Sportsmanship exceeds the mere shaking of hands after the conclusion of a well-played game. It extends to the characteristics displayed by individuals at its commencement and throughout the entire competition notwithstanding our very lives.
Howbeit it appears to exist that our players are in no doubt suffering from typhlosis. Entangled they become, in their own desires of winning that they to an extent disregard or forget rather what the beautiful game of soccer is all about- Fun- a setting in which their can share their skills with the ball, with the world.
It’s true that every player and supporter wants their team to win, the question lingers though do we truly desire to win a competitive match at the expense of injury to our opponent- It seems so. The fact that football is in every aspect a physical sport is already established, but anyone can identify an accidental play to that of an intentional one. An intentional foul highlights the “how not to play” aspects of the game and is a colossal publication of unsportsmanlike behavior.
In watching what was to be a friendly match against Brazil and Colombia and Ecuador and Brazil, the fouls committed were numerous with several against Brazil’s Neymar delivered by Colombia’s notorious full back Juan Zuniga, Gutierrez, Carlos Valdes and Cuadrado whom a red card was issued along with the likes of Brazil’s Luiz Gustavo and Ramirez. I was instantly transported back to the non-sportsman like behavior in that of our players during both these games and the 2014 Fifa World Cup that took place in Brazil.
When Alex Song elbowed Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic I thought that was utterly senseless,when Defour thought stepping on six feet five inches Kim was a good idea I thought he had lost his mind, when Pereira kicked Campbell instead of the ball I gave him the benefit of the doubt thinking he probably just got mistaken between Campbell’s feet and the ball but who am I kidding, Pepe head butting Müller was the most ridiculous thing of all but when Suarez bit Giorgio as if he was some delicious snack I blinked twice and begged for a replay because that was totally wicked and when Neymar fell apart under the brutal knee of Zuniga I fell apart.
It’s one thing though to fight physically against an opponent but it’s entirely different when one fights among themselves, as was with the case of Assou-Ekotto and Benjamin Moukandjo that was beyond despicable, utterly disgraceful and my heart went out to the country of Cameroon.
Throughout all of this could be seen a referee who’s now surrounded by cliques of seemingly disrespectful players who’re not satisfied with the penalties given and who apparently thinks that they can perform the task much better than him- he may have issued a penalty that we may not agree to or overlook an incident that we deem worthy of a yellow or red card but his oversight or non-favorable decisions in no way qualifies our players to spew insults or arguments on that field especially in the presence of so many people. Just as we desire persons to respect us we should respect him because on that field he is the authority, and authority must be respected regardless of how we feel.
And I asked myself – self do you want your seven year old brother to witness this, this immense portrayal of childish behavior among persons that are supposed to be role models in society today? We are aware that you men are humans and just like us you possess emotions that run on very thin lines but still, I implore you to consider your actions cautiously, whether directly or indirectly your attitude impacts our lives.
We do not want to nurture a generation that thinks it’s ok to cheat, or cause deliberate harm to their opponents or that it is “kool” to burst the lip of their colleagues and disrespect authority. Let’s raise a generation that regard fairness, loyalty and respect, let’s raise individuals that knows genuine sportsmanship because sportsmanship is a big deal.