A vision of Football Utopia came to me the other day – and I loved it!
I was watching a football match where the players tackled hard, but fair. It was a match in which the referee's word was final; no remonstrating in sight; no foul language nor screaming at the referee like a pack of encircling hyenas.
It was a joy to watch professional athletes at the top of their game (the best in the world perhaps); wowing the assembled masses with consideration given only to their performance and the challenge ahead – not the future value of their brand.
The referees and assistants respected the hard challenges for what they where – a fair, just and honest maneuver intended to deny their opponents. Fair play to their opponents too. There was no diving (sorry – simulation) or triple somersaults across the hallowed turf. No cinematic death scenes reminiscent of Platoon, or re-enactments of a soldier becoming the sniper’s latest victim. These opponents accepted their physical encounter with the good grace of a fellow professional who ‘knew the score’.
Gashes, eggs on foreheads, bruises by the score (see what I did there?) – and do you know what happened? Nothing. The players got up and carried on. No magic sponges required.
In this football utopia there was no need for punditry debates on whether a player had ‘got away with that one’, nor was there any requirement for discussions on the referee ‘buying that’. Good, honest, old-school football.
It has returned, dear reader; and the vision came from the square box. I give you the Women’s World Cup – and this is football I DON’T want to change. Well done, England – you have made us proud. Moreover, you have given our current bunch of overpaid prima donnas something to aspire to. More of the same please.
Have you enjoyed the Women’s game? Let everyone know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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