Panem et Circenses

Maradona cheats
Diego Maradona illegally sticks the ball with his left hand in the .
Maradona was not penalised for the cheat, called The Hand of God Goal. He was later awarded the golden ball for best player in the tournament.
I'd certainly rather write about what I love than about what I dislike, but it will not be possible today because, according to the , this blog has to deal with number eleven…. From Brazil to England, from France to Korea, this number immediately conjures up one thing only: football, because eleven is the number of players in a team.

When I was a child, I would play football in the playground during the breaks, as every boy does. It is just normal that children play. Later, I played handball (as a goalkeeper, my thumbs remember it well), then rugby that I loved. Sport as a recreational activity is great thing. Playing in teams is an experience besides the sport itself: it has you learn to socialize, and respect people. Theoretically.

Professional football appears to be just the opposite of this theory. Granted, beautiful play may happen. Dribbles by Zinedine Zidane were pure art sometimes. Yet Zidane was also the man who head butted an Italian player, Marco Materazzi, in the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup ( dealt with it), probably as an over-reaction to racist callings.

In my eyes, this event summed up professional football: it includes manoeuvre and pretension, racism, insults, and violence. The hidden part of the iceberg is of the same kind: doping, cheats, refereeing 'errors' and corruption, and that's not all.

Such flaws are inherent to many professional sports nowadays, not only football. The reason is always the same: money. It's especially obvious in football though, because it is by far the most popular sport in the world.

    [BbN #11]
Famous football players are millionaires who usually grew up in poverty. Their success makes young poor people dream of a better future. Also, people don't think of economical issues when they look at a match.

Nothing new here. 'Panem et Circenses', the Roman emperors would already say, 2000 years ago, about what a leader should provide to the masses to have them remain quiet: bread and games.

2 comment(s):

    The only sport I ever played well enough to want to keep playing.


    Well, whatever the sport, it is good to practice. So, I hope you'll have a ball ready when we meet, we'll see if you can dribble me! By the way, it is amazing that football (aka soccer) is especially played by girls in the USA, it is quite not the same in Europe or Latin America.


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