Comparisons Of People Getting Injured In Football To Other Things Football – Losing Its Sporting Spirit?

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Football – Losing Its Sporting Spirit?

There is something about association football that is very attractive. The game is played by 250 million players in more than 200 nations and has the largest television audience in sports. What is it that makes football so popular? Does it still have a sense of play?

foul play

I am familiar with football in England on television and from the stands.

Some say that foul play is ruining the game. Pundits talk about so-called ‘tactical fouls’ as if they are acceptable. As if taking unfair advantage is okay. Still, doesn’t cheating undermine fair play?

We hear of a ‘professional foul’ when it is said that he ‘took one for the team’ perhaps for the unfair advantage of stopping a dangerous attack on goal. His offense earned a yellow card from the referee.

Also ‘diving’ can be brazen. A player who goes down unnecessarily when there is any kind of physical contact with a tackler is more difficult to referee. This is more common. When a player gets up after an apparent injury and immediately runs onto the field, fans get very angry. Because injury faking occurs to stop play and give teammates a breather, or to encourage the referee to show a red card by sending an opposing player off the field.

Some people say that a ‘win at all costs’ attitude sometimes develops and it destroys the spirit of the game e.g. Throwing the ball into the net by hand. Better to enjoy football for its own sake than to believe that what matters is whether you win or lose.

Losing badly hurts the spirit of the game

It is good to see opposing players and coaches shaking hands after the game, congratulating each other on the efforts of both teams. Similarly, the crowd applauds when a player kicks the ball out if an opposing player is injured so that he can get help.

However, bad losers come up with petty complaints about all sorts of things. When winning at any cost rules our hearts, we are really fed up after losing. Referee, substitute, unfortunately upset.

But maybe the opposing team deserved to win in all honesty. They did not cheat but showed good skill and effort. How many times have you accepted ‘yes we are out-played, out-thought, out-run and out-fight: the better team wins’. Everyone is attracted to those who seem honest and fair. Even children know what fairness means and are most upset when cheating occurs.

Verbal abuse in football

Football is just a game. But some persons like to hide in the crowd and verbal abuse. They openly express hostility directed at opposing team players, match officials, or people of a different race than their own. Some fans have even been known to curse their own players who have made mistakes.

Even in amateur sports, abuse directed at referees by some players, coaches and fans may continue. Some parents have been heard shouting and cursing at the referee in front of their own children. Unfortunately, football culture now has a bad side.

Loss of community sports spirit

Being part of a stadium crowd can be a wonderful experience. Just being there, and part of the drama and emotion of the game is a big part of its thrill and unpredictability. 90 minutes of living with its ups and downs and fulfillment and frustration.

Yet, with no live football on English terrestrial television, people watch highlights of Match of the Day and seem to be happy with just goals and red cards and penalties and nothing else. Even watching live football on pay-to-view television lacks the communal aspect of football as a sport. Instead of being part of the crowd, the television audience is watching in one place.

Defeat in a football tournament

Modern top-flight football in England has been transformed into pay-per-view television. He has spent billions of pounds building up astronomical wages, transfer and agent fees. And to some extent all this money has bought success and professional results on the pitch. Why do other professionals want to invest primarily in top Premier League clubs? So much so that the others can hardly compete and the same few big clubs will be there or top at the end of the season.

Income disparity between different leagues was once smaller, giving lower league sides a greater chance of winning as various cup competitions open up with good veterans and talented young players. Now there is a perfect gap between the top of the game and the other levels.

When the playing field is so uneven, it unfortunately reduces the unpredictability that is crucial to the spirit of the game. Matches with one of the richest clubs can sometimes become an exhibition with a false conclusion rather than a competition.

Money orientation in football

The average wage in the Premier League is around £200,000 per month, £2.5 million per year. Fans are constantly trying to evaluate players’ commitment vs. income, fees vs. performance. Some commentators have suggested that football no longer knows the value of everything and nothing. If it is true that football has become mostly about money, then it appears to be spoiling the top-flight game.

Conclusions about sportsmanship

Playing and watching sports can be very satisfying when the game has a sense of play. This means being honest with ourselves about our team’s performance, considering all participants, sharing in shared joy and playing fair.

“Whatever is good and true, just and fair and honorable, has a strong and hidden power to attract the minds of men.” (Emmanuel Swedenborg, spiritual philosopher)

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