Forums / The Stands: Intelligent Footy Debate
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Fair Play In Modern Day Football?
[account-removed] 2 years ago
Football has changed over the eras, for better and for worse. Its still the most widely played sport, reaching out to the remotest countries. I'd reckon most of us played football as kids: On the streets, on a ground, or just kicked a ball against a wall for fun. Personally, I remember playing football as a kid, with a tennis ball sized "rubber ball", in our school ground during lunch breaks. Being from a very populous school in India, that ground had over a thousand kids in there, ignoring their lunches, running around playing football in a ground barren from even a shred of grass at over 40C temperatures. All that mattered in our own game of over 20 people a side, is to get the ball into the goal, whatever the cost.

Fast forward by a decade, where I've had the privilege of being introduced to the sport on TV by friends, who've taught me there's more to sport than Cricket and Formula 1. I've learnt of the honour there is to play for one's country, and the pride one feels while donning on their club's shirt as thousands cheer you on. Fair play adverts flash all around you. The goal keeper collides with your other forward, unfortunate collision, and you're open to score... What do you do?

Di-Canio said catch the ball.




Jan vertonghen accidentally scored while trying to pass the ball back to the opponent keeper after an injury stoppage. What do you do? Ajax let the other team (unfortunately don't know the name), score without putting up a fight.




Unbelievable signs on class from footballing teams. Sport. Sportsmanship. Sportive Spirit. Everything made sense. Life was unbelievably rosy. I was rooted to football and I started watching the sport in excruciating detail, fanatically following the EPL in general, and Tottenham in particular.



Fast forward half a decade. This is all in the last year.




I've tried to avoid the more "well known" dives, just in case people think they're prosecuting their favorite teams, but is this what we're teaching the next generation? Is the new motto of football "Win whatever the cost!", and are managers now allowed to get opponent team players sent off if their team's losing?

Rewinding to my old playground days, I remember us as kids with knees, elbows and bleeding noses getting up and back into the game. We were having no monetary gain, and it obviously didn't matter if we lost. We played for the pride, and in what we felt defined sport. Where did football go wrong down the lines? Is it too late to correct this and bring back the fair play of old? Or are we going to just have to accept that football has "evolved"? If not, how can we correct this? Or have I just been blind to many more sportive behaviour in the past few years
Achiox (Manchester United) 2 years ago
Because I left a better-written reply below, I'd just like to digress and say.... That last video was HILARIOUS!

When replays are made on the big screen in the stadium, sound effects and silly music should be played. After all, attention is what the players want, right?
BeefCurtains (Limerick) 2 years ago
"Where did football go wrong down the lines? "

As you have alluded to, when it became a 'business'-first-football-second entity (.... And a corrupt and mis-managed one, at that).


"Is it too late to correct this/If not, how can we correct this? "

Personally, I'd like to see red cards and crippling fines for simulation/unsporting behaviour made Mandandatory.


"Or are we going to just have to accept that football has "evolved"? "

Regardless of the potential for desensitisation to this trend, I'll never accept it. Football has devolved into an embarrassment. And I'm not only referring to what takes place on the pitch
[account-removed] 2 years ago
"Personally, I'd like to see red cards and crippling fines for simulation/unsporting behaviour made Mandandatory. "

Oh how I'd love this. I truly wince everytime Bale dives, as he has started to do this season. It doesn't matter who's doing what, we need to try and promote honesty.

"Regardless of the potential for desensitisation to this trend, I'll never accept it. Football has devolved into an embarrassment. And I'm not only referring to what takes place on the pitch".

We've got quite a bit in common. As a purist, I feel I'm watching football (and sport in general) die out slowly but surely. I am truly scared to think of how things would be a few generations down the line
Achiox (Manchester United) 2 years ago
Just a small counter-statement to this:

"Rewinding to my old playground days, I remember us as kids with knees, elbows and bleeding noses getting up and back into the game. [.... ] We played for the pride, and in what we felt defined sport. "

I'm not exactly a child anymore and unfortunately I don't qualify very well for an adult either (only turned 18 a few months ago). However, with childhood football very vivid in my memory, I would challenge that and ask whether or not that statement reflects true sportsmanship. When I played football with my friends during recess/spares.... If someone was injured we would encourage them to keep playing. If they couldn't, we never gave them a hard time about it, and more often than not even helped them off the field to the school office for treatment or the washrooms for wound-cleaning. Indeed, playing as a child is when football is somewhat more selfish; there are less passes, no passing back to defenders, and it's all about how an individual thinks of themselves. But I believe youth develop a sense of maturity and realize that they live in solidarity with each other - there is no pride is playing with injuries.

There is also much less at stake when playing football as a child. Older players (well, most of them) lack the luxury of coming home to mum and getting pampered by them and have other responsibilities as well, such as a job, chores, and perhaps even their own children to take care of - injuries from a football match can impact one's performance in really any vital aspect of their lives.

The idea of "it's not how you win, but whether or not you win" is such a silly mentality to play football with, and unfortunately the people who believe in that are crowned heroes despite not really doing anything heroic at all *cough cough* Manchester City *cough cough*.

Despite my first two (weak) arguments, I actually agree with what was said in general, and that is fair play in professional football has been thrown out the window. As BeefCurtains put it very poetically, "Football has devolved into an embarrassment. And I'm not only referring to what takes place on the pitch. "
[account-removed] 2 years ago
"However, with childhood football very vivid in my memory, I would challenge that and ask whether or not that statement reflects true sportsmanship. "

Very fair point indeed. This didn't really represent sportsmanship, but more of a "I won't go down easily and roll around on the ground till someone notices". This isn't necessarily a good thing, hence the mention "in what we felt". The playground was a pretty decent sized ground, with nothing but pebbles, gravel and sand to fill it up (as well as the air around us when we ran). There were about a thousand kids running around. We never had the luxury of stopping play, or even noticing if someone's gone down injured. It was a much harsher upbringing in such a populous community. In a proper 11 v 11 game, it still translated. People ran around with torn and bleeding clothes, simply because we knew no other way. I remember being a GK, and I was down hurt, but the game didn't stop and I didn't expect it to. It isn't necessarily something that meant "take advantage of the opponents". We just didn't notice.

Your system of taking care of each other is what should be applied. There is no shred of doubt there. I am not trying to encourage playing through an injury, but trying to showcase that we shouldn't exaggerate one to force others to stop the game in an unfavorable position, or to send someone off. If kids don't tumble around faking injuries with all the responsibilities that you mention, do professional footballers have the right to do the same? We've eventually reached the same conclusion as your final statement is exactly that. I believe I should have worded my argument a bit more carefully in the first place



   
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