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Beautiful Game - Terrible Shame

By Santosh Benjamin :  02/08/2010 :  Comments (1) :

In the aftermath of each World Cup, we always see coaches who failed to meet expectations getting the sack. With the intense media scrutiny we also see players and coaches dissected and analysed for months after the event. Its worse for teams with great expectations since the adoring public hold them accountable for their early exits. I agree totally with fans who feel that many players are hyped, overpaid and forget national pride when they step onto the field. The media on the other hand often focuses on needless things like the WAGs and what they did each day while the players trained.

I come from a country that hasn?t been within a country mile of the World cup ? India. When I see tiny nations like Slovenia and Slovakia qualify for the World cup, I wonder why we can?t get eleven guys who can play the game well enough to get us to this amazing event. There are parts of India that are football crazy and have talented players too but I blame the poor infrastructure and absolute lack of support for any sport other than cricket for this debacle. I am very proud when I see Asian teams doing well as I see some hope for India too.

I was reading an article on the internet about the North Korean football team. They did not have a great World Cup, although they did show a lot of character in their 2-1 loss to Brazil. The 7-0 scoreline after the Portugal game was demoralizing for sure but then, you did have the favourites, Argentina having four goals knocked past them by Germany. I think the Asian teams impressed me a lot more than the African teams did.

The North Korean football team was subjected to a post World cup feedback session. They were, however made to stand for six hours while they were verbally abused. The players were forced to blame the entire thing on their poor coach, Kim Jong-Hun. The coach himself had to endure this terrible session and in the aftermath, was thrown out of his political party and made to work as an UNPAID laborer at a construction site. There are also rumors that he may possibly be executed sometime in the future.

According to the media, the players got off lightly since in the past they were often sent to prison camps after losing football matches. I don?t see in this day and age where people stand up for their rights and get a fair hearing even after committing the most heinous of crimes, we can allow such behaviour by that dictator Kim Jong-il to go unpunished by the civilized world. My prayers are with the coach and his family and other poor people in that country where justice does not seem to have ever been heard off, let alone practiced.

I?m always quick to tell people that football is more than a game, it?s a way of life. I am embarrassed therefore when I see the game I love leading to such injustice in the lives of innocent people. I hope that someone makes a stand against what happens in North Korea and other such countries run by dictators before its too late.

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 06/08/2010 at 20:24:54

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Santosh, it seems to me that football in India is in a worse state than football in the USA thirty years ago. Also, there are many Asian fans of premier clubs but not the players. I would genuinely be interested to know why?

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