This Football World Cup seems to push all the wrong buttons with me, as can be seen in my previous post. But today I have another aspect to rant about – sportsmanship.
According to Wikipedia:
Sportsmanship expresses an aspiration or ethos that the activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors.
Now taking a look at the disallowed Lampard goal, did Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer act in a sportsmanlike way? The answer is a resounding NO! In his own words:
“I tried not to react to the referee and just concentrate on what was happening,” Neuer said on Sunday in remarks quoted in the British press. “I realized it was over the line and I think the way I carried on so quickly fooled the referee into thinking it was not over.”
Now I understand that he lied to prevent England from getting the goal, but it is lying none-the-less and by doing so he acted in a very unsportsmanlike way. If he had come clean, he would have been a hero around the world. Now he is merely seen as an underhanded liar and a poor sportsman.
But he is not the only one at fault. We just need to take a look at the Ireland vs France match. Ireland lost their place at the World Cup because Theirry Henry scored a goal through a handball which he later admitted! In his words:
“I will be honest, it was a handball,” Henry said. “But I am not the referee.”
And who can forget Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God‘ handball in the 1986 quarter-final in Mexico between Argentina and England, a game Argentina won 2-1.
In nearly every game, many of the player ‘play act’ to try and get a penalty against the other side. Just watch how a slight touch reduces the player to rolling around in a pretence of agony, only to jump up and run off a matter of seconds later. It is disgusting to watch.
What are these actions telling the youth of today? Are these supposed ‘leaders’ of sport being good role-models for future generations? The answer is no. This lying and cheating is now seen as a part of the game and it is this that the youngster learn.
It is little wonder that our society is rapidly going down the plughole, when the role-models of the youth are portraying everything that society deems as negative as a positive thing.
FIFA are just as much as fault. Play-acting should be immediately dealt with. I would even say as far as giving a red card for blatant use of play-acting. As mentioned previously, FIFA should be using cameras or some other technology to check on goals – because the players are liars and cheats and can’t be trusted to come clean.
It is about time that sports authorities clamp down on this un-sportsmanlike behaviour. Not only to protect the integrity of the game, but also to give our children good role-models to look up to!