority from its member states and carries out an activity on their behalf. Whether either should be classed as a state for wiki purposes does not really cast light on whether they are a state. Is an ambassador for a country the same as that country? If a list ought to contain a state because the state does something relevant to that list, then the EU/UN ought to be included because they are carrying out that activity on behalf of states and acting as one for that purpose. To return slightly to the subject here, while some may consider the deletion of the odd word like 'federal' from treaties to be irrelevant, clearly still leaving a document which is aimed at creating a federal state, others do not. The words were deleted because had they remained, the treaties stood no chance of being ratified (ahem, France.) The people of the european union states do not conside that they belong to one federal organisation, nor are they willing to join one. So again, including sport, which has nothing to do with the mechanics of the EU, is attempting to bring something into the description of the EU which does not belong there and which alters the impression given of it. It is biasing the article by attempting to claim the EU does something for its citizens (see, how easy it is to use a word like 'citizens' misleadingly: they are only EU citizens by virtue of being real citizens of a state belonging to the EU) which in fact it does not do. Sandpiper 12:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree, sport (in this article) is about as relevant as the already pointed out fact that 99% of people who live in the EU shit, should we have a section about shitting too?! Were sport is relevant it's only so in either business or regulative terms and should be mentioned in those terms here with linking to other sports article - just as mentioning the 1% of people who do not shit would lead to an article about colostomy and not a paragraph or two here about colostomies. That said, I have been WP:BOLD and removed the whole section. SouthernElectric 13:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the point is that the UN is not as homogeneous as the EU, and hence proponents are viewing that comparison as invalid. Further more excreting faeces is an activity which most of the world has taken it upon themselves to conduct in fairly the same manner. Whereas there are notable instances where sport has more variation across borders, thereby making it a more notable discussion.
However, Lear and SSJ. Do you not think that it would in fact be detrimental to devote such space to discussing an area with little EU influence, when we could instead concentrate on those areas where the EU has been most successful. Surely that would do the EU greater justice than detracting from that with such a section?- J Logan t: 13:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
At the same time it is arguable that SE is just as entitled to compare the EU to the UN as Lear is to compare Country pages to the EU page. The fact is that the EU is of course inbetween these two, and this page should have as its ultimate aim explaining what the EU is to others, and what it does. As there are individual wikipedia pages for all the Member States involved, this page should focus on what the EU does. There are many social and cultural aspects contributed to by the EU, and Sport is not one. The shitting example still stands though, as sport is also a global activity rather than simply an EU one. But then again, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. --Simonski 13:44, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

@Sandpiper: You and Simonski seem to agree that sport can be mentioned in a Europe. The EU and its member states covers more than 3/4 of Europe´s territory, population, political influence and economic weight. Nothing wrong to include it here therefore. Your comparison EU/UN includes so many deficits, almost not worth commenting. There is a general understanding among many editors on this article, that the EU is a highly advanced state-like entity. In terms of knowledge, your view seems start at kindergarten level. @SouthernElectric: (1) If you can proof " people" appearing regularly on TV getting paid 20 million Euros a year, we talk about inclusion. (2) If you can proof " people" are organized in every EU member state with millions of participants in number, we talk about inclusion. (3) If you can proof " people" are sponsored by billion Euro global player companies, we talk about inclusion. (4) If you can proof " people" holding worldwide competitions with 70.000 spectators watching in a stadium, we talk about inclusion. (5) From now on your hostile approach and edits will be ignored. Lear 21 13:39, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

I only agreed that Sport could be mentioned in the economic context, via Bosman and the freedom of Movement things. Everything you said just there Lear does not happen on an EU level, and indeed involves actually around 20 other Non-EU countries. It is not EU related, rather European (and to some extent Asia) related. Just to remind the other countries involved in UEFA include Azerbijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Kazahkstan, Israel, Norway, Albania among several others. See my above comment anyway as well. And furthermore, where is this big organisation UEFA that supposedly covers the EU based? Why in Switzerland and Monaco. It just screams "not relevant" for an EU page. --Simonski 13:47, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, where are you getting these numbers from, there has been little support for keeping the section itself, rather instead if there has been any support it has been for it to be merged into the Economy section. It would fit into Logan's new proposal to do a bit on the four freedoms. --Simonski 13:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

@Simonski: User Lear 21, Ssolbergji and Boson declared support for a section named sport. User Arnoutf negotiated a version including sports. User JLogan considers a solution WITH a sport section. So WHAT do you consider NOT supporting a sports section? Because of this broad acceptance and by now highly discussed issue, I call your next revert a vandalism. Lear 21 14:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

And when you revert my revert, I shall do the same. The solutions proposed by the majority of editors here have all required the sports section to be included in the Economy section. And NONE of the solutions proposed contain your section on popular sports. So you have no right to keep putting it back in. If anything you may only restore it to the previous way it was before SE removed it entirely, until a compromise is agreed here. --Simonski 14:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
For the record: Note that I am willing to compromise on version with a limited sports section. Also this is no plain vandalism from either party but a good old revert war - so 3RR would be the more relevant violation ;-) Arnoutf 14:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
And furthermore you twisted Logan's words Lear as he clearly was advocating putting it in the economy section. Only 3 of you support a seperate sports section, and only then are 2 of you being particularly unyielding. I repeat my position - my compromise would go no further than keeping the Sports section as it is without Lear's section on popular sports (as instead it does at least in this form tell individuals that the EU has little involvement here), but seriously think the article would benefit more if it was merged with Economy. If I was to not compromise at all, I'd have no mention of sport whatsoever. Its clear though that Lear is unwilling to compromise to any reasonable level and if he continues being like this I'd seriously like to take matters further. His stance is damaging the progression of this important wikipedia article. --Simonski 14:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
There is actually a consensus for the removal of the sports section, it's existence was by way of a compromise even before this current discussion, there seems to me that there is a forming consensus for; a/. remove the sports section b/. rewrite the removed content so that it fits within either an economy or regulative section c/. link any sport mentioned by business or regulation to either an existing article or create a 'Sport within the EU' (draft title suggestion) article SouthernElectric 15:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Economy section is already overcrowded. This is obvious. The cultural dimensions are dominating sports. The new content in the sports section has adapted to many criticism by now. Most significantly, all claims are sourced and are in the majority EU related. This is now the last statement from this account. Please refrain from personal attacks or comments of my behaviour in the future. I have argued strictly content oriented, changes have been made. The argumentation line has been thoroughly, detailed and supported by others. Note that there will be NO EU article without a sports section as long I have access to the internet. I will participate in discussions with other topics, but not in this one. Have a nice day & all the best for you Lear 21 15:04, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, GROW UP! Go read WP:OWN SouthernElectric 15:10, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
All I read there was "this article will never receive FA status for as long as I have the internet". Lear I will revert your non-consensus edits on the sports section until the day I die. I have no idea how you deal with people like Lear on wikipedia, but is there something that can be done? Can we have him prohibited from editing this page, considering he's already violated several rules with his "It's my page waaah waaah my page" attitude. The economy section is going to be expanded, didn't you hear (because whether you like it or not the EU is to a very large degree an ECONOMIC union), and by that point it will have accomodated the couple of sentences on what the EU has done with sport, therefore negating the need for an already pointless sports section. --Simonski 15:25, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, my opinion (I certainly won't read the ten pages worth of text above this if I can avoid it): If there's any kind of content which would merit a section on sports, I'm in favour of having one; if we have little or not verifiable, factual information on sports in the EU, I think we should leave it out. —Nightstallion 15:33, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Having been involved in considerable reversion warring on the much much more serious subject of 'harry Potter', I suggest the correct procedure is for each editor who disagrees with lear to revert him once until he passes 3 reverts per 24 hours, then report him for 3RR violation. He will get told he is a naughty boy and the article will be locked. We continue in this way, and eventually he gets banned indefinitely after weeks of the article being frozen. Or maybe matters will be resolved more expeditiously if it is clear there are a number of editors here with a clear view that he is wrong. Harry Potter was suffering somewhat from the imminent book release, and I suspect the millions of pounds/dollars riding on it. Surely no one has an interest in pushing a POV about the EU?
Lear, I am afraid that I am sufficiently ignorant that you will have to explain to me why there is any significant difference betweem the EU and the UN. One involves itself in legislation of major impact governing the interaction of member states, the other legislation of minor impact. Now...which was which? I'm sorry, but this is already a long article. Jlogan elsewhere is discussing adding sections about legislation, competition and similar matters which really are directly central to the activities of the EU. The problem with sport is that on a properly ordered list of relative importance, it is just way down the bottom. If anything, I would say it is exactly an argument as to why the idea of the EU as a state is overblown. It exactly illustrates an area of european cooperation between states which has happened totally without the EU doing anything. This illustrates my point that if the EU did not exist, much of what it does would simply have been done in more informal ways. Perhaps we should add a line to any sport section explaining that in fact sport in Europe has flourished while being totally ignored by the EU? Sandpiper 19:21, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Second straw poll on inclusion

OK, one last attempt to see what editors opinion is;

  • Should the sports section be deleted with it's content re written in to either the economy or a created 'regulative' section? [____] (either a yes or no answer please) and then sign & date.

Please do not add explanatory notes, a simply one word answer is all that is required.
Should anyone alter or delete your opinion you are free to revert etc. but remember to note the event in the edit summery (not the page) - the intension is not to start yet another argument but to get a clear idea of consensus so we can clearly ask for the page to be unblocked having sorted out our own dispute or go to WP dispute arbitration. Please do not respond to any comments that might get placed below.

Should the sports section be deleted with it's content re written in to either the economy or a created 'regulative' section?
Please enter either Yes/No and then sign below;

Yes. --Simonski 13:15, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. - 14:00, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. --Boson 16:25, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. - J Logan t: 16:27, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
yes Arnoutf 17:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. --Lear 21 18:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No.Nightstallion 19:02, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
No. - S. Solberg J. 19:06, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes -- SouthernElectric 21:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Sandpiper 09:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I will not enter my opinion until sometime after 18:00hrs UTC as I do not want to appear leading. Message end: SouthernElectric 11:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)Now entered SouthernElectric 21:08, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm thinking this is conclusive now the other editors are joining in. Perhaps if you want to continue the argument should be attempted again before hand? - J Logan t: 19:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Not sure what I understand what you're asking/saying. Is this a comment on how the straw poll is being carried out?
I'm assuming we're discounting the non-registered vote, lest it become a farce here where we all ask like minded colleagues to come and give a Yes/No vote in our favour. On that assumption, it seems to be there is no consensus regarding the question. If the section is kept and this goes no further I think I will have to challenge the neutrality of sections of the article as its quite clear that certain individuals are not providing objective edits. Can I just say again how disappointing it is that the other side has failed to compromise in any form at all here. Keeping the relevant parts of the sports section within another section would be a fair result for everybody. --Simonski 21:52, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I think JLogan means (correct me if I'm wrong) that there is no consensus, that this was already clear, and that the poll only confirms what we already knew. We have to solve this through talking as the opinions are divided. Arnoutf 21:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is Arnoutf that nothing can be done, for as long as there is a party to the discussion who's attitude is, quote "for as long as I have internet access there will be a sport section". Lear is unyielding, and I am guessing very much that Solberg has taken up a similar position. How do you deal with somebody who comes to a negotiating table pretty much saying "Ok, you accept my deal or there is no deal". Thank goodness for real encyclopedias where people can get objective information rather than internet ones dominated by biased editors. I don't see how any of us can give a single inch until Lear does. --Simonski 22:03, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
It is clear that it is not only Lear21 who thinks the section should be kept; although I agree he cannot be reasoned with (at least not on this issue). Arnoutf 22:43, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The question then is, should the section stay the the same length (word count), at the moment it's around 130 words (not including superscript or actual citations) or be expanded, I'm getting the impression that it might not be the section length but the content that is the problem? SouthernElectric 22:55, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
I should emphasise that my comment was made on the assumption that most of the other 'No' editors would be sensible enough to discuss a compromise, ie. keeping the sports section as it is at present, instead of merging it as the 'Yes' editors would have liked. I'm quite willing to be the Lear of the 'Yes' editors here if needs be, but I'd hope I wouldn't need to be. --Simonski 23:12, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Straw poll on rewriting

OK, so the sports section remains, the next logical question is;

  • Should the sports section be limited in word count, content and be sport neutral?
    In other words should the information be in a summery and condensed form with links to existing or new articles were the subject is dealt with in more detail.

Please do not add explanatory notes, a simply one word answer is all that is required.
(Again) Should anyone alter or delete your opinion you are free to revert etc. but remember to note the event in the edit summery (not the page) - the intension is not to start yet another argument but to get a clear idea of consensus so we can clearly ask for the page to be unblocked having sorted out our own dispute or go to WP dispute arbitration.

Should the sports section be limited in word count, content and be sport neutral?
Please enter either Yes/No and then sign below;

YesSandpiper 10:07, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes --Simonski 10:20, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

(Again) I will not enter my opinion until sometime after 18:00hrs UTC as I do not want to appear leading. Message end: SouthernElectric 09:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I think this is in every count an ambiguous question. (Yes it should be limited in word count at let's say two million words; yes it should limited in content, to sports I guess, yes it should be sport neutral, all sports played in the EU should be mentioned). I know you do not mean any of the above, but answering YES to you question would open this up. I would rather rephrase to: Should the sports section be limited to one paragraph (Y?N). Should it be limited to cases where the connection between the sports and the EU specifically is supported (Y/N). Should it be about sports in general, rather then giving examples of specific sports (Y/N) (to be honest I do not completely understand what you mean with sport neutral-this is my best guess). Arnoutf 09:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
My initial reaction was rather like Arnoutfs, it did sound like 'should this section follow the normal rules of wiki'. Your explanation above is more helpfull, but again it is generally exactly what applies to each existing section of the article, where most everything is a summary of a bigger article. Sandpiper
Exactly, a 'yes' vote here could easily be interpreted as anything. It was never an issue of the article being sport neutral but rather EU status neutral. The inclusion of a sports page presupposes that the EU has had something to do with sport, or that the EU is similar to a state with a common culture, which it is not. Our Russian, and some of our Asian friends are also part of things like UEFA. I vote yes (I just changed from no as I was even confused by the question and realised that no would be saying give the section carte blanche), though my yes should be taken as meaning I would only accept the sports section as it is currently. --Simonski 10:19, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
OK, lets scrub it. SouthernElectric 10:34, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we should approach it from the other side; the current version; by posing the question: "Is the current sports section (one paragraph, focussing on EU sports policies, with an image of a football stadium; all of it embedded within the culture section), an acceptable compromise (we are talking about a compromise, meaning that we are not talking about your preferred version, but whether you can live with the current version at the end of the day). Answer YES or NO. If answering no, please list (bulleted list with 10 word max arguments per bullet point) what you think is needed to make this acceptable."Arnoutf 10:45, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

In that case, here we go...
Yes. (barely acceptable) --Simonski 11:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
No (not with a non sports neutral image, such an image puts undue weight on one sport) SouthernElectric 12:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes Arnoutf 12:13, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


I have no problem with the pic as generic, what would you suggest Southern? The text content is relevant to the EU. My only issue would be if at some future time there is a hunt to reduce the length of the article, and this would be a clear candidate. Sandpiper 13:57, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Well I would be happy with the image if the word football is removed, lets face it the caption is meaningless as it stands, is football the only popular sport - hardly - so why give that one sport extra weight in the caption, "Spectator sports are popular in EU member states (Camp Nou in Barcelona)" is a far more sport neutral caption, the image still fits with the textual content whilst people who know nothing of European culture will not be mislead into thinking that every EU citizen is 'football crazy'. Personally I think there must be a more generic image in the public domain, the outside of a national sports stadium, one that is used for multiple sporting events perhaps? SouthernElectric 14:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
no problem with leaving out the word football, I agree it is just an example of someone playing sport, indicating from the picture of a big stadium and lots of people that it is taken seriously. Sandpiper —Preceding comment was added at 15:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Something general: The EU article is influenced and created by several editors from more than 5 different countries incl. Non-EU-member states. It has, among others, integrated ideas that includes the following assumption: That the process and evolution of the EU is shaped and enacted by its member states, specifically through decisions by the European Council and the Council of the European Union. The article has therefore included developments & information in most sections that are present, influential, relevant and wide spread in many member states and sometimes neighbouring countries. It has lead to the inclusion of: 1. The Iron Curtain image in 'History' 2. A map including Non-EU-European countries and parts of Africa in 'Geography' 3. The Schengen Information System in 'Justice, freedom and security' 4. The biggest trading partner in 'Economy' 5. Russia as energy supplier in 'Energy' 6. Image Öresund bridge / ESA in 'Infrastructure' 7. 'Demographics' section 8. Immigrant languages in 'Languages' 9. 'Religion' 10. European capital of Culture in 'Culture' 11. Bologna process in 'Education and research'

In this respect it seems coherent & appropriate to mention that all EU member states are part of UEFA and other sport associations in Europe. The referenced paragraph [8] seems to be in line of the mentioned reasoning. all the best Lear 21 16:09, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

By that rational the IOC should be mentioned to, the FIA (having it's headquarters in one of the original treaty member states) should be mentioned, the FIA (motor-sport world governing body) is also far more euro-centric than football is, why is it that you think that football is some how extra special that it needs to be placed on a pedestal - or is it the fact that football is not noteworthy in a European sporting context that you feel the need to demand that your chosen favourite sport is so mentioned...
One simple question to Lear, are you at all prepared to compromise at all, YES OR NO? SouthernElectric 16:30, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

The FIA, but more specifically the Formula One is certainly relevant as the most successful drivers are of EU member states origin and the series ís euro-centric. So yes, this could be included. The IOC is a global organization and more than 4/5 of its members are not EU-European-countries, it loses on relevance and should´nt be included. Lear 21 16:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

"The IOC is a global organisation", and football isn't?! What frecking planet......
The whole point people have been making is that there is limited space available and that if one sport is mentioned by name then 10 more sports could and should be mentioned (and I don't mean just listing them), what content do you want to delete to make way for this sports section as the article already has a length (file size) warning? SouthernElectric 16:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Because of the vast potential of content, articles like the EU are widely tolerated by it´s overlength and even achieve higher status (GA) without trimming. Compare length of articles like USA, UN, UK, Russia. The Bosman para in sports could be trimmed while the suggested referenced para has about the same length. By the way, The mentioning of UEFA is advocated which has higher relevance for EU members and not FIFA. Lear 21 17:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, Yes or No? As for your list earlier, there are a number of editors who would now happily see the religion, sports and similar other sections condensed/removed as they are not relevant/misrepresentative of what the EU is. Much like with the EU itself, there is divided opinion as to what should be on the page. And I don't get how your list above then suddenly brings us to the conclusion that a sports section is justified, there is no link at all. As was noted by SE, you go down the UEFA route and you'll not be able to justify excluding everything else. Plus the Bosman ruling is far more relevant to sports and the EU than the fact that all members of the EU are part of UEFA. But this has all been discussed above already, several times, and it is clear that whilst you do not agree with our point of view, we do not agree with yours (or Solberg etcs) The fact is we're looking for a compromise here and we're yet to hear you say where you're willing to compromise? Care to help us out here? All the best. --Simonski 18:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Sleep a night over my arguments (list 1-11), then read again. If not understood, read the CIA-EU entry. Still not understood, Sleep another night, Repeat reading. In the mean time read articles like USA, Russia and others and learn what to include and what not. And so on. If this article basically follows your "the EU is its policies" argument consequently, half of the article (list 1-11) had to be removed. You can imagine what the answer is. As I mentioned before, I´m only discussing proposals of including and excluding content, strictly issue oriented and not theoretical polls. Lear 21 19:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, I read the CIA document you mentioned on my user page. did not seem to mention sport. If they don't think it relevant why should we? The EU is not a country. While an article on England might talk about the national sport of football and the England team, the EU just does not have a national sport.Sandpiper 20:23, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, what the hell do you think we have been doing for the last week, how about YOU sleeping on what just about everyone else has been saying or should we take your silence on my question as an emphatic NO on your willingness to compromise? SouthernElectric 20:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Damnit I just lost a big reply there. What I was trying to say in general was the only thing left to sleep on other than Lear's rehashed arguments are how to rid the EU page of the plague that is your shocking inability to compromise with other editors. The EU is not a nation state or a federation like the US or the Russian Federation, so quoting those pages is just about as useful (and by that I mean not useful at all) as quoting us the UN, WTO, NATO etc pages. Stop trying to press your frankly odd agenda forward here please. Perhaps before bed tonight you should read a book on "How to Compromise". At the moment I guess you're stuck between reading your favourite CIA article and the bestseller "how to ruin a wikipedia article" --Simonski 20:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Last comment for the next days: The EU is not a nation state and will not become one in our lifetime, correct. But it is a state-like-entity and acts as one on a multitude of political and economical fields. Even if not enacted by a classical central power (Brussels) its members developed a significant degree of similar interests and decide accordingly. As a compact entity in its own right it has been identified by statistical institutions like the IMF, CIA and others. It also lead to the inclusion into country listings, for instance all relevant lists in the Wikipedia Talk:European Union/inclusion in lists of countries. Because of this broad acknowledgement internationally and within internal Wikipedia structures the EU-article-layout-&-content looks how it looks. There won´t be a major deletion of content or sections because it would disregard this state of acknowledgement. The conclusion that there won´t be any compromise either in this respect is obvious and inevitable. all the best to my friends from the island Lear 21 21:11, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I'm mistaken, or looked at the wrong page, but when I checked the other day it wasn't on Wikipedia's list of countries (the idea of something being true because Wikipedia said so however is a laughable one). Furthermore that debate you linked us to once over whether it should be listed as a country or not, one only has to look further into who was involved in it and you see the political bias involved with many editors. "it is a state-like-entity and acts as one on a multitude of political and economical fields".. Yes Lear, true, but not regarding sport, nor religion. The EU is a unique body and therefore does not have to follow the structure of either UN style pages or nation state style pages. Pick up a real encyclopedia (and no, not the CIA page Lear before you get the link out again) and you'll see what it should look like. The French page doesn't have a sports section, can you go and annoy them instead over the issue instead of us?
For as long as you're unwilling to compromise, and it certainly isn't difficult for you to do here, I'm quite willing to keep changing it back to how it should read, within my rights to do so as are the others who agree with me (I have not said I will delete the religion section etc, more that I would argue for their deletion, so I'm not getting rid of anything I don't have the right to do so with.). And lets make one thing clear here, we've hardly made it hard for you to compromise - we have said we would be willing for you and Solberg etc to keep the sports page, but just without those two or three sentences that you want to put back in. The fact that you can't agree to that, a compromise that Sarkozy himself would be happy to walk away with, is mindboggling. I'm afraid you aren't just going to stamp your foot and get your way here Lear, you have to learn how to help reach a consensus, and that does not involve rehashing arguments and bringing us round in circles. --Simonski 21:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Simonski, please don't lower yourself to Lear's level. I think we need to escalate this 'problem', it's not the first article that he has disrupted and the fact that he is signally unwilling to compromise (even to the point of using threatening language) means that we need to involve someone who has the power to make and enforce consensus - lets face it, if this dispute has not involved Lear the rest of us would have reached a consensus days ago, so I don't think anyone but Lear has anything to fear from a formal disputes process. What do people think? SouthernElectric 22:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Enforcable is important, from past experience volluntary is ineffective. However on "don't lower yourself to Lear's level" - I think that has been a problem for both sides, please try to remain detached in that respect as it damages the argument.- J Logan t: 12:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
That is all very well but at the same time it is undeniable that one side has made significant concessions, whilst the other side has remained clearly unwilling to try and reach a centre ground. --Simonski 13:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Requesting mediation

Can someone with a full understanding of the past (as well as present) issues surrounding the sports section and it's content dispute - preferable not Lear... - read this page and then perhaps present a request for comment with a brief overview of the problem(s)? I would do it myself but this issue seems to pre date my involvement and as such I would have to trawl through both article and talk page history's and archives. SouthernElectric 12:09, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we should go into dispute resolution with the idea that some deus ex machina is going to fix everything for us. In the final analysis it's the people working on the article that will have to come to some sort of arrangement, even if those people change.
Although there may be some "personality" or "attitude" issues, I think there are a number of fundamental issues concerning the nature of the EU that keep surfacing without always being explicitly defined or resolved. In the past, there may have been an uneasy acceptance of a compromise, but this is probably not clearly documented in one place; so new editors come along and the whole discussion starts again, and the unresolved issues affect discussions on other matters (like sport).
I think the following problems need tackling:
  • The WP:EU project has taken the view (which I generally agree with) that the project, and by implication the articles, should deal with the EU as a whole, not with those matters that are mainly concerned with either (i) individual member states or (ii) relations among member states but not in an EU context, or (iii) matters relating to Europe rather than the EU as such. While in my opinion generally correct, some exceptions to this treatment might be sensible, i.e. some matters should be covered to some extent even though they deal with the situation in member states or the whole of Europe rather than EU institutions or policy (e.g. geography, conurbations, popular sports, crime statistics, comparative demographics, religion, energy, transport). The limitations which the project imposes on itself need not apply to all edits or editors.
  • Following on from the last point, from the legal or institutional perspective it can be argued, for instance, that sport and religion have no place. From a similar perspective (legal, constitutional etc.) it could probably be argued that religion has no place in articles about France, Turkey, the United States and China, but from another perspective it could be argued that things like religious fundamentalism, religious traditions etc. are very important in those contexts. The EU can be viewed from the constitutional, legal, or institutional perspective, but it can also validly be regarded as an entity characterized by its territorial extent and the societies that live there, similar to other such entities, e.g. countries, states, continents, deserts, etc. To accept that is not to concede that the EU is a country, superstate, or whatever. And I'm not sure a casual reader, or even a mediator, would appreciate the potential implications of including a section on Sport or Religion.
  • The EU has some features which it shares with federal states or confederations and other features which it shares with other international organizations. Some editors may have views (i.e. interpretations of the facts) at opposite ends of the spectrum in this respect, but even without this, just as some people will regard a glass as half empty and others will say it is half full, even editors with very similar interpretations of the facts may think of the EU either as something like a federal state that does not have all features of such a state or as an intergovernmental organization that has many features of a federal state.
  • It is genuinely difficult to find classifications to define the EU because it lacks some attributes of classes that it might be assigned to or has attributes that would normally exclude it form other classes -- unless one uses largely meaningless terms like "entity". This affects not just the introductory paragraph, but also (for instance) whether -- and if so to what extent --one bases the structure on country articles.
  • Readers from other parts of the world might regard the European Union as a territorial unit like the USA; so more explantion for the restrictions the authors impose on themselves might be necessary.
I am not trying here to advocate one point of view or another but to encourage everybody to try to look at things from the other's perspective -- in spite of the tension caused by trying to react calmly to apparently uncompomising or beligerent attitudes.
As regards the Sports section, perhaps Lear 21 could draft a new text that he thinks might be acceptable to everyone and post it here.
Even if it doesn't work, it might help to explain some of the issues in a non-personal way (for the mediator). --Boson 20:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Boson makes some good points above, though my personal opinion would be that whilst it might be worthwhile including the odd section that goes outwith the usual structure of WP:EU articles, sports would definitely be one that I would want to see avoided for all the reasons mentioned earlier. If Lear can come up with some compromise of some sort here then that would definitely be beneficial to the page. --Simonski 22:06, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
This might not come across very clearly but I feel I need to put some thoughts into words;
Not trying to merge that discussion into this but is it me or does the article read more like the USA page rather than like the UN one, surely this is one of the problems. Whilst we keep saying that the "EU" is not a country or super-state, in some ways the structure of the article reads as if it was, the EU (that is, the institution of the European Union) has no land mass - apart from the land it's buildings stand on - but we have Geography and Demographics sections etc, the latter containing languages and religion, never mind a culture section. Another point, surely the EU does not have an 'economy', it has a regulative framework (just as the UN has) that the member states agree or not to enact but it's the member states that have the economies and not the land-less European Union - basically the European Union is nothing more than a set of treaties, just as the UN is. In other words, the USA might well have religions, sport and media etc. the UN doesn't (at least not formally). Should the article name really be "European Union (the instatution)"?... SouthernElectric 22:48, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, you have the Eurozone countries which are in effect part of an Economic Union, the EU being a mixture of a common market and an economic union (in economic terms). I agree with everything above except for the economy points. Whilst still over half of the countries in the EU don't have the Euro, it doesn't mean that there isn't a great deal of economic integration here. Rather the opposite. Think of the role played by the European Central Bank etc. The way the economic rules/layout of the EU works is nothing like the UN here. Pretty much everything except for state tax systems are covered by the EU. I don't think there's any need for a name change of the page, but it certainly shouldn't be structured like the US page, and shouldn't have things like religion and geography, completely irrelevant to an article on the EU as a regional body. --Simonski 23:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree on the geography point, geographic position and factors have a heavy influence, for example the coastline and internal waters on maritime and fishing policy as well as size and borders on foreign policy. I agree on sports and religion though, there are more important things that can be discussed. On the above points of landmass, you can say the same for the US, it is composed of its states with federal gov't land being limited. On Economy, I think that is very important as you do have a single market and currency - it is very easy to see a European economy.- J Logan t: 09:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

On Simonski's point about the Euro and ECB, I don't buy your argument, it's like saying that every country that uses a currency called "The Dollar" is some how part of the USA or that (in the case of the ECB) all countries in the world are within the same economy because they all have links to the World bank - sure, the Euro was created with the view that once the constitution (and inevitable 'super-state', in all but name) came about it would be the currency of the EU, but since the constitution is dead in the water, what we have is a common currency pegged to a common set of rules (meaning that the value of a Euro stamped in Spain has the same value as one stamped in Germany etc. just as some currencies called "The Dollar" are pegged to the US Dollar and thus the US economy if you see what I mean.
On J Logan's geography point, yes but that is also true of the UN, much of what the UN does is directly effected / caused by geographical issues (probably more so than the EU is) but the UN article doesn't need to stray into matters of the member states. SouthernElectric 09:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I am probably somewhere in the middle here. I would not see any point renaming this article 'European Union (the institution)', because I don't see what other 'European Union (????)' articles would be possible. Sure, an article called 'Europe', but we have one of those. Looking, I see it already overlaps this one quite a bit. This article should discuss matters which are relevant to the thing, the EU, not the place, Europe. I agree that geography is relevant to a degree. First and obviously, which states belong and where they are. The physical loction of this thing called EU affects would be joiners, visitors, traders. The nature of the land also matters as it affects central policies of the EU relating to fisheries, farming, traditional industries, all of which have figured deeply in the operating business of the EU. Religion too is modestly relevant. The church nowadays has much less influence than it once did, but religion still affects elections and policies, in some countries more than others. Notably it is an issue for Turkey seeking to join. Cultural diversity or unity is an issue in so far as it means the member states feel more comfortable, or not, sharing a closer or looser union. The economy of the EU area should be discussed, partly because the EU makes lots of rules about this, and partly because in some contexts it is more useful to consider the economy of the EU as a whole rather than the individual economies of its members. That is not to say it is a unitary state, it isn't, but the whole point of the common market is to allow it to function as one trade unit. I'm afraid I still do not see that sport can come anywhere except right at the very bottom of this list as a factor which is almost wholly unaffected to the activities of the EU, and has virtually no influence upon it. No one is suggesting Turkey cannot join because they play the wrong sports.

I still still do not see the structural distinction people are claiming betwee the international treaty organisation the UN and the international treaty organisation the EU. By analogy the UK football association makes no rules whatsoever governing or regulating cricket, and the UK cricket authorities make no rules about football. Yet everyone would agree they are similar organisations. They have members, a structure, make rules even the non members respect which control a particular aspect of the lives of all those who sign up to their agreements. Sandpiper 11:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Some fair points there, but I dunno, would you really say countries using the US dollar is the same as a number of countries opting to create and use a neutral common currency? There's not much else I can add for the argument that there has been significant economic integration in the EU, significant harmonization of rules etc. Ditto really on the UN point, though one other point would be that the EU is also different in the fact that it has been able to make and sign a number of international agreements, as the EU, with non-member states. I still think the EU would be considered different from the UN at the very least in its closer link to its citizens. I mean the UN will maybe have a convention on the rights of workers lets say, but on an EU level the related regulation will normally be far more specific and have achieved more economic integration. --Simonski 12:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I would say that using a common currency is a necessary step towards creating a sovereign state, but sharing a currency does not oblige any state to give up any control over its sovereignty. Creating a new currency is not the same as just using one which already exists, but it is a very sensible thing to do if there is no existing currency which would suit your needs. In itself, the fact that some EU countries have opted not to use the euro suggests that the EU is not one indivisible organisation. The EU and euorzone are separate things. As I understand it, the Uk is not the only country which selectively picks and chooses which parts of the EU agreements it will join up to, and which it will decline. I'm not completely sure where this is going: you are saying the complexity of the EU makes it more than a simple treaty organisation like the UN? I commented somewhere above that I do not consider it is the case that the EU has driven harmonisation of rules within Europe, rather it is the instrument chosen by governments seeking to harmonise rules within Europe, to carry out their requirements. A treaty organisation set a task which it carries out. The USA was created by a war, and the seal was put upon it by another, when some states attempted to leave. There have not yet been any defining moments in the history of the EU to change it from an international agreement into a single entity. A good war is one of the factors which could bring about a federal Europe. Sandpiper 13:04, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
What I'm getting at is, the UN has many policies, spends vast amounts of money and actively intervenes in Africa (for example) but there isn't direct mention of the geography, religions or sports of Africa on that page - certainly no sections. I still don't see why this (EU) article needs succinct sections, yes the coastline is important with regards to fishing, tourism or migration policies but why can't they be mentioned within a section outlining "EU fishing policy" or what ever - people who needs/want to learn about the Continent of Europe can access the article Europe etc. Making the article read like the 'Country (called) The European Union', which in my opinion it does, just makes for confusion to both editors and readers. In other words, what I'm saying is, the article needs to read more like the UN page than the USA page - at the moment it reads far to much like a union of countries / states than a political union of separate states, which in turn is causing some editors to want to add content that belongs in a country article or be wiki linked to a different article (such as UEFA). SouthernElectric 12:33, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Southern, in principle I agree with you, but in practice I do not really see any irrelevant content in the current geography section. It is necessary to explain what territory is covered by the EU, and much of the geography section is devoted to what bits of Europe, Asia and Africa are in, and some you might expect to be in that are out. A few facts to indicate the extent of the territory and its climate are reasonable. I'm not sure what would be gained by splitting up these sections and distributing them into different sections (member states, fisheries, external relations?) Having a geography section and talking about the EU as though it had any territory does tend to mislead readers, but it is almost impossible to talk statistics about the EU without referring to it as a unit. I see the important thing as being to make clear the limits of its integration in sections where this naturally comes up (eg law, the introduction). Sandpiper 13:18, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but does this information need to be in sections that makes the article read like a Country description, that is my point, no one is suggesting anyone could talk about (for example) fishing policy without mentioning the sea! It's not the content but how it's presented. Anyway, I've said my piece about what's troubling me regarding the article so I'll shut up now. SouthernElectric 16:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I take your point exactly, but while it is untrue the EU is a country, it is true it has a number of country-like features. Somehow we have to go through and describe them. From a purely organisational point of view it makes good sense to write this article in the same format that other articles which have to do similar things are written. Wiki should try to keep the look and feel of pages as uniform as possible, to help readers. I do not think the article should be allowed to hint subliminally that the EU is really a country, by the way the page is organised. I think it should clearly state at the outset what it is and is not. When this is stated as well as maybe, the subliminal stuff becomes less important. Though I also expect it would be possible to do a bit of rephrasing here and there to eliminate some phrases which presume it is a state. -- Sandpiper (talk) 17:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


Okay this is just getting ridiculous. From just about to go to FA to now, we have gained a massive talk page of several circular discussions and a locked page - only advantage I can see is we have an all time low in vandalism.

No I know everyone loves to think they're right for this or that reason but can we all just put up with crap from other users for a while. Religion and so on may not be at the core of the EU but nether will a reader suddenly believe the EU is one country just because of a few sections at the end talking about something other than policy. Meanwhile the rest of us can try to improve the main sections and emphasise them. Might not be perfect but it is better than nothing, which is what we are heading for now.

And if you still want to fight about the sports section, just have a discussion with everyone else, get the support of people like SSJ at least, and then remove the section with that backing. If this just ends up as another identical, pointless long rant on what the EU is then this article is indeed doomed and I'll be off to make better use of my time.- J Logan t: 13:54, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

The thing is Logan I think you'll know deep down yourself that the article is far from deserving FA status at the moment. I mean to me, FA means that an individual can go to that Wikipedia page, and it'll read almost perfectly, as if it was from a real encyclopedia. The EU article is not really entirely at that stage, though it is decent on the whole at the moment. If there are editors who disagree on the need for certain sections, then they have every right to voice their concerns and make their views known. The fact that doing so might jeopardize the article getting FA status isn't a good enough reason really for them to keep their mouth shut.
It is true though that we're starting to go a bit off topic above. The first issue to deal with is the Sport thing, then after that we can surely concentrate on properly discussing other things. So maybe we should refrain from getting into debates on what effect certain other sections might have for the moment and concentrate on getting SSJ and Lear to help find a centre ground, much like Boson did above. --Simonski 14:56, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
My rational in airing what I said in the 'Requesting mediation' section above was as an attempt to understand why some editors want to place irrelevant (as far as the EU is concerned) information into the article, in that context it's entirely on-topic per the current 'problem'. SouthernElectric 16:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I must admit my initial reaction when I read this article and saw that people were after FA status, was that they were being somewhat optimistic. I don't entirely agree with the quality criteria on wiki and with excessive attempts by wiki to be something it is not (ie a conventional encyclopedia). But I do understand the criteria well enough to know that a stable settled page is one of them. The danger with this is that people who get or aspire to FA can be overly concerned with keeping an article exactly in its current state. This presupposes that it is already perfect. I agree the debate here has rambled a lot, but this is rather because of the nature of the disagreement over what the EU really is. In the course of the discussions I think everyone has seen something they would like to change about the article. The act of trying to get pages rated asks people to come along and give a view, and arguably the whole point is that they may come up with what they regard as improvements. Then, what with having a page lock and all, we may be finding things we would get on with improving, but all we can do is talk about it. -- Sandpiper (talk) 17:14, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
More to the point, an editor might see something other than what the latest edit is, in the last few days much has been pointed at, some may get changed whilst other stuff won't, with that and content that is (no doubt) waiting on file until lock expires the article could actually have benefit from the lock - the only thing that might have suffered is getting either GA or FA status in the short term, but then what are we about, producing the 'perfect article' or a 'complete article'... -- SouthernElectric (talk) 17:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Although I think some work maybe needed for FA, I think it is not that far removed.
I think that is not the main point. In the last week or so the text generated on this talk page about, let's be honest a detail, is astounding. Sadly as JLogan states the reasoning is repetitive, circular, and similar to earlier debates. I strongly agree this is going nowhere.
Simply put there is not consensus to remove the sports section (and it is not one single editor), so without compelling reason we have to leave it for now. -- Arnoutf (talk) 21:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The argument was actually about adding to the sports section, not removing it, although even that became the question as the heels dug in - but yes, enough has been said. -- SouthernElectric (talk) 22:01, 16 November 2007 (UTC) This entry made @ 23:03, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't work like that, everybody involved except for 2 editors has shown a willingness to discuss and compromise in some form, and their stubbornness is making me feel a little stubborn too. You're going to have to face the fact that this is just going to be edited back and forth until they can be brought on board and show some willingness to compromise. If you don't take a stand now to this sort of behaviour you're never going to get that FA status anyway.
Saying that, its absolutely insane that after all that talking above, nothing was achieved. Literally nothing. But that is what happens if one party just doesn't move, doesn't conceed anything. Plus on a side note, I think recently a number of editors have brought to the table another viewpoint which the article will benefit from having (a nice equilibrium here as a result) and have pointed out where they see flaws in the article, which is a perfectly genuine thing to do and within their rights. ---- Simonski (talk) 22:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
SE, It was only about adding it because you had removed it despite objections from a number of editors. And as for heels dug in Lear isn't the only one. If we're to move on I suggest we drop, for now at least, every contentious issues except for the sports section and concentrate on getting an agreement. After we have something there, we should have the momentum to deal with other issues. To help this, I suggest we just archive everything currently on the page so we can concentrate on the issue at hand and get this article unlocked. - J Logan t: 08:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Do what you think best to try and get FA status then but please don't complain if people still attempt to add irrelevant information at the most inappropriate moments, as Simonski said - If you don't take a stand now to this sort of behaviour you're never going to get that FA status anyway. SouthernElectric (talk) 10:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Summarising the problem. A number of editors states the EU is mainly its treaties and bodies, hence references to culture and sports should be removed. Other editors say that the EU is its people, rather then the treaties, hence reference to culture and sport are among the core elements. These are fundamentally opposed positions and in my opinion something is to be said for both.
The version passing GA review a short while ago (in my opinion) managed to take a point of view that pays a lot of attention to the bodies and treaties, while it also gives some attention to the peoples issues. I think this is a fair (and seriously fought for) compromise between the two extremes. The only other solution is to write two separate articles EU (bodies and treaties) and EU (people of), with an disambguation page instead of the current one (to prevent one of the opposing views to lay claim to the whole of it). I think everybody agrees this will not be a good solution. So we will have to do with what we have and compromise (which always has to come from all sides). The problem due to stubbornness are in both extremes, not only one of them. Arnoutf (talk) 11:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
So has been said, a few times now, yet the other side allegedly being stubborn has shown a willingness to discuss. If the other side then tries to just disregard all points made and keep repeating their position then what else do you expect to happen except for the other side to get annoyed and lose the will to even seek a compromise. Its like workers meeting with their boss over a pay dispute, if at the meeting the workers just kept going "this is how much we want, we are right and you are wrong", eventually the boss would just end up going well screw you guys, I'm going home. The whole consensus thing at Wikipedia is generally why it'll never be any good. Going from your point above Arnoutf, I'm happy to have certain cultural things which have some relation to the EU, just not sport. --Simonski (talk) 12:12, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that the current version is already a compromise (achieved after much discussion over a number of months april-august), and not the preferred version of the editors who want to focus on the European society. If you truly want to negotiate a new compromise we should go back to the original preferences of everyone to reach a fair middle ground. Arnoutf (talk) 12:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
That is the problem, quite frankly there are three articles screaming for attention here, "Europe (the institution of Union)", "European Union (society)" and "Europe (the land-mass)" - names indicative rather than suggestive - meaning that unless we get a rock solid agreement/compromise (which will never happen under the current WP rules of WP:good faith, WP:OWN etc.) this issue will be revisited adnusiam... SouthernElectric (talk) 12:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Indeed Europe the landmass (and its people) is indeed another issue. I am afraid I have to agree with your predictions of revisition future. Arnoutf (talk) 13:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Well riddle me this one: what would go into the article 'European Union (society)', and what would go into the analogous article 'Europe (society)'. That seems to me the heart of the dificulty here, which would carry across to any set of subdivided EU articles. What is relevant to the European Union, and what is relevant to Europe, and would be unaffected had the EU never existed. This is my difficulty, mixing up things which are a consequence of the existence of the Eu, and those which are a consequence of nation-state Europe with 5000 years of recorded history. Sandpiper (talk) 13:55, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

While I understand your point I think you underestimate the impact of the EU. Integration brings a lot of cross-cultural activity and cross-border movement, policies and choices have shaped how society has evolved both directly and indirectly by forcing change in member states. However sport is not the best example of this of course. Arnoutf's point is also important, Lear has given ground previously and we should acknowledge that. On society etc, perhaps we could have a "Society" section cut off from the rest at the bottom of the article to discuss such issues. But lets get back to that in a proper discussion.

But am I to take it that everyone is satisfied with going back to the sports discussion only for now? If that is the case (I'll check back in the morning) I'll archive all this. And perhaps we could request the article to be unlocked again on the condition the the sports section is not removed, or any other section, till there is a clear consensus (if necessary, everyone except Lear, i.e. I want SSJ on board). - J Logan t: 15:37, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

While I agree with your sentiment about Lear I would not focus on a named editor, but rather put up a generic rule: Unanimity minus 1; or 85% (5 out of 6) as reasonable levels for consensus (see here how consensus decisions can be taken when there is no unanimity). Such levels will ensure that the opinions of all but the most stubborn editor or in a large debate editors is taken on board. In practice this may come down to the same as JLogans wish, but the dea is that this condition holds for every editor.
For the rest, please archive because this discussion is obscuring everything through its shear amount of words Arnoutf (talk) 16:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I have no particular objection to the current sports section, as a subsection of culture. It needs a bit of copyediting, but the substance is modestly interesting. If I am being asked for a final word on this, I would have to reserve it, because it depends significantly for me on the total quantitity and balance of the rest of the article. I don't think the whole is excessively long now for the nature of the subject, but some might. As to archiving the rest of this page, I have raised a number of points here and there, which no doubt I shall be returning to in due course. It sounds as though there are quite a few things to be added elsewhere? I could not construct definitively a subsection of an article without having an idea of the scope of the article as a whole. Logan, I remain unconvinced that Europe was not integrated before the EU, did not have any cross-cultural activity, did not share policies and choices governed by a common history, common goals to rebuild europe, common world competition problems, would not have developed open borders as it previously had, would not have been forced to move collectively, all without a formal structure like the EU. I see the EU as consequence, not cause.Sandpiper (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I noticed that the GA reviewer right at the top of this page questioned the relevance to the page of the section on religion. I'm not sure what happened about that comment, but it is exactly the same issue as with sport. Sandpiper (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Continued debate

The question is regarding the future of the sports section. Contentious points are primarily the inclusion of data regarding the most popular sports in the EU and the inclusion of the sports section itself in regards to its level of relevancy for the European Union. - J Logan t: 09:38, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion of most popular sports. I think this is difficult.
  • First of all, I think this is fairly trivial, and maybe more on the Europe-continent level then EU. However, as illustration for some emerging EU identity it might have some value. Overall, my preference would be not to include this, but I can live with it íf and only if it is supported by strong evidence (my second point)
  • Secondly, more a practical point, evidence has to be provided for claims about popular sports (everybody knows just won't do). For those references I require very strong data explicitly comparing all EU countries. Combining newspapers, summing up TV watchers without comparng to other sports, mentioning salaries of football players without giving an overview of all top earning sportspeople is not sufficiently strong. This will require very careful literature research for me to accept it. Arnoutf (talk) 11:51, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, what a difference a fresh page makes. My head no longer hurts! I mean I've said as much as I can on this I think, it might indeed be useful to leave the discussion now to those occupying the centre ground to see if they can help reach a fresh agreement. I understand that there were concessions made to, er, the other side to make the article GA beforehand but as Wikipedia says itself, consensus doesn't stand still and what seems to have happened is a number of editors have read the page in the meantime and been alerted to a number of problems, one particular one being here the sport issue (I mean, the Romano Prodi thing etc, that was really just shocking). From what I've seen, you've heard myself, SE and Sandpiper in particular give our views on why the section should be abolished, and what we would be happy with keeping as a compromise. Hopefully now SSJ or Lear will now do their bit and help us reach a consensus here. --Simonski (talk) 16:22, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

The current version of the sports section including the paragraph about the Bosman ruling and one image appears to be the outcome of a recent discussion and a poll involving at least 9 editors. In some resolutions the image tends to overlap into the 'See also' section. An additional content could be therefore considered. There are several referenced options which would be a valuable extra information. 1. Amateur sports on EU citizen level: "50% of EU citizens actively pursue sporting activities on a regular basis within or outside a sporting club" 2. Professional level: 3. Specific example of prof. level: "Professional football players in EU member states are among the highest paid athletes in the world" 3b. Formula one could be mentioned 4. A sentence about other sports could be phrased like this: "Several European sport associations have actively been involved by commenting on EU policies. Among these are associations representing basketball, handball, icehockey, rugby and volleyball and can be considered as widespread in many EU member states". The list should be considered as a suggestion and could be altered.

Something completely different: Any editor interested in a global perspective on the European Union as single actor could benefit from the Google News (key word EU / European Union) [9] A frequent reading once or twice a week over a period of several months is recommended. all the best Lear 21 (talk) 18:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

At suggestion 1; if you have a reference covering all EU countries (incl new member states) I could live with that. At 2, do not see the relevance of that, even if there is a reference, but perhaps you can clarify, why you think that might be an important addition. At 3. I do not see the relevance, but if this is to be included the salaries of top salaries of other big earning sports (Am Football, Ice Hockey, Baseball, etc should be provided for comparison). At 3b, I do not see the relevance of F1, all in all a relatively minor sports in the European field. Perhaps you can clarify why this maybe nteresting. At 4, I think it is a bit vague "actively involved in commneting" begs the question: What was this comment? Anyway, a reference needs to be provided supporting that. If that is provided it may make the long asked for relation sports-union EU official.
This said, I think we should be very careful not making the section much longer, as this would create unbalance in the article (the constraints of a large article). Perhaps these suggestions could be treated in more detail in a sports in the EU article? Arnoutf (talk) 19:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
With all due respect, I'll take several years studying the topic at an academic institution over a couple of articles found off google any day. I agree with Arnoutf that (for starters) any of the claims above would have to be very, very well sourced before being put in. Lear bear in mind that what a number of us would be most concerned about here would be making sure that there was still an emphasis on the individuality of the Member States rather than presenting it as if they were united when it came to the matter of sport. If you could address that issue then we might be able to make a breakthrough here. I mean, I'm gutted about Scotland not qualifying yesterday, but I'm certainly not jumping for joy because some of my European counterparts qualified! Rather I was hoping a number of them would fail miserably, including our lovely neighbours (nothing personal lads!). I'm really not sure Sport is the best example of the EU presenting a united front, as I've said. But anyway, back to compromise hunting! --Simonski (talk) 20:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear, I must admit I am rather bemused by your comments above. I really don't see why people need be arguing the toss over whether a reference may be found extolling the virtues of football over golf, or how much either is played in Luxembourg. I had a look at the google link you suggest. It seems to have lots of entries starting 'the Eu did this', the 'EU did that'. Not a mention of England V Argentina in the world cup. If we devote as much space to sport as google does, then we should have no secion at all. Similarly, the reference you previously provided from the CIA briefing about the EU, no mention of sport in that. The difficulty is not whether people in Europe play sport, as they do in America, Africa, and so forth, but what relevance this might have to this article. It was commented previously using a somewhat scatological example that very many things happen within the territory relevant to the EU treaties which have absolutely nothing to do with the EU. Your suggestions above seem to fall into this category. To convince me that they belong here, you need to establish their relevance to this article.Sandpiper (talk) 21:55, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
On your last point, this has been asked of Lear for nearly two weeks now, the fact that he has so far failed to produce such convincing 'evidence' just goes to prove what utter irrelevance sport (never mind a specific sport by name) is to this article. If Lear (or anyone else) cares so much for writing about UEFA, might I suggest they point browser this link just as if I wanted to write about F1 in Europe I would point my browser towards this link... SouthernElectric (talk) 23:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, if the image is so much of a problem then all that is needed is to delete it. SouthernElectric (talk) 21:06, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Or it might simply be shrunk to fit, or pushed up the page. I notice the image in the religion section has a similar problem.Sandpiper (talk)
Ditto, images sizes should not dictate text. Lear has put forward useful contributions though, even if the condensing attitude in regards to the google comment could be lost.
On sports associations commenting, I think perhaps a way to avoid Arnoutf's point would be to say they are consulted on policies (surely they must be, don't have a reference though which we need of course). Don't think highly paid footballers are relevant though, unless you link this as being caused by free movement/Boseman (references needed but I am sure they are around). On Lear's first point, I don't see any point in saying lots of people do sport though.
So, perhaps a phrase: "Several European sports associations are consulted in the formulation of the EU's sports policy, such as those representing popular sports such as basketball, handball, icehockey, rugby, volleyball and football. Recently, associations lobbied the EU to get sport exempted from market principles under the Reform Treaty, these principles had led to the Boseman ruling which removed caps on foreign players from other EU countries in football clubs. One result of this is that the salaries of EU football players, along with the gap between rich and poor clubs, is higher than anywhere else in the world." - something like that? It covers what is already said and brings in Lear's material, I've tried to make it relevant. Thoughts? Needs references of course. - J Logan t: 17:26, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
A better version perhaps: "Several European sports associations are consulted in the formulation of the EU's sports policy, such as those representing many popular sports. Recently, some sports associations lobbied the EU to get sport exempted from market principles under the Reform Treaty, these principles had led to the Boseman ruling which removed caps on foreign players from other EU countries in football clubs. One result of this is that the salaries of some EU sports men and women, along with the gap between rich and poor clubs, is higher than anywhere else in the world."? I just don't see why any sport needs to be especially named, once one sport is named many other sports can and most probably will just get added to the 'list' - even if the list turns out to be a in-line list rather than vertical. SouthernElectric (talk) 17:41, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I reckon we could slip in a reference to football being popular at least as that is what Lear is arguing for, I think the above misses his point. Doesn't need to be a list, we can pop that one point in as relevant prose. Small point: "sports men and women", athletes might be more succinct? - J Logan t: 19:04, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Logan, if you are now arguing for inserting a reference to football being popular, perhaps you can take up the burden of explaining why this is relevant to the article? Sandpiper (talk) 19:59, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're going to slip in 'Football', I'm going to slip in Motor racing (not just F1) and I'm sure others will want to slip in their own favourite sports, the fact remains that one should be able to write about sport within the EU without mentioning any particular sport - after all what we need to get over is the regulative aspect and not what happens on the field of play. SouthernElectric (talk) 20:32, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
A couple of things. Firstly, I always thought it was Bosman, not Boseman? (unless its to do with language or something?). Secondly, I didn't mind the two sentences suggested above, but is there actual evidence that because of the EU's involvement in the freedom cases, sports people participating in the EU earn more? Is there definitely a link, and is it actually true? American golfers, NFL, NBA stars all definitely earn less than say, Kaka, Rooney and co? (I don't know which is why I'm asking). I actually am also a bit puzzled why of all the sports talked about, golf is being ignored, despite it being the only sport I can seriously think of where individuals compete as a "European" team at the Ryder cup, using the EU flag etc! (even though the EU strictly isn't involved here) --Simonski (talk) 20:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I suspect Golf wasn't being mentioned because none of the editors play, watch or are otherwise involved in the sport, if you get my drift?... SouthernElectric (talk) 21:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The references: [10] There should be no problem to include golf and for example tennis as widespread sports as well. AND: 27 EU states out of 27 are members of UEFA = 100% = unity = relevance. Lear 21 (talk) 21:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Any and all sports could be mentioned, and probably will be if any one sport is mentioned, I can see another lock being placed on this article if certain people don't start learning how to compromise... SouthernElectric (talk) 21:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Lear there are 3 reasons why your addition violates good wiki practice
  1. The references ARE a problem; whatever you say. For example: Mentioning the salaries of football players is useless if for example a third rate golf player makes 5 times more. How do we know that is not the case. We don't, your reference is useless for that.
  2. Also your logic is flawed as your argument requires symmetry. The other way around of the 53 UEFA members only 27 are from the EU~52%=non-unity=small majority=irrelevant.
  3. Within the new discusson consensus UC-1 (provisional as not all regulars pitched in yet) is that these sports should NOT be mentioned.
Both reason 1 and 3 are immediate disqualifiers of your edits, with reason 2 merely being a very serious objection. In other words you have to convince the community here these issues are solved. In my proposal above I gave you suggestions how to. If you are not willing or able to do so, that is not my problem, and not a reason to insert text. Arnoutf (talk) 22:15, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Conclusion: The reference about major sports commenting on EU policy has accepted the most, correct? The inclusion of "27 EU members are members of UEFA and other associations" should be also included because of high relevance. @Arnoutf: This article is about EU and not UEFA. Therefore: 27 out of 27= 100%. The intro claims prominently 21 NATO members, other examples of significant coherent membership would be Schengen, ESA, Bologna process, Eurozone, etc. Lear 21 (talk) 01:27, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Hi lear. nice to hear from you again. Can you please explain why sport is highly relevant to the EU? As far as I am aware UEFA has nothing to do with the european union. Nato is relevant because the EU concerns itself with foreign affairs, military action, and is currently developing its own (bang bang, you're dead) army. What you need to do is demonstrate how the EU is involved in sport, not how European nationals are involved in sport. Sandpiper (talk) 08:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Except for NATO the EU was involved in founding of and provides most of the members of all the treaties mentioned by Lear, this is exactly the reason why it matters that in UEFA the EU provides only 27 of 53 members, compared to all other mentioned examples the EU interest in UEFA is small (NATO is big if only because military issues are sensitive to the extreme). Arnoutf (talk) 09:32, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I've missed this point in all the weasel words but, why does UEFA need to be mentioned at all. I'm really getting feed up with people using weasel words in an attempt to 'explain' why it should be, apart from Bosman what other EU regulations impact on football alone? Also, if less than half the members of the UEFA need to be EU countries then that means that the FIA is far more worthy of mention... SouthernElectric (talk) 10:45, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Half time

1) Argued for its inclusion in an attempt to reach a compromise. Football because it is notably brought up in reference to EU action, all the media i have come across has talked about freemovement etc in relation to football players. (also it being most popular across most countries - sorry that it is an everyone knows but as I have stated previously that should not be put in without a ref) 2) Re SE's comment on editors playing, the only sport I am involve in right now is fencing, not football - I can't stand that thing, beautiful game my arse. 3) On ref, must be one some where, the EU consults loads of people and wouldn't make sport policy without consulting the relevant association. 4) Just on Sandpiper's last comment, Lear is not saying the EU plays a part, he is talking about society. He is simply taking a wider view of what the EU is, after all people are subject to EU decisions while influencing its development. So I don't think asking him to make a connection from one view to the other is very helpful to us. We have to reconcile these two perspectives. - J Logan t: 13:39, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Let me state that I'm not against a sports section as such, what I am against is the need (or desirability) to name any particular sport, if sport can't be mentioned without naming the sport then the sports section should be made an article on it's own (with the briefest mention here) and thus linked from this article - just as many more worthy (in terms of EU regulations / law etc.) subjects have, remember that this page functions more of an oversight of the subject that is 'the EU' rather than an in depth article about all things EU. SouthernElectric (talk) 13:54, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Logan, I think you just argued that if something is popular within the Eu, then we ought to have a section about it. Are you seriously saying that is your view? If so, I shall dust off some 'Harry arbitraryPotter' articles and stick in a paragraph about the unprecedented popularity of this book and its importance in encouraging reading. Does anyone know a good survey about popular reading matter in the EU? Now, I mentioned before, what proportion of the EU watches Star Trek. What proportion of TV programs are made in the EU, and what imported? Perhaps we should delete the section discussing the institutions of the EU and replace them with a section about favourite cheeses? Delete the section about foreign relations, and have a good wines guide instead. Writing an article is about selecting those matters which are of core importance to the subject. People played sport before the EU, would do so if it had never existed, and will continue to do so long after it is gone.Wine and cheese are much more influenced by EU legislation than is sport.
The ref produced above by Lear re google news about the EU pretty conclusively demonstrated that sport was not something google reports on in the context of the EU. Or put another way, Lears chosen ref demontrated the irrelevance of sport to EU action. All the media I read mentioning freedom of movement are talking about polish plumbers coming to the UK. Good plumbing is taken very seriously here, more so I would hazard than football. Sandpiper (talk) 17:46, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Look I think it is balls to but it is called trying to find a feckin compromise rather that complaining about everything non-stop! We do not need more long sarcastic lists of obvious comparisons reworking tied old arguments, it gets us NOWHERE. I am not 3 so start actually helping for once. - J Logan t: 18:19, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
When I suggested you might attempt to justify Lear's position I was thinking in tems of convincing points you believed would carry weight, not repeating arguments you found unconvincing just for the sake of summarising them. Making a compromise is all very well, but that is no reason not to state the position as you see it. If we do have two sides in this with several editors on each, I want to know why those editors believe this information relevant and important. I don't believe I have had that explained to me yet. We could make this an article about Harry Potter, wine, cheese and olives, but I was rather hoping people might see this was a little ridiculous, even Lear. Sandpiper (talk) 21:24, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Logan's point though is more that we've already had the long, fun debate on whether there should be a sports section or not, and that after all that, 3 editors remained in favour of a sport section. As much as it does indeed suck balls, the only thing that can be done other than edit back and forth is to try and get Lear and SSJ to help build a new consensus. At the moment we're at the stage of debating whether Lear/SSJ/anybody else can provide an agreeable content to the section. Something that might be worth noting here by the way, everybody go have a look at the African Union page and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations page. The African Union, despite aiming to one day have the "Afro" (haha, I know, so funny) as its common currency, and therefore to a degree some social/political integration, has no sports section. The ASEAN page does have one, but it is limited to the actual involvement of the organisation in sports. I'd like to see the EU page follow its lead here if we're going to have a section, and have it limited to what the EU has actually done. --Simonski (talk) 22:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Look, other issues are coming back again and we'll be back to square one. If anyone as a thought on how to resolve it, please put it forward and also copy it direct to Lear and SSJ please. A small tropical island who gets Lear to say yes to it, but if he refuses to come back here we can consider him outside the discussion by his own choice. However I would like to see SSJ's assent. So come on, I've come up with enough points during this debate so I won't bring up more, what are we going with? - J Logan t: 14:40, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for a third para: "Several European sports associations are consulted in the formulation of the EU's sports policy, such as those representing popular sports such as basketball, handball, icehockey, rugby, volleyball and football(ref incl. white paper inserted). All EU member states and their respective national sport associations are participating in European sport organizations such as UEFA (ref incl. UEFA mainpage inserted)." Lear 21 (talk) 21:13, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Whilst I'd still be for removing the sports section etc etc, as far as compromises go, that sentence might well be enough to end the discussion once and for all! I'd be relatively happy to accept Lear's proposal, except for I still think it would maybe be wiser not to have the "such as basketball, handball, icehockey.. etc" bit. --Simonski (talk) 17:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ditto. Sounds good. Shall we go with it SE? Any objections? - J Logan t: 22:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
No, the problem is mentioning any one (or more) sport by name, firstly it gives undue weight to those sports (that might not be as popular in some member states or even as popular as their supporters or governing bodies assume), the other issue is that a list tends to attract piecemeal additions and before we know it the article will have changed from a political one to one about EU sport - if Lear wants to write about "Sport within the European Union" then might I suggest he creates such an article, but the problem there is, sport is so irrelevant to the "European Union" (rather than Europe) that it would have to be classed a stub of a stub! SouthernElectric (talk) 11:00, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

SE seems to be on holidays. So I´m bold, and take the last statements as a common agreement. all the best Lear 21 (talk) 00:19, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

...and duly reverted as the same issues as before are present, basically you are just reinserting the same irrelevant content as before, it's just that you have re-arranged the words and attempted to find a citation that agrees with your 'editorial line' - if the flat Earth society published a document saying that the Earth is flat and everyone else is wrong would it be a valid citation? - in other words Lear, if you want to go forward at all with this at least try and cite either an official EU document or better still an independent document to back up your content. SouthernElectric (talk) 11:00, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Probably a bit hasty there assuming it was an agreement! I had a feeling that SE and Sandpiper wouldn't be happy with the proposal, like I said maybe if you get rid of the "football, tennis, motorsports" line and it just says "such as those representing popular sports." you'd be able to bring them on board too. SE I think Lear did word it differently to an extent though, and the way it reads now certainly is less neutrality-disputable (I just invented a phrase!). By saying its ok I'm not saying I like it personally, I'm saying its a good compromise so we can get on with fixing up the article elsewhere. --Simonski (talk) 11:25, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes those are the two main issues, aside from writing style, the list of sports and 'self citation' (the Flat Earth society says, in this document <ref>...</ref> the world is flat so it must be true sort of problem). If some text dealing with these issues can be propose (rather than WP:BOLD inserted) we might actually get some place but all the time people want to name a favourite sport or what ever this is just going to drag on. SouthernElectric (talk) 11:47, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

The list of sport associations derive from the White Paper. They are explicitely mentioned in an official document. Further adding of selected unsourced sports in the future will be prevented. Lear 21 (talk) 18:52, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

And to think we were almost there. Lear, why must you always be so rude, its shocking. You could have said the above sentence in a far nicer way that would help other editors to try and help come to a compromise with you. When you come out with crap like "it will be prevented" as if this is your personal EU page, then 1) nobody will take you seriously and 2) you just end up with people thinking "well screw dealing with this guy then". Please try to be a bit more polite to other users. Considering everybody is happy with your bit as a compromise, except for this ONE line, you'd think you'd just be able to say "ok, that is a compromise, lets end this and move on to improving the article elsewhere". --Simonski (talk) 20:46, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

To be more precise: An arbitrary adding of countless other sports as feared, has not occurred the last year and will likely to be reverted from the editors most involved or interested in this article. Please keep content oriented. all the best Lear 21 (talk) 21:58, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

To be more precise Lear: this sports section (bar a short introduction) should be in either of these articles, Sport policies of the European Union or Sport in Europe and not here, lists of editors favourite sports is certainly not warranted or required. SouthernElectric (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I get Lear's last post? Anyway, I'd be a bit sceptical as well if those bodies in the white paper were the only ones that the EU will be communicating with. But the last sentence, I get what Lear is trying to say, but I think it needs worded differently on second thoughts. What about "Several European sports associations are consulted in the formulation of the EU's sports policy, including FIBA, UEFA, etc etc(ref incl. white paper inserted)." Surely that would be enough really, does anything else need said? Wouldn't it then be clear that the Member States are all involved in them all since they were talking to the EU, does the sentence after that not state the obvious? --Simonski (talk) 23:20, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
You're proposing to replace one list with another, why not just say something like "Several European sports associations and governing organisations are consulted in the formulation of the EU's sports policy". The problem with listing anything (unless it's by nature a definite list, i.e. there aren't any more to be listed) is that people are sure to come up with a rational for adding their favourite sport - I could form a very rational argument for the inclusion of the FIA in your list but if the paragraph has already been written concisely and thus inclusive of all sports why on earth would I need to? SouthernElectric (talk) 23:38, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is Lear is waving about this White Paper response that only involved 5 or 6 major organisations, if it makes sense thats why he's claiming those sports can be mentioned. However we all know just through common sense (ie. the Tobacco advertising thing and the derogation granted one time) that the FIA are consulted at times as well and that the White Paper response group of organisations aren't the only ones. --Simonski (talk) 13:48, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Maybe if we just list the one, or two, largest as examples without going into any detailed list. If it is just one it is less likely to attract the "just one more" additions as it is a greater change than just making 6 into 7. Basically, we give an example without going into a list. - J Logan t: 16:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Is that largest by members (or 'participants'), income, contribution to the EU GDP, or fan base?... SouthernElectric (talk) 16:43, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I think hopefully by common sense! Lets just choose 3 or 4 to give as examples. UEFA and FIBA would be the two I'd say should be in there. But either way, Lear jeez come on just be a bit patient and wait a few days until we just finally all agree before putting that bit in. You have to admit SE the section could be far worse. Hopefully over time when sport and the EU become further separated the section will be rendered completely pointless and removed. But for now, I guess the final point would be, listing the Association names or the sports themselves? I'd rather it listed the associations rather than the sports names as it would read more professionally I think. People could then click on the relevant association's page and learn themselves what the link/limited link is with the EU. --Simonski (talk) 13:25, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Injury Time

Whilst we're on the subject of keeping the content of the section relevant, you might want to cite this/mention this alongside what you're saying. This sort of thing is what the article should be on about, not how often sports are played in EU countries etc, I dunno, everybody else think its worth mentioning here? Seems like a pretty major development. --Simonski (talk) 18:14, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this is more something we should mention. And I agree on the above common sense point, lets just take a risk please and try it. Lear and SE, stop reverting and see if we can agree on this. From the point I post this message, I'll revert whoever makes the next revert on the sports section, whichever version it is. I hope some other users might help out on this regardless of the position on what the content should be. Simonski, based on the link you have given, how do you see the section as the best compromise? - J Logan t: 15:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm quite willing to have Lear's section in the form he's proposed it if he'll agree to the Competition, Single Market, Single Currency sections being put in. Otherwise I'm going to have to withdraw my willingness to compromise with the keeping of the sports section and agree with SE's tags. As for how we'd mention the thing above, I'm actually not sure. Given that I have no interest in the sports section its difficult to try drafting something. I'm surprised Lear's not added it to the sentence he's battling with SE over. I still think the fact is that Lear's most recent draft has been far differently worded from the mess he was originally trying to put in, and the fact that the bodies quoted were linked to a discussion with the EU through that white paper discussion, make it easier to accept now. If SE really wants the FIA mentioned, then he can easily find a similar document to do with their discussions with the EU over the tobacco advertising directive, and cite it after the white paper document reference. The way its written now, I mean the way its worded, surely there aren't serious grounds for claiming that somebody would read it and think that the ones listed were the most popular sports played within the EU. Hopefully that makes sense. --Simonski (talk) 21:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
On another side note, Lear this might be an opportunity for you to - politely - try and convince SE that you've made the article more sport neutral, rather than simply aggrevate the situation with some sort of rude response. --Simonski (talk) 21:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
The version as it was a day or so ago is all that is needed, the additional content that people are now suggesting belongs in the dedicated article that I (and the "Further information" section header) keep pointing to, FFS we keep trying to limit the size of sections that have far more relevance to the EU and how it runs and affects other countries (not just other member states) but here we have the same people suggesting we add even more to an irrelevance! Sorry but if Lear can play the rules by being belligerent so can I. As far as I'm concerned we had the consensus the other day when Lear's content was copy edited by at least three other people besides myself and not one reverted previously removed content - that is, until Lear returned and reverted the whole paragraph regardless of the discussion that has taken place... SouthernElectric (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 22:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC) and edited @ 22:43, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

SE you know already I'd like to see the section removed as well, but that in order to try and move on it probably has to stay in some form since at least 2 editors insisted on it (SSJ deciding to put us in this f'ing hole and then leaving us to it wasn't particularly helpful I might add). Though actually you do make a good point about there seemingly being a consensus of the section being kept but without the last sentence until Lear put his back in. At the same time it wasn't getting put back in because there hadn't been any exact consensus and I think he was waiting (surprisingly, but it was welcome definitely) until there was one, rather than end up with an edit war again. My point above SE should be taken as saying "well if you're going to keep this section which I think isn't needed, then it should at least have relevant info in it". Ie. I wouldn't have a sentence stating the quite frankly, obvious - that the national sporting associations located within the EU are members of UEFA etc - but instead I would mention things like the EU's recent "Get active" campaign or the Anti-hooliganism movement its just launched with UEFA. --Simonski (talk) 00:07, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

For the record: 4 editors and 1 unknown voted for the section! 3 have clearly articulated support for the 3rd para! The issue: The last proposal by Lear 21 included content suggested by SSJ and was rephrased by JLogan ! Now, Simonski had a changed draft by naming the associations only. This is not the wording of the White Paper, nor is elegant in combination with the 2nd sentence. It almost repeats itself. The JLogan/SSJ/Lear 21 draft was more convincing. Lear 21 (talk) 00:31, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Lear, again you are twisting things again - there were prior to the archiving, 3 editors (I'm not counting the unknown editor who just suddenly magically seemed to show up when you needed a bit of support) were in favour of the sports section being kept. Since then, the ones who have been saying right fine, keep the section but do this, have been simply fishing for a consensus. You know for a fact that Logan would remove the section if it was up to him and him alone (as would Arnoutf and Sandpiper) but instead we are now trying to reach a compromise that satisfies all editors. For as long as there are 2 editors who don't like what you're proposing, then there is no consensus and this page will just keep going in circles (that is assuming the lock at the moment isn't indefinite). You need to realise that and be a bit more helpful. And I think you'll find it was the "Lear21" draft, neither Logan nor SSJ came here and proposed your draft. I prefer personally the SE draft (blank). And I disagree with you, I think it reads more professionally with the naming of the sport associations and allows for individuals to go and investigate further for themselves the link between the association in question and the EU. --Simonski (talk) 00:47, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Here-here. Lear you should be careful to interpret people's positions more accurately. The position we are seeking is a compromise, it is not whole-hearted support for the sports section or your view on it. It would also be prudent not to trigger another escalation by moving too rapidly before there is sufficient consultation of an idea among the editors. However SE, if such an situation comes along please do not escalate, the world will not end if Lear has his sentence for a few days while we discuss it. All we have gained now is an article tagged and locked. I think we have something reasonable and if this is accepted in return for Lear backing the entire new economy section, I believe the article should be weighted enough in favour of important areas to make the sports section tolerable. - J Logan t: 11:41, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I have stated my position (above), it's not helped by Lear trying to use socks to bolster his position, trouble is, he is so inept that he changed his mind but forgot to change the tense of his message from third person to first - check the edit history of this talk page for the last 24hrs (or here) if you don't believe me! SouthernElectric (talk) 12:04, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I just want to add as well that my position above is not set in stone, I'm willing to be convinced either way. But certainly as far as I'm concerned I could accept the most recent proposal of Lear's if he'd not oppose the economy section changes Logan suggested below. As I said, would you really say SE that Lear's recent sports sentence gives the impression that it is only the listed sports that are played within the EU? Surely instead common sense and the word "including" make it clear to the reader that it isn't the case. Of course the sentence afterwards that the national associations are taking part in UEFA etc is stating the obvious, but at the same time I don't think it reads in the same way as a sentence like "Spectator sports are popular in the EU". --Simonski (talk) 12:58, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm opposed to any lists, the current list is no better than the original list of named sports, all that will change is that people will start adding sport governing bodies rather than the name of the sport, sorry but I'm not going to move from this, we had a sports section version that I was and still am prepared to accept (this version) even with the two governing bodies mentioned, the extra content that some are now wanting to add is better placed in the dedicated article and not here. SouthernElectric 13:20, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I can live with the Simonski version with a slightly rephrased 2nd sentence. The tags will be removed as well then. Lear 21 17:36, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I've told you which version I can live with and unless that version is accepted by you Lear nothing will change, the tags will stay and the lock will most likely stay too. I will not be moved on this as we have all, except Lear, move many Km since Lear's first attempt at placing this content - I don't really want the sports section at all, I don't really want any lists of sports or governing bodies but I am prepared to accept this version, as previously mentioned. Your move Lear, or should I say, it's time for you to move a cm Lear and accept what everyone else is happy with or at least found acceptable (in so much as they either left it alone or copy edit rather than finding the need to revert). SouthernElectric 17:52, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Hmmmmmm. The way I see it here its now just a case of SE and Lear having to come to some sort of agreement. Like I said, I'd be happy with it removed, but I'd also be just as happy with the sentence as it was last put in (even if was the list of sports rather than association names). As I keep pointing out, theres a big difference between saying that certain sports associations are consulted in how the EU forms its policy, and saying which sports are the most popular in the EU. At the same time, as I've already said, I think I'd be looking for a compromise elsewhere on the economy section (see below) if there was to be this final sentence, purely because a number of us have gone from wanting the section gone completely to being quite reasonable in negotiating a consensus. Ahh, sports. --Simonski 18:44, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
SE, if your really going to escalate this, I hope your prepared to follow though on what would need to be done. If you are, please get on and do it. We're not going to get anywhere if this persists. And I agree with Simonski on the list, better without a sports section but I can live with it if we get the deserved areas on economy more space. - J Logan t: 21:13, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I know, how about this. The sports section with the list stays for now, BUT: when we go for FA, if the reviews object to it and think it should do, Lear has to agree not to reinstate it after it is removed. That way it is a clear third party opinion from several editors not involved in this disagreement and is an opinion on the quality of the article which could block our FA. - J Logan t: 21:17, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
J Logan, I think you have stated your true priorities, thanks for your honesty... As it is, I've stated my position so we need to see what Lear thinks first.SouthernElectric 21:44, 30 November 2007 (UTC) edited @ 22:12, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I can live with the paragraph as it is now. I´m not able participating on speculation on how to deal with the section in cases of "when", "if", "what might" happen in future situations. Economy is a different issue dealt with different arguments. What a SURPRISE, isn´t it? Lear 21 08:22, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Well I was going to agree to J Logan's suggestion but as Lear will not undertake (promise) to accept the judgement of others (independent reviewers) there is little point now, this article is moribund, thanks Lear!... SouthernElectric 10:10, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I thought it was DOOMED ! What now? Doomed or moribund? Or both? Lear 21 10:46, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Is that an opinion or a wish? SouthernElectric 10:48, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Vote on review

OK, I'm prepared to go with Logan's suggestion of an independent review regarding the merits of a sports section - if this can be done before going to FA, as this might still be a while away yet, so much the better but if it has to wait until the FA so be it - so what I suggest is a straw poll; SouthernElectric 11:07, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Should the sports section be left as it is now (as in the currently locked version) and the consensus of an independent review regarding the merit of the whole or part of the said sports section be obtained and any such independent review be binding on the future permissible content of the article - in other words, if another editor comes along later, it's within order to point towards the said review as reason enough to delete or add the content to the said sports section? A simple YES or NO is all that is required below and then sign ~~~~ (again, due to being unverifiable, IP votes are indicative and non binding). Polling ends at midnight UTC/GMT 8 Dec 2007.

  • Yes SouthernElectric 11:10, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes - J Logan t: 16:21, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, sounds fair. —Nightstallion 19:06, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes --Simonski 19:23, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • vote from Arnoulf removed as it violated the terms of voting - see his talk page SouthernElectric 10:34, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes (in that case unconditional) Arnoutf 11:02, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes Bjarki 11:16, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • No Sandpiper (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • No --Boson (talk) 21:04, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course only one persons vote really matters here...- J Logan t: 16:40, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Not really as he is still editing other pages, see here, if he decides not to vote then that is his problem... Just so he can't complain should we put a note on his talk page? SouthernElectric 17:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Notice to check this page put on his talk page at 17:33hrs UTC. SouthernElectric 18:25, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I didnt get the content of the voting choices. I assume a YES vote acknowledges the current version. In this case I´m fine with it. If it means that in a foreseeable future new editors will be reminded of the now achieved consensus I´m fine with it. Because of this assumption I have requested to unblock the page yesterday, without result. Every speculation about "independent review" (what and who is it) have to be declined. Lear 21 20:41, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Look like someone is trying to implement WP:IDONTLIKEIT rather than accepting Wikipedia:Consensus. SouthernElectric 20:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

The relevance and existence of the sports section has been decided in earlier discussions and votings. There is no base nor justification to reopen a discussion or requesting external reviews. This is the final comment regarding the issue for this year. Lear 21 21:58, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Lear, consensus can, and does, change you know... SouthernElectric 22:10, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Lear, read WP:OWN, this is NOT your article. SouthernElectric 22:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Okay, sod Lear's vote then. Everyone else supports following an external opinion, lets put it forward for that and just follow that? Then we have a good consensus then with just one dissenting voice. If Lear goes against it then he is alone this time and we can take action.- J Logan t: 09:45, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Considering we had some muppet peer review the page a while back asking where the tourism section was, I'm not sure I'd hold my breath. Certainly the Consensus-1 thing might help below with the new Economy debate. Anybody got the energy for it? --Simonski 10:39, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, it's not as though he is unaware of the current vote taking place, will this mean that admin/arbcom will take the same view on this as the consensus or will he still have half a leg to try and hop around with? SouthernElectric 10:41, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Hopefully rather he'll just read the sports section, laugh heartedly, and ask us why this amateurish paragraph has been tacked onto the rest of the article so haphazardly. We'll see anyway. Still laughable that its included (I mean come to think of it, just as relevant as a tourism section after all) but there you go, thats wikipedia. Maybe I'll go edit the Wikipedia "Scots" version [[11]] of this page instead and actually make some progress! No doubt though I'd bump into a "McLear" arguing for a "Fishing" section or something. --Simonski 10:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
He gets around more than you might think. Anyhoo, as soon as I realised how hard it was here I've been concentrating on other articles. Right now the law and economic ones need the most attention. How come you two haven't joined WP:EU yet anyway? @ Simonski, yes that can be a problem, which is why I was after the FA as you have several people report back on that, we need numerous people who experience in reviewing a lot of FA articles.- J Logan t: 16:01, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the proposal means. If I interpret the proposal to mean that there is a provisional consensus, barring significant changes in the real world, to leave the content of the Sports section substantially as it is for a reasonable length of time to allow for a review, and that after such review we should see if a new consensus has been established, then I would vote "Yes". However, I am not sure the proposal can be interpreted in this way. A Yes "vote" might be interpreted as a vote to accept the binding decision of a person or persons as yet unknown to change the content in an unknown manner on the basis of as yet unknown arguments. In that case my vote would be "No". Cetere censeo: Yes/No votes without comments do not help establish a consensus. --Boson 20:08, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

It's the later (as it says), an independent review (such as a FA assessment) will decide on the merit of the sports sections inclusion. As for comments, FFS we have been arguing/discussing this issue for the last 6 week or so, how long does one need... SouthernElectric 20:16, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Pehaps we can ask the specific "sports" question somewhere; and accept its outcome. There seems to be clear consensus in favour of such an approach, even if Lear votes against, we are still at a sold U-1. Arnoutf (talk) 15:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
There are two people who have expressed an opinion who have yet to cast a vote (expressing an opinion is not voting BTW...), what's the position if they both vote against - meaning a U-2 situation? SouthernElectric (talk) 16:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Don't know if you mean me, or if I'm a further complication. I came close to saying yes, with a couple of provisos, but as I see provisos are disallowed, I would have to vote no. First, the section as it stands is not good prose and needs editing to read better. For example, the first sentence does not really make sense in plain english, and is closely followed by two sentences beginning 'however'. However is frequently unnecessary. I am not arguing about the current essential content, just the way it is written. More seriously, the terms above are seeking to make a binding agreement. Everyone here ought to know that a consensus of 10 editors is no more than 10 people agreeing. Another 10 may take an entirely different position. My position remains that the whole matter of sport is essentially irrelevant and does not deserve a mention here. However, so long as it is factually correct, and it remains modestly relevant by illustrating an area of EU non-relevance, I dont seriously object to long as it is not at the expense of something more important. A little light relief can help an article on a serious subject along. I am somewhat bothered by the sentences about '...list....' of organisations being consulted about sport. If we are to mention every organisation consulted by the EU on anything this article will be very very long and very boring. Sandpiper (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if this is the best position for this. I'm replying to SouthernElectric's reply "It's the later (as it says) . . .". I was attempting to apply the EU principle of "harmonious interpretation". If that is how it is being understood, I'll have to vote "No". I don't think we should try to vote here to treat a future FA assessment or similar review as some kind of binding arbitration on content. As regards review, I would suggest that we attempt to agree here on a shortish description of the issues involved and then add an RFCHist template to put it on the Community Portal main page. This might give us more insight into what people who have spent less time studying the EU might expect to find in the article. As regards the question to be asked, I would restrict it to something like "Should there be a sport section, and if so should it include only those matters discussed by EU institutions or should it also have a brief description of sports in EU members states and/or deal with those issues regulated by other (non-EU) European organizations?". The short description of the issues should include our rationale regarding possible implications for the question of whether the EU is state-like or not. Nobody should object to good faith copy-editing once the article is unlocked. --Boson (talk) 20:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, so we should ask what people want to read rather than what they should be reading, well yes that might work if you want an article about straight bananas and every other miss informed article the media has written about the EEC/EC/EU since 1957! Isn't the point of an encyclopedia to inform people who don't know?... SouthernElectric (talk) 21:13, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I assume you are trying to inject some humour into the discussion, but I will nevertheless explain what I meant. What I wrote was This might give us more insight into what people who have spent less time studying the EU might expect to find in the article. We tell them the truth (to the best of our ability), but only the reader knows where he or she will look for the truth on which topic. So if an average American, say, who is informed about the inner workings of the EU about as well as most Europeans are informed about the division of competences between the US federal government and the individual states, is likely to look for information about sport in the EU in this article, this may be a good place to put some of that information. If he or she is likely to be misinformed about the extent to which EU institutions are involved in sport, this may be a good place to explain the truth. If the reader is likely to expect the same sort of information here as in the article on the United States, we should take that into account. At the opposite end of the scale, if we write only for the experts who know it all already, we could leave the article blank. As regards the straight bananas, regulations related to penis size etc., it might indeed be a good idea to have a link to an article on "European Union myths", since people are not likely to look there first if they don't already know which imagined facts are myths.--Boson (talk) 22:23, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I was actually trying to be deadly serious, if I want to find out what sport is played on the Mars and I look at a concise article but find sport not even mentioned I would be safe in assuming that there is no sport what so ever played on the Mars, but if I was to read a section entitled "Sport" and then a diatribe of badly written text of what sport could or might one day be played on Mars I could actually find myself thinking that sport is already played on the planet and thus by extrapolation (someone or something must live on Mars) that Martians are a fact! OK, a far fetched example but miss information can very easily lead people to the wrong assumptions. What we need to do, seeing that we (as editors) can't or won't come to a mutual agreement is to ask others who know or at least understand the subject to review it and give their opinion as to what is relevant and what isn't, it's pointless asking people who do not know or understand the subject to do so as they don't know what is relevant and what isn't - we want/need a review of the content and not readability. Anyway as things stand this is all pointless as there will be no consensus and thus no way forward, except into another edit lock or worse. SouthernElectric (talk) 23:34, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we do want a review of the content and not readability, but, as you point out, the dispute is about the relevance; not the factual accuracy, of the material; so we do (also) need to think about what readers will look here for. Even if you or I prefer to look at the EU primarily as the sum of its institutions and their activities (or even just their competences), others might look at it primarily as a political, geographical and social entity, perhaps in the same way as they look at the United States. Actually, until this poll started, I was beginning to think that a consensus had almost been reached to include sport in the article, but only to the extent that there was some involvement of EU institutions, and to refer readers to other articles about sport in Europe. --Boson (talk) 07:42, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
If the content is irrelevant then it is factually incorrect for the article as it could miss lead. A good encyclopedic article (like good factual newspaper articles or TV programmes) contains what people need to know and not what they want to know, even highly relevant content often needs to be constrained - I'm sure someone could match the word count of this whole EU article whilst writing about the EU wine lake or butter mountain but to leave such content un-a-bridged would give far to much weight to such matter in this article. No one has said that there is a relationship between sport and the EU, just that more than a passing mention (which is what the position was before the current extra content was added) together with a wiki link to the Sport policies of the European Union article. This dispute is more about copy editing that what subjects should be included, given the realistic space available before someone slaps an article length tag on it, even Lear accepts this is an issue but like all 'junior hacks' doesn't like the copy editor taking the blue pencil to his own work... The point I'm trying to make is, it needs an someone with the knowledge to know what others need to know, hence why this article needs something like a FA review to do the final copy editing rather than just a review of what those without knowledge think they should read. SouthernElectric (talk) 09:41, 7 December 2007 (UTC) Edited @ 10:24, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay okay, lets just leave it for now then, live with the section as is, and either get an external opinion on it (formal or not) or go to FA so we can return to the issue after we hear back on that? If it isn't FA make clear we are heading for that so their opinion is if the sports section blocks out FA or not, that should make this debate a bit more solid. Meanwhile, lets settle the other issues in debate and get this unlocked so we can implement them.- J Logan t: 14:34, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


The sports section has been repeatedly deleted by user SouthernElectric. After a recent discussion about its relevance and existence the actions of the user have to be considered as vandalism. I ask the established users to reintroduce the content on a frequent basis. The user SE has to be informed that his actions have violated a number of Wiki policies.Lear 21 (talk) 15:16, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Thing is, he isn't technically violating the rules as we failed to reach a consensus in the end. I don't think you helped Lear by putting your final sentence in without coming to a complete agreement, which we were so close to. If you check the Wikipedia rules on vandalism, I don't think there's anything you could pin on SE here. Instead what we have to do is finish the discussion above, which was based on keeping the sports section but not yet decided on how the final sentence should be worded/presented. Lets get a consensus and move on! --Simonski (talk) 15:31, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, please lets finish the discussion above, I have noted on this there and responded to your request also. I agree there is little you can pin on SE right now and I think jumping ahead of the discussion has caused this problem. So please, let us return to the discussion. - J Logan t: 15:48, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I would have to say as well that I'd agree that SE is entitled to put those tags up that he has but hopefully we'll get a discussion on the go here that can see them unnecessary soon enough. --Simonski (talk) 21:34, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that you should just keep the sports section. The fact is that sport is a major event in Europe and most games are played across europe in equal measure bar handball which isn't really played in the Uk. If you don't some to a resolution soon then none of the EU article will ever be edited again. (Is there a way to just stop the Sports section being edited). So sort yourselves out guys. (Electrobe 16:15, 2 December 2007 (UTC))

I would just point out that this article is about the European Union (the "EU") and not Europe (the landmass). As for the sections merits or otherwise, that is being discussed / voted on in another section SouthernElectric 16:29, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Exactly Electrobe, if you want to know why there shouldn't be a sports section (mainly for the 100% valid point that SE just made), go read the archived discussion on it which points out the holes in your point above. As it is though I guess we're keeping this section in order to maintain a consensus, see above. Thanks for the useful input. --Simonski 10:26, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

When i say europe i meen the eu which is in europe and asuch commanly played games in europe must be commanly played in teh EU. And to be frank im not bothered about the sport section its more the fact that it stops edits to the rest of the page taking place. (Electrobe (talk) 17:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC))

We all agree the edit war has to stop; and the vast majority is either for complete deletion or a very much trimmed down version; however it is basically one very stubborn (a mule is easily persuaded in comparison) who is keeping the debate alive. You could as easily say to him: "I think that you should just delete the sports section.", for much the same reason. Arnoutf (talk) 17:46, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, in fact the rational that Electrobe used could almost be used to have a 'sports' section in the Earth article - at the end of the day it comes down to common sense, sorry Lear and Electrobe... SouthernElectric (talk) 17:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Hey i'm not on either side i'm just trying to stop the edit war and not feel stupid at the same time. (Electrobe (talk) 18:11, 6 December 2007 (UTC))

The point electrolube, is that the EU as an organisation has virtually nothing to do with sport. Better to discuss the mining industry, the car industry, favourite television series. None are really worth going into much detail about here. There are a lot ofthings which happen in Europe which the EU affects more than it does sport. Sandpiper (talk) 19:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
I think Electrobe observed that the current sports sections seems to be relatively harmless, and wanted to say so; without wanting to engage in this troubles debate. So I think the overly wordy reponses (including Sandpipers last one) may have been a misinterpretation of the original meaning Arnoutf (talk) 19:09, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you thats precisely what i meant. (Electrobe (talk) 19:26, 6 December 2007 (UTC))

The problem is that Lear21 has declared the sports section unilaterally sacrocanct on his conviction his opinion is infallible; this makes any discussion and reasonable suggestions by other editors moot. Reference to a host of Wiki guidelines (most notable WP:OWN) have not worked; any suggestions for dispute resolution (which require agreement of involved parties) have been turned down by Lear21 (apparently either he sees the weakness of his case, or he likes frustrating other by prolonged disputes, otherwise he would have embraced the opportunity). It is only the stubborn entrenchment of myself and other editors that kept this section in control. Arnoutf (talk) 23:59, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Warning tag

The warning tag stating: "This article's coverage of a controversial issue may be inaccurate or unbalanced in favor of certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page." was recently placed. However I think it is out of place because:

  • coverage of a controversial issue: What is the controversial issue? I think there IS a controversy, but not in the content, but about whether the content (sports) should be added. This is in my opinion completely different from what is meant here as the phrase inaccurate or unbalanced in favor of certain viewpoints does not seem to be suitable (ie nobody argues about the facts (albeit about lack of references) in the sports sections, there is not even much disagreement about the fact that football is most popular in the EU (ie no unbalance). So the controversy is not IN THE ACTUAL VIEWPOINTS; but rather in the RELEVANCE OF THE INFORMATION FOR THE ARTICLE. Therefore this is not a controversial issue as meant in the template.
  • Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, There seems to be agreements that no viewpoints are neglected. The problem is that some editors consider the given viewpoints IRRELEVANT. Hence this line again does not apply to the article.
  • The controversial issue here is: "Should sports be seen as part of EU (union) or as part of Europe (geographic region)". However THAT SPECIFIC issue is not in the article itself, hence can never be "the controversial issue" in the warning template.

Hence I think this template completely misses the point and should be removed. (btw I agree with the (what I call here) meta-controversy about whether this should be in or out, but that is talk page controversy, not article controversy. Arnoutf (talk) 15:35, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Please request unblocking again. As I understand it, there is an agreement to keep the sports section as it is now. This is the requirement. The tags will be removed as well subsequently. I have already requested the unblock with no success. Go ahead for another try. Lear 21 (talk) 20:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Lear, you understand wrong, what a surprise. As it is, when protection comes off the top tag could well be removed BUT the two tags within the sports section will remain until we go to the FA (or another) review process and this {{ActiveDiscuss}} tag will be placed on this talk page within a section pointing to all the recent sports section discussion. In short, whilst the top tag might now be invalid (having reached agreement) the lower two tags are even more valid now than when first placed. SouthernElectric (talk) 20:36, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I was indeed only talking about the top tag; both local sports section tags do adress the actual ongoing debate. There is no agreement whatsoever about the sports section, the only agreement seems to be that we leave it as is now until a review is performed, after which we all accept the outcome of that review. Arnoutf (talk) 21:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree the tag at the top of the article suggesting it is neglecting controversial viewpoints is not only inappropriate, but under the circumstances itself encourages people to contribute to just one side of the argument, by adding further irrelevant material. Find an appropriate one if you want a tag, but there already seems to be a relevant one in the sports section. Sandpiper (talk) 18:49, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Neither tag adds anything to the content of the article. Please accept that this article has achieved GA status because of a reason. The quality of this article has been acknowledged already. The editor who has put this article in constant crisis and instability has no edit history in any EU European related articles. Instead this editor has repeatedly tried to delete content and images in several sections. I ask the established editors to take a clear stance on that behaviour. The article must regain stable access and must become untagged completely. Lear 21 (talk) 20:30, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Those tags stay until FA review or the irrelevant content is removed. SouthernElectric (talk) 20:53, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Lear, read Wikipedia's editing policy, someone could use a dynamic IP address and still have every right to remove irrelevant or add relevant content, as long as they can rationalise their edits. SouthernElectric (talk) 21:51, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Given your remark on the role of Competition in the EU somewhere else on this page Lear I'd be wary of making comments about anybodys expertise on the issue of the EU. What if Jose Barroso himself was to sign up to wikipedia tomorrow and start helping to fix up the page, would that make his contributions less worthy of consideration? I think not. --Simonski (talk) 09:58, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Ditto, writing EU articles on wikipedia does is not a qualification in European studies. And tags can add a lot to an article if the issue of their inclusion is dealt with, they are placed because of a fault. I seem to remember when I first came here and an editor put citation tags up. Rather than adding citations to an article with next to no references you (Lear) just removed the tags. Had I and others not pressed on with referencing this article regardless this would not be anywhere near GA status with no chance of FA. - J Logan t: 14:57, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

For the record and for JLogan: I mainly worked on three articles and in total gathered more than 100 references from different sources. I´d like to remind JLogan that I was the one insisting to cite correctly. Please accept that this article can´t be a personal notebook were the upcoming tasks are included. Note that the decision for inclusion of sections or content is only made in this forum and nowhere else. Please accept the outcome of a recent discussion AND vote about the sports section. By now there is even a majority of editors who are in favor of its existence. Please realize that any FA candidacy will fail from the start with any tags included in the article. And YES it makes a difference if editors have a long edit history in EU / European / Politics / Law related articles. It certainly would document a serious commitment rather than hasty harassment. Lear 21 (talk) 18:44, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Lear for once again providing the arguments for removal of the sports section (i.e. majority wants to get rid of it; as discussed here in exhausting detail). Arnoutf (talk) 19:08, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
See the Barroso point above. If somebody comes along tomorrow and is able to point out that a major part of the article is flawed, then it doesn't matter whether they've been involved in the editing of the page for 1 week, 1 month or 1 year. --Simonski (talk) 14:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

@Arnoutf (to refresh counting abilities and to prevent any myth about the outcome): [12] plus [13] (Electrobe) Lear 21 (talk) 14:37, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

What people have been saying Lear is, whilst some accept that a rational of sorts can be put forward for a 'Sports' section what they actually want is nothing more than an acknowledgement than; "Yes sport is played in EU member states but it has sod all to do with the "EU" and if you want to read more then the reader needs different article - such as the one pointed to at the top of the section". As such, the warning tags are relevant, well placed and will stay all the time there is anything more than a single paragraph on sports and certainly whilst the content is nothing more than a badly written diatribe... SouthernElectric (talk) 16:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

@ SE : You probably would also argue that England has nothing to do with the UK. But don´t worry I won´t elaborate on this, your capacity of understanding is limited and has proved no progress. Instead you have an edit history of deleting images and content in several sections of this article. The only reason why I´m one of the few who take part in this discussion is that the credible, longterm committed EU-editors are sick of your ongoing destructive approach. Your demanded tags are just another destabilizing act showing no acknowledgement to the achieved GA status. Your whole edit record indicates nothing else than discrediting the articles quality. This must end. The tags add no useful content for any reader. By the way, the USA article has started to include EU related references, data and content. It becomes very obvious that the world (not only the US) sees the EU as a multidimensional entity including more than its administration. The world recognizes the EU as Europe with all aspects of civilization. Start to accept that this global view is a central base of this article. Lear 21 (talk) 18:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Lear, while I sympathise with your argument, I will NOT tolerate you insulting a fellow editor in that manner! ("your capacity of understanding is limited") I demand you apologise before we go any further.- J Logan t: 19:06, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Lear, thanks for proving just how weak your rational/argument really is and how worried you are than the sports section will be deleted... SouthernElectric (talk) 19:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Not worried but certainly alarmed. Not because of sports but certainly because of every section. Your type of editor comes along this article frequently and follows a typical pattern. Most times without any edit history in even far related articles and issues and at the same time claiming "this content is not EU specific" without knowing the basics of EU characteristics in general. In your case it mingles even with inconsistent and unpredictable argumentation. On one side you have complained why Formula One and golf is not included in sports (many times) on the other side you advocate the deletion of the section. Further more there is no indication that your edits improve the EU sport policy article or Sport in Europe. I say it clearly and repeatedly, I have zero tolerance for this kind of editors. Feel free to feel provoked by this statement, but that´s how it is. Lear 21 (talk) 20:55, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Wiki is all about opinions of editors; there are no guardians or owners of the project even administrators are only primi inter pares. This means that no editor should take the attitude (for whatever reason) that he/she has zero tolerance for any kind of editor, except of course for clear vandals. Personally I have very serious problems with editors who show (or voice) zero tolerance towards others. If you stick with above statement Lear, you seriously disqualify yourself as a discussion partner in the future, and probably even as a reasonable person in general. Arnoutf (talk) 23:48, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Lear's response above actually shows up two problems, the first is one of not understanding the WP:OWN policy and the second is being able to follow a written debate, I was never suggesting that I wanted Formula One (or what ever) included just that Lear's rational for including football (and his other named sports) would later give reason (that could not be rationally refused having accepted Lear's content) for others to add even more sports to the list of named sports - it seems to me that, whilst others might not have agreed with my opinions they at least understood the argument I was making, that is except Lear who is now trying to claim that I was suggesting the complete opposite to the above! I have no doubt that Lear can (as per is claim on his user page) hold a face to face English language conversation at a near native level but I am starting to doubt his ability to grasp written punctuations and phrasing etc. SouthernElectric (talk) 00:10, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I doubt Lear21 even ever clicked on the WP:OWN wikilink, let alone read that article, as it (IMHO) very closely describes his behaviour. Also SouternElectic, I thought your response were misinterpreted but did not want to speak for you. Anyway, this section was about the topmost Unbalanced template and we are back to sports again..... Arnoutf (talk) 00:49, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Apparently everyone agrees the template {{Unbalanced}} at the top of the page is indeed not warranted (there is discussion about other templates so these should stay). So I would like to ask an administrator to remove the unbalanced template. Thanks Arnoutf (talk) 00:49, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

First off, you'll need to use the {{editprotected}} template to request such a change. Secondly unless the U-2 decision (in the recent straw poll) is accepted as 'section policy' and consensus there is a danger than the weight of the sports section could increase should more content be unilaterally added and reverted back after deletion, this being so the unbalanced tag should stay as the article is unbalanced. Thirdly, if the vote is accepted as the consensus there is no reason why we should not ask for the protection to be lifted - meaning we can remove the said tag ourselves. SouthernElectric (talk) 10:33, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
If it is not accepted as a consensus, perhaps we could at least try to agree on a voluntary ceasefire? Unless there is full agreement, no changes to the sports section. Ditto for other contentious areas if unresolved, e.g. law. - J Logan t: 11:46, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I have removed the {{Unbalanced}} that I placed, on the assumption that no new content will be added to the sports section until the sections status has been established by external review. SouthernElectric (talk) 12:15, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Sports vote, what now?

The straw poll ballot has ended, the question asked was;

Should the sports section be left as it is now (as in the currently locked version) and the consensus of an independent review regarding the merit of the whole or part of the said sports section be obtained and any such independent review be binding on the future permissible content of the article?

The voting here shows a 6 to 2 vote for the motion (with one apparent abstention / refusal to vote}, that seems to give a "U-2" consensus - so my question is, where do we go from here, are people going to accept this or not? SouthernElectric (talk) 10:16, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure that anyone established exactly how an informed review of the question might be obtained. The previous GA etc review struck me as hot on technical style points but a bit lacking on critique of the actual content. It was also my impression that the only vote which mattered was that of Lear, who didn't vote.User:Sandpiper
We need a group, like on FA, to make sure we have a range of experience editors. Risk of having a newbie come and do it all is too great. - J Logan t: 11:37, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Also, think we're going a tad off with consensus-2 (which is a tad closer to consensus-4). Of those two who voted against, I think the main problem was (correct me if I'm wrong) accepting an opinion not yet given. That doesn't stop us asking for the opinion but we should keep in mind that could gain a greater consensus if the opinion and argument is made well, rather than accepting them as outside. - J Logan t: 11:49, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I think my own main objection was that the existing sport section needs copyediting and should not be left word for word as is. But I am also concerned how an informed external consensus on this might be obtained, since the most knowledgeable and interested people are already here? Sandpiper (talk) 12:30, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Let me say here that I recognise your concerns myself but I also recognise that we need a way out of this dispute/impasse and the suggestion of an external view (for all it's possible faults) does seem to be the best way forward. SouthernElectric (talk) 12:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

If I may make a suggestion, perhaps one course of action would be if the sides worked together on creating a subpage which described the dispute and proposed alternatives to resolve it as succinctly as possible. After that is done, uninvolved editors could be invited to vote. henriktalk 12:29, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that is a good idea. I created the page at European Union/sports dispute, and copied the current version, and my own preferences there. I propose to freeze the current sport version (ie subsection of culture, current text and image) and fight it out outside view of the reading community. Arnoutf (talk) 15:01, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Is this idea moving somewhere? I see nothing from Lear there yet. Can we get the damn opinion then close this debate? - J Logan t: 16:19, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't expect anything to be concluded in a hurry. But if Lear wants to boycot the debate, it is his right not to have his voice heard. Sandpiper (talk) 18:28, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Sports review

Hi all, there seems some agreement that the sports section should be reviewed; and untill then not changed. While I agree in principal it is essential that the review is conducted very soon; it cannot be that a decision/sentiment for review results in the complete locking of a section. So either we start the review or we decide it is practically impossible to do so, and accept new editing in the section. Arnoutf (talk) 17:55, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

There is the {{Peerreview}} template that gets attached to the talk page requesting article review (or a section there of) by interested parties - bar the FA review perhaps that is the way forward? I agree that something needs to be done but would far prefer the section to remain dormant and bad than to reignite the issues and end up with the article locked again... SouthernElectric (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2007 (UTC) Edited @ 18:11, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Make of it what you will, policy states that a page may not be repeatedly locked for the same content dispute. I presume that means we move on to banning repeat offenders. For my part, I would say this has been a very genteel dispute so far. Sandpiper (talk) 17:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

February 2008 continuation

Were the sports content sits, under what level 2 heading, needs to be sorted first, to achieve (or even ask for) an FA status with sport masquerading as culture will make the FA status and WP as a whole a travesty. Sport is simple not the same as culture, if it was (baring in mind that almost the whole world plays football) the whole world would be of one culture... SouthernElectric (talk) 22:35, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Let me state that I am not completely unsympathetic to your idea, but I disagree with you reasoning in your edit summarues because:
By making sports a subheading (i.e. a subset) of culture we imply that sports is one of many elements of culture, but that culture includes many, many elements (e.g. theatre, painting, music, etc etc) that are not part of sports. The way you put it in your edit summary follows this logically flawed argument: A penguin (cf. sports) is a bird (cf. culture); which implies every bird (all culture) is necessarily a penguin (sports).
In any case; all of this is a very minor issue considering the whole size and content of the article. If critisism comes up in FA I am confident we can deal with it there and then. Complaining about this minor issue in this unrelated topic comes across as irrelevant and spiteful. Arnoutf (talk) 22:46, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
They might be equals (under some other heading) but neither are - or should be considered - a subset of the other, I think we might be getting confused between culture, sport and popular culture (which is really more to do with current social values), the latter is most certainly a subset of both culture and sport. SouthernElectric (talk) 00:00, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I think you're over rating the importance of the sport section here, I doubt may people coming here would immediately see the sports section and go "this is a travesty!". Further more, I think we could do with some new ideas on the matter, if we put it for FA then we can see if the other FA reviews feel the same way about it, if they do they then would likely give suggestions and ideas on how to resolve it - rather than have us go round in circles again.
But really SE, do not engage another childish edit war again. It does your argument no justice.- J Logan t: 10:13, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
May I suggest the following compromise;
  • Lifestyle
    • Culture
    • Sport
I'm not looking for 'another edit war' (what ever you mean by that accusation), it's just that I can not accept placing sport under a culture heading (I have no problem with sport being on an equal level heading with culture), by doing so it is at least suggesting that sport = culture at best, at worst people may well regard that sport is culture - if that was the case most of the world would share the same 'culture' due to the fact that most people in the world play football at some level or another, not only that but sports such as football would be mentioned along side of the Age of Enlightenment, the Renaissance and Ancient Rome etc... SouthernElectric (talk) 11:03, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

(restart indent) Your structure may work.

Let's try to summarise.
  • Sports is not equal to Culture (i.e. it is not mutually exchangable in all situations).
  • Sports and Culture may share an equal importance, they have an equal level of integration (but not equal content)
  • Sports is not a subset of culture, as there are things in sport that are not culture (culture is not a subset of sports either).
  • Both share things in popular culture, but both have things beyond popular culture. So popular culture is neither a relevant sub, not a relevant superset for both
  • Both are part of lifestyle (SE suggestion). The issue is, do Sport and Culture have things beyond lifestyle? If this is the case (to some large extent) the solution will not be working; if we can't find these things, the structure might work. Arnoutf (talk) 11:37, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
SE, edit war as in there have already been several changes back and fourth in a short space of time.
But regardless, lifestyle is fine for me. Though I do think Sport is a subset of Culture, it may have other aspects apart from culture but so do most things. Painting can be therapeutic, economical, decorative, industrial, scientific and so on. That is how I see and you have the way you see it, these things are not absolute truths so please don't talk in zero sum terms.- J Logan t: 12:02, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree going into set theory may be a bit Black and White on this issue, I did this in an effort to make the different opinions and their implications clear. Once we have an overall agreement we can back to the fuzzy borders. Arnoutf (talk) 13:10, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Just briefly to add, for what its worth, I really don't think a main section titled "Lifestyle" would fit well at all. I just can't imagine it ever being a heading in an encyclopedic article. As much as the sports section is pointless in my opinion (per the discussion all those months ago), if it is to stay in its current form I don't see there being a problem with it being under "Culture". Of course it could be debated whether sport is a matter of culture or not, but in my opinion its like six and half a dozen, it doesn't really make that much difference either way. --Simonski (talk) 16:41, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm.... From WP lifestyle, "In sociology, a lifestyle is the way a person lives. A lifestyle is a characteristic bundle of behaviors that makes sense to both others and oneself in a given time and place, including social relations, consumption, entertainment, and dress. The behaviors and practices within lifestyles are a mixture of habits, conventional ways of doing things, and reasoned actions. A lifestyle typically also reflects an individual's attitudes, values or worldview. Therefore, a lifestyle is a means of forging a sense of self and to create cultural symbols that resonate with personal identity. For example, "green lifestyle" means holding beliefs and engaging in activities that consume fewer resources and produce less harmful waste (i.e. a smaller carbon footprint), and deriving a sense of self from holding these beliefs and engaging in these activities." SouthernElectric (talk) 17:10, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean with your remark SE. That lifestyle would cover both sport and culture; or that it should have a place in an encyclopedic article. I think the last of these two was the doubt of Simonksi, while I think your response focusses on the first. I might be wrong, but that is what I understand from your texts. Arnoutf (talk) 21:00, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm suggesting Lifestyle as a level two heading that both Culture and Sport (as level three headings) can happly sit under and co-exist. SouthernElectric (talk) 21:20, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
But the point raised was whether that word was suitable as a heading in an encyclopaedia. Do you have a response to that? Or is that to be taken as a de facto opinion that it is not of sufficient relevance given the nature of the previous discussions and the likely outcome of the present line of thought if we were to add such further restrictions upon suggestions that are intended to break the impasse we face on this issue? If that is the case I am inclined to agree, even though it may not be ideally professional of us.- J Logan t: 21:52, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid I can't agree with the comment above re the meaning of sport and culture. Culture is definitely not part of sport, but I'm afraid sport is part of culture. The example above about football is apt if erroneous. i have no interest in football, so in a sense stand aside from the football culture, which has a lot more to do with going out and watching it, or talking about it, or rioting, than playing it. Yes, all those very different countries do share a common piece of culture in that the play and are fanatical about football. Culture is a wider issue than simply sport. Neither one of them should be a top level heading here, for the various other well rehearsed reasons we have gone into before. I have said before that I think the sections listed separately as religion, demographics and languages all belong in the same section with culture and sport. They are all social issues. I don't mind the use of culture and sport as headings on the same level in such a general section, but they don't belong on the top level because they are simply not sufficiently important to this article. Sandpiper (talk) 09:30, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

If sport is a part of culture then we do not need the level three sport heading and the very existence of the sport content is un-questionable! Put it this way, most family practise doctors (at least in the UK) run their practises as businesses, would anyone dream of discussing medical issues under a Economics heading? - what I'm getting at is, whilst many subjects share aspects with another that alone doesn't make them bed-fellows. "Lifestyle" might not be the perfect level two heading (not top level, that's the article title!) but it's a far better heading than the current lie. Again, I'll repeat my suggestion that some people seem to be getting confused between culture and popular-culture, the two are not the same... SouthernElectric (talk) 10:09, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
To Sandpiper. I disagree with your definition of "social issues". If you define it as broadly as you do, economics, law, etc are also social issues which would basically mean 90% of the article fits under that term. I think you agree that is not a good solution.
To SouthernElectric. Even if sports is part of culture it can benefit (and I argue it does benefit) from a level 3 heading. Just like "military and defence" having a (relevant) subheader under foreign relations.
Also SouthernElectric, the difference you suggest between culture (with which you seem to imply only high culture) compared to popular culture is not as widely accepted as you might think. Please consider that culture can (also) be defined as a supercategory that includes popular culture. Arnoutf (talk) 10:36, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
"Popular-culture", "(High) Culture" and "Sport" all fit under what can be summed up as how people live, what they do with their lives, (ie. "Lifestyle") and yes the economics of the working week vs. leisure time or laws that prevent or permit certain types of leisure activity could be discussed in such a section - it just demonstrates how just about every subject interweaves with each other subject. SouthernElectric (talk) 10:52, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I would further add, perhaps I am talking about high culture but that is the subject being discussed under the level two "Culture" heading, to which sport has been 'tacked on' because some people do not consider it can be placed elsewhere. SouthernElectric (talk) 11:08, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Eurovision song contest would be an addition to popular culture and not sports. But no, lets not go there that is a European thing, not an EU thing ;-) Arnoutf (talk) 12:12, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the Eurovision song contest can't be but what about the EU instigated "TWF" (Television without Frontiers) initiative and other media related regulations etc. could, but it's not really "Culture" per se - hence my wish to move way from having a "Culture" level two heading, there are many things that are not culture but share similar aspects. SouthernElectric (talk) 12:31, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, lets say that I'm prepared to accept the keeping of the level two culture heading, what do people think about the layout as found in the test that I have put on my sandbox. Basically the overview remains but mention of what could be classed as high culture has been placed under a level three "Cultural History" section, this then allows the "Sport" heading (and other subject headings) to follow on from the intro as another aspect of the broader subject that is Culture rather than being a day-facto 'subset' of all aspect of Culture - if you see what I'm getting at? SouthernElectric (talk) 12:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I see your point; if I am correct you mean there should be at least one other subsection to show sports is only one of many possible subsets of culture.
I have two issues; both pragmatic. First, this approach will lengthen the overall article even more. Can we live with that? Second, I am not sure 'cultural history' is the best alternative. Pop-culture referring to modern music, or art maybe an alternative; or something more looking at specific examples such as western classical music (Bach, Beethoven etc) although we are getting dangerously close to the EU=Europe confusion. In any case the history section comes across as a bit small, it needs some work. If we can come to an agreement how to agree on these (as I said practical) issues I am happy to go with your suggestion. Arnoutf (talk) 13:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I have a bad feeling that this debate is going to end up with the culture section getting extended, which I don't think is necessary/wise. SE surely the current state of the page layout isn't that problematic - I really don't see people coming to the page and gasping with shock at the fact that Sport comes under a main category of Culture. I think surely we have to be careful here not to open a can of worms, which by making some sort of distinction between types of culture in the EU, we may end up doing. --Simonski (talk) 14:57, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Simonski, you seem to be suggesting that you want this article locked, as you seem to be saying that there should be nothing more added?... SouthernElectric (talk) 15:19, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Lord, no more culture rubbish in here, the issue is the placing of sport under culture, this is a very small issue and we do not need to expand the whole fecking section just so we can agree on definitions. Can we leave the content there as is and just find a new title to cover both as equal level two headings. If people could just say their preferences, we straw poll it and go with whatever gets broad support. Any objections?- J Logan t: 18:40, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Well that was my first suggestion to sort this (hence the suggestion of "Lifestyle", I'm open to other suggestions though), someone objected, then I suggested that we add (in effect two lines, one with a level three heading and another that would be a blank 'carriage return' line (see my sandbox), except someone objected... SouthernElectric (talk) 21:01, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

If I was to be blunt, I would say the main reason for having a culture section is to immediately dismiss its importance to any main article about the EU. It is ridiculous to have a tiny section about agriculture (an incredibly important issue for the EU) and spend as many words on culture. That is hopelessly skewed. Perhaps we ought to have some figures here about how the budget is shared out? In fact, now I check, we spend a lot of space talking about economic issues but never mention the budget, its scale and how it is spent. Surely this is central information we are enirely missing?

No, I do not think we should have a subsection talking essentially about European history. Someone pass the garlic and holy water! And while I'm at it, and since my attention is drawn to it, is it really justified to be claiming European values are assumed to be grounded in this shared heritage, with a ref from the president of the european union. Hardly an unbiased source. This isn't so bad as the last paragraph of a fairly general section, but as a section by itself is just inviting people to explain better, add the counter position and on and on.Sandpiper (talk) 19:13, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

OK, perhaps we should just ditch the whole culture section complete with the contained sports section as the EU does even less in regards to sport than it does for (high) culture... Anyway, this article is never going to be, and I doubt anyone really thinks it should be, a means to cover all aspects of the institution that is the the European Union in depth, yes many sections could have their word count doubled or trebled in the blink of an eye but those who want greater detail of information can go on to read the sections subjects dedicated article - and if such an article doesn't exist then it should be created rather than expand this article. SouthernElectric (talk) 21:01, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I think you missed my point SE, that I was trying to warn that by opening the Culture box that you might be encouraging a certain number of editors to start trying to expand the Culture section by adding stuff similar to the Sports section. The Culture section is there just now, as far as I understood, only because of the compromise that was reached with Lear/SSJ/whoever else. I see the Culture section (particularly the sports section) as it currently is as being like a fragile leaky submarine which has been shored up. I think opening the culture debate here would be like removing one of the shores! That was my point.
The fact is that as Sandpiper pointed out, the section as it currently is pretty much just says "Some people say there is a European culture/EU approach to Sport... however the EU has little to do with Culture/Sport", and is pretty pointless in my opinion. But obviously its there as a compromise with the editors here who would argue for example that there is a common culture in Europe (probably the same people who like diverse coffee houses to be knocked down and replaced with Starbucks). I just don't get how "Lifestyle" is any better than "Culture". I honestly can't think of a better title for it than Culture. What is Sport under for other pages with Sport sections? --Simonski (talk) 21:48, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
For me, both may go, but we all know the history. As we all agree they are a small issue for EU compared to countries, these sections are short in this article and cannot be stand alone; even if they are elsewhere. (let's not be nasty, knocking down coffee houses in the States and replacing them with Starbucks has been a service to humanity, whether we want real Italian Espresso bars to be stocked with Cinnamon-Ginger Large Lattes is another issue entirely  ;-) Arnoutf (talk) 21:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Simonski, from a glance at a few pages, Sport comes under the heading "culture" (for example, see France and Germany). As a totally new idea, perhaps we should use that?- J Logan t: 22:05, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but look at what else is under the said "Culture" headings and in the case of France how the section has been laid out, there is no introduction as such. This is the point I'm making, yes Culture is used as a level two heading in other country articles but it's also plainly clear that many independent subjects make up culture - this is simple not the case when there is only one sub section. SouthernElectric (talk) 22:33, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Goodness, unanimity to delete sport and culture? I think the France section on culture demonstrates exactly why it doesn't make sense to say anything much here. A whole page of info on each of French culture...German culture...Danish could any of that diverse stuff usefully be summarised here? I see the article on World doesn't have a culture section. Sandpiper (talk) 23:34, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
The one for World would be Culture I'd think. Just as the politics of the world is International relations or Politics. That is because there is nothing to compare against, perhaps one should look instead at Africa#Culture (which also has a sports heading under it)?- J Logan t: 09:28, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, how about this?- J Logan t: 09:30, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes I can live with that, it does all that I feel is needed, it is also stable should additions / deletions occur. SouthernElectric (talk) 10:54, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
No problems with that idea here. Arnoutf (talk) 12:42, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I would also say its a splendid idea. Again though it does highlight that the sports section really is unnecessary, but I digress! --Simonski (talk) 12:48, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I've put it in, if anyone objects please revert. If no one else is complaining though I think this is sorted then yes?- J Logan t: 14:31, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Erm, there is a problem. The original varsion started with one sentence saying that the EU had little to do with culture. Next it went on to say it had become an EU competence... This gave the impression it was basiccaly nothing to do with the EU. The new version start with the same sentence, but then has some guff and the bit about becoming a competence has become the start of a new section. This entirely changes the meaning and rather implies the EU has become a very important factor in culture in Eu countries. This is surely nonsense, just from considering the figure given that there were 233 projects in one year. Tiny considering the number of countries and scope. There are probably more cultural institutions of one sort or anothe just in London. Why do you want to create subsections anyway? there isn't much text here to divide up. Sandpiper (talk) 17:10, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Subsections were (as far as I know) added to give Sports less of an exceptional place within culture. Note that 4 editors agreed before JLogan made the edit.
Placing the whole thing under demographics was not agreed on here. If that would be acceptable I would add sports as a level 3, not a level 4 heading. I is also consensus to keep education and research as a separate header. Why did you suddenly without discussing move them to a level 3 within development? I thought we were getting somewhere here by talking first-doing later. For that reason alone I reverted to JLogans version, please discuss before deciding on your own. Arnoutf (talk) 17:25, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Arnotf. Logan specifically writes above that any objector should revert his change. My own reading of the discussion was that the consensus expressed just above here, which I commented on above, was that culture and sport should be deleted, not amended. The other changes have been discussed before,and it is not my recollection that the consensus was as you describe. My recollection was that either support or no objection dominated for my changes. Sandpiper (talk) 17:44, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry if I've missed this above but, Sandpiper, what are you complaining about in J Logan's suggestion, the way the intro and culture sections are written or the concept of the level two and three headings? If the former all we need to do is a slight rewrite, if the latter we are make to square one :~( SouthernElectric (talk) 20:52, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
I think I had two objections. one, that the text length doesn't need extra subsections, and creating a short one immediately invites people to expand on something which does not need expanding. Two, that the rearrangement somewhat changes the meaning. The revised version seemms to imply that although Culture previously had little to do with the EU, now it does. The previous arrangement implied that the EU has a minimal effect upon culture, which I believe is correct.
I think one of the reasons above for creating a new subsection was to make the sports one sit more happily. In fact, I think the rearrangement did the opposite. As the sole subsection it demonstrates that sport is a sub category of Culture and indeed the content is rather apart from the rest of the section. Whereas, having one section policy and one sport implies that 'sport' and 'policy' are topics of equal standing and both subsections of culture. In fact, if one insisted on having a subsection 'policy', I think it would be more accurate to have a sub sub section, 'sport' coming from it, as the main relevance of a sport section is as one example of EU cultural policy. Sandpiper (talk) 22:52, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I really don't follow I'm afraid, I do not believe such a small reorder has such a great impact. Perhaps though, you might be able to find a way of rephrasing the reorder to fit with the point you're making? - J Logan t: 10:13, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't really understand why it was necessary to creat a new subsection? I don't go with southerns argument that the sports section under culture was a travesty (its not that bad). I agree with Arnoutf that having such a subsection over emphasises sport in an unreasonable way, but the solution to that is to delete the sports section entirely. If we have to have one, this was the least worst place to put one as things stand. Sandpiper (talk) 11:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I did not mean the addition of the sports subsection was highly unreasonable, only that I could see SE's argument as it does overemphasize sports. Personally I can live with it. Arnoutf (talk) 14:46, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Sandpiper, could you at least come up with some compromise you and the others could accept? As your the sole objector right now.- J Logan t: 09:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)