Footballers are bad examples to youngsters

There was this article in the NST today lambasting the attitude of footballers, especially those idolised by thousands if not millions worlwide, more so with the FIFA world Cup in South Africa entering the final run in. The bone of contention is honesty and fairplay. Neuer, the German goal keeper was proudly telling the press that he purposely kept a straight face and reacted as any goalkeeper would do in saving the ball lobbed by England’s Lampard, even though he knew that the ball that bounced off the cross bar had crossed the line. Had he informed the referee or the line judge of the truth, the referee might have allowed the goal and things would have gone differently for England. But that point had been hotly debated in the media and I supppose would still be raised everytime a referee made a blunder in allowing or disallowing a goal, even well into the next millennium, as long as FIFA still refused to introduce electronics to help the referees.
But the point I am raising is the fact that Neuer, kept a straight face and acted as if he had heroically saved the day is a blatant act of lying. Of course the referee should have seen it, or the touch judge, as the ball was well over half a meter into the German goal line. Neuer should have been honest enough to admit to the referee that the ball had gone in and let the referee decide. Similar situation happened when Maradona scored a goal with his famous “hand of God” and Thierry Henry’s handball in Dublin that led to a goal to allow France to sneak into this year’s World Cup final ahead of Ireland. Footballers (and fumbling referees, I reckon) gave the impression that it is OK to lie if people (especially the authority) do not see it. Worse still they boasted about it and acted as if the onus is not on them to preserve the truth. No wonder the world is topsy turvy these days.
On another note, Ghana should have gone into the semi final but their inexperience clearly shown when Gyan hit the bar with his penalty. The team had great flair and skills but really lacked big time experience, and luck I suppose. At the highest stage of football like the world cup, if you do not take your chances, you would be severely punished. In this case, Ghana missed the semi final which was theirs for the taking, thus eliminating the last African team still standing in the footballing spectacle which is held in African soil for the first time. So, it is back to business as usual in the world cup with teams like German, Holland, Argentina, Uruguay – all are former winners, left in the running. Lets hope Vincente del Bosque can conjure up something that will fire up Torres, Fabregas, Villa and the gang into footballing history. Despite a firm supporter of Germany, I am hoping that Spain can create an upset.


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