Sporting ethics

PRAY, where on earth is the so-called sporting spirit these days? With 11 Manchester United fans and others being hospitalised with injuries, we are faced with another round of embarrassment. Is this what sports and games are all about?

Being sportsman-like is like ‘behaving in a fair and polite way when competing’. Which is what sportsmanship is. And, sportsmanship is also when, in the end, both the players and the fans take things sportingly, the losers take it in their stride

Sporting spirit is the spirit in which those on the losing side hug those on the winning side; and this is time to share the joy. For, in every game, the ultimate winner is the game itself; not the teams, not the players.

Reports were that during the game in Italy, which Roma won 2-1, both sets of fans threw missiles at each other. Riot police did their bit too: and the injured were from all the three sides. Allegations are also that the police took sides. Players win; players lose. Which is what a game is all about. Fans need to take it sportingly; which is how they support the game. Instead, when players lose, they are scared of taking a return flight back home.

A game is a game; and yet, public perceptions are changing, of course. We are losing confidence in our games. Words fly around that the games, these days, are a play of ‘mafias’ and of ‘mach-fixers’, who act before the real action starts on the ground. There, thus, are those who make millions and more in one go.

Where do all these take our sports and games to? A scary thought, of course. Let’s return to our roots. Let games remain as games, let rules be followed, and let the spirit be maintained. And, let there be no game behind the game; and no game after the game, too.

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