Month: February 2022

Football – Losing Its Sporting Spirit?

There is something about association football that is very appealing. The game is played by over 250 million players in over 200 nations and it has the highest television audience in sport. What is it that creates football so popular? Has still took its sporting spirit?

Unfair play
I'm knowledgeable about football in England both in the media and through the stands.

Some maintain that unfair play is spoiling the sport. Pundits talk about the so-called 'tactical foul' as if it were acceptable. As if taking an unfair advantage is okay. Yet, doesn't cheating undermine fair play?

We learn about the 'professional foul' as when it is said with approval 'He took one to the team' with an unfair advantage perhaps stopping a dangerous attack on goal. His offence ended in a yellow card in the referee.

Likewise, 'diving' may be blatant. More difficult to referee could be the player who falls unnecessarily should there be any sort of physical exposure to the tackler. This is more established. When a player is apparently injured simply to get up a bit later and immediately run at full pelt the field, fans get very indignant. This is because feigning injury occurs in order to cause a stop in play and provide team mates a breather or encourages the referee to blandish a red card sending off of the opposing player from the field.

Some argue an attitude of 'winning whatsoever costs' sometimes develops and this is killing the spirit of the overall game e.g. hand-balling the ball in the net. Better to enjoy football for the own sake as opposed to believing the only thing that matters is actually we win or lose.

Being a bad loser damages sporting spirit
It's good to find out opposing players and coaches shake hands from a game with both teams congratulating the opposite for efforts. Likewise, the group claps when a player kicks the ball beyond play if the player around the opposing side is hurt so they can get help.

However, bad losers develop petty complaints about all sorts of things. When winning at all costs rules our hearts, only then do we will feel really fed up after having a loss. Disgruntled with the referee, the substitutions, the unhealthy luck.

But maybe the opposing team deserved to win to be honest. They didn't cheat but showed good skill and energy. How many times have you accepted 'Yes i was we out-played, out-thought, out-run and out-fought: the higher team won.' Everyone is interested in people that seem honest and fair. Even children know very well what fairness is and so are most upset when cheating occurs.

Verbal abuse in football
Football is only a game. But being hidden in a very crowd some individuals desire to be verbally abusive. They openly express hostility provided to players in the opposing team, the match officials, or people of your different race to their own personal. Some fans have been known even going to abuse their very own players who may have made mistakes.

Even inside the amateur game, abuse directed at the referee can continue from some players, coaches and fans. Some parents are already heard to scream at and curse referees looking at their very own children. Sadly, football culture has its vicious side now.

Loss of community sporting spirit
Being part of a stadium crowd could be a wonderful experience. Just being there, and part from the drama and spirit of the game using its thrills and unpredictability is a large part of the fun. Living the 90 minutes having its good and bad and fulfillments and disappointments.

Yet, without any live football on English terrestrial television, people watch the highlights on Match from the Day and seem to be happy just to view the goals and the red cards and penalties and never much else. Even watching live football on pay to see television lacks the communal element of football being a sport. Instead of being part with the crowd, the telly viewer is watching one place removed.

Loss of competition in football
Modern top-flight football in England may be changed by pay to see television. It has thrown billions of pounds into creating astronomical wages, transfer and agents' fees. And to some degree all of this money has bought success about the pitch along with a commercial windfall. Why else would businessmen wish to spend money on mainly the top Premier League clubs? So much so that others can barely compete as well as the same few big clubs are available or there about at the very best in the end from the season.

Income disparities between your various leagues were once narrow giving lower league sides more of the probability of victory due to having good veterans and talented young players with various cup competitions available to them. Now there is an utter gulf between the superior and other tiers of the sport.

When the playing field can be so uneven, it unfortunately reduces unpredictability that is vital for that spirit of sport. Matches featuring one from the wealthiest clubs can sometimes become an exhibition with a forgone conclusion instead of a competition.

Money orientation in football
Average pay within the Premier league is approximately £200,000 each month, £2.5 million each year. Fans are constantly looking to assess player commitment versus income, fees paid against performance. Some commentators suggest consequently football is information on understanding the expense of everything along with the valuation on nothing. If it is true football has grown to be mostly about money, it's spoiling the superior-flight game.

Conclusion about sporting spirit
Sport can be deeply satisfying to try out and watch when the sporting spirit of the game exists. This means, being honest with ourselves about our team's performance, showing consideration for many involved, celebrating ones participation in the shared enjoyment and playing fairly.

"Whatever is great and true, just and fair, as well as honourable, carries a strong and hidden power within it to attract people's minds." (Emanuel Swedenborg, spiritual philosopher)

As a clinical psychologist, Stephen Russell-Lacy has specialised in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, being employed by many years with adults suffering distress and disturbance.