The Gauntlet


Emmanuel Olisadebe is Polish?

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Most associate Poland with stupidity, drunkenness and Catholicism. However, this World Cup season, there is another stereotype to add to that list. Thanks to a gift from the Nigerian nation, the Polish can proudly say that good soccer should be added too.

Let me tell you about Emmanuel Olisadebe. Sounds Polish, doesn't he? Thanks to some clever immigration policy, this Nigerian transplant is now a Polish citizen and the nation's star striker.

This should make all people cheer him, right? Wrong. A small pocket of ignorant Polish fans threw bananas at him so Olisadebe quickly left the domestic Polish league to the greener and more tolerant pastures of European soccer. However, he remains a Polish citizen and played the leading role in qualifying his adopted homeland for World Cup 2002.

The Polish blew through their group and clinched a spot in the competition before any other European nation. They are in a group with powerhouse Portugal, the United States and hosts South Korea. It would come as no surprise if the men in red and white advanced into the knockout round, restoring pride to Polish soccer for the first time since the 1980s.