Monday, November 20, 2006


My 5-month-old daughter has a powerful kick for her age. She has a small, soft football, which she likes, and she laughs with delight as I throw it up in the air and catch it again. Who knows… 4 or 5 years from now, she may be out kicking a football with the neighbourhood kids. I’ll be on the sidelines yelling, “Go for it, sweetheart! Brilliant shot! Give that little fellow there a punch on the way, and while you’re at it, bring that lean kid down too!... ‘cause all that matters is that you can kick the ball well. The rest will be forgotten!”Sounds crazy? If you think THAT was crazy, go tell that to FIFA, because FIFA just said all that and more, though not in so many words… and on a much larger scale… the World Cup.The whole world saw Zinedine Zidane head-butting an opponent to the ground. And a few minutes later, he finds himself the winner of the Golden Ball award. How crazy is THAT? Agreed, the man’s a genius with a football; agreed, he’s had a brilliant career, including leading France to two World Cup finals, one ending in victory. What Zidane did was unforgivable, but what is more unforgivable was the decision of FIFA’s Technical Study Group to go ahead and give him the award in spite of what happened. What exactly is FIFA trying to tell young players around the world? – “Guys, as long as you can kick a ball well and entertain us, it doesn’t matter what else you do”?FIFA had a golden opportunity to make a statement, but sadly, they did not sieze it. Awarding the Golden Ball to runner-up Cannavaro would have conveyed the message not just to Zidane, but to the whole world, that no matter how big you are, you are not above the game and the spirit in which it should be played.Think about it, we already have brilliant brats like Wayne Rooney, who think their skill with the ball gives them the right to trample on people, and blatantly display their arrogance. This award only strengthens that notion further.As entertaining as the World Cup was, and as avid a follower of it as I am, I must say that my respect and appreciation for the powers that be in world football have slightly, but surely diminished…. and don’t be surprised, if a few years from now, you find the football field becoming more of a convenient venue for a fist-fight than an arena for the ‘beautiful game’ to be showcased. After all, that’s the message we’re conveying to every young player on the horizon. After all, you get what you ask for.


Blogger WannabeWriter said...

I think you write well... why don't you add more posts to your blog? :)

12:03 AM  
Blogger read2blew said...

thanks for the vote of confidence ;)... will try!

12:57 AM  

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