I decided to start a new thread in order to discuss two separate (but somewhat related) subsets of issues. 1) There are a lot of rumours (while quite a few are unsubstantiated, some possibly have a degree of merit to them) surrounding the ethnic roots of certain footballers. One example of that is the widespread tendency (at least on the Internet) to lump football players (especially those from Spain and the Balkans) into the Romani or part Romani category. Here is one sample video: [video=youtube;mZYGX2BTNe4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZYGX2BTNe4[/video] It may be a good idea for posters (I am personally not that knowledgeable when it comes to topics connected to ethnogenesis and physical anthropology) to use this topic to give their two cents with regard to racially or ethnically ambiguous soccer players. Some examples are: Marvin Martin (France), Jesus Navas (Spain - alleged to be of Gypsy heritage, but I personally believe that he could pass for a Spaniard), Milan Baros (Czech Republic), Stephen Kelly (arguably somewhat exotic looks for an Irishman), Kevin Strootman and Johnny Heitinga (Netherlands, rumoured to be part Indonesian). It needs to be noted that some full-blooded Gypsies may actually be white from a phenotypical standpoint, though of course most of them show Dravidian features. Also, the designation “Gypsy” may refer to one’s love of the nomadic lifestyle rather than represent a racial or ethnic category. Irish Travellers are to the best of my knowledge physically indistinguishable from English and Irish people. Furthermore, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that there is a lot of phenotypical variation within the same ethnicities (even relatively isolated groups like Icelanders are not homogeneous in their physical appearance). 2) National loyalty – what are your personal views? Should an ethnic Pole who is born in France and is Frankophone and/or culturally French represent Poland or France in international football? I am thinking of cases like Josip Simunic and Giuseppe Rossi whose decisions to don the jerseys of their parents’ countries sparked intense discussions in their states of birth. Of course it’s up to the footballer to cast his lot with a specific national team, but if you had it your way, would you prefer that soccer stars chose their place of birth or that they showed loyalty to the land where their ethnicity originates from?