Footbrawl! When the beautiful game turns ugly

Soccer is named “the beautiful game.” It’s the world’s most followed sport, with billions from Barcelona to Bacolod to Bangkok playing and watching the sport. But what happened last Sunday between A & A was despicable. It was disgraceful.

Ateneo is to blame because some of their players and companions were involved in the melee — including that adult whose caught-in-the-act stabbing was captured perfectly by the camera lens of ace photographer Allan Cuizon. Alcoy FC is to blame because they, too, engaged in the same acts of punching and physical aggression. The coaches have a duty to control their players. They also have the responsibility to calm the parents and team followers.

King Miyagi was one of those badly hurt in the scuffle. An extremely kind and respectful person (who was my daughter Jana’s former classmate and who’s now a national team member), King was attacked out of nowhere. I saw his photo yesterday and sadly, he has a huge black-eye.

The Cebu Football Association (CFA) will learn a lot from this. New rules will be enacted. Stricter enforcement — especially by the referees, whose main job is to control the proceedings — will be implemented.

But the biggest embarrassment were those parents and adults who engaged in the aggressive and brutal acts.

In his latest Full Point article, my mentor Nimrod Quiñones (a CFA board member) wrote an enlightening piece in called “Sports Parenting 101.”

Here are Nimrod’s 10 Commandments for Sports Parents…

1.    You are a parent and not the coach.
2.    You should stay away from the children while they are practicing so as not to make them lose focus.
3.    Yes, you love your child so much and want him or her well-hydrated, but running into the field to wipe their back and giving them water even if they have not been given a break is a breach of discipline.
4.    Cheer for your child, their teammates, and even their opponents. Acknowledge the good performance of the players no matter which side they play for.
5.    Winning is not everything, so don’t get angry when your child or his or her team loses.
6.    Don’t embarrass your children by fighting with other parents or worse, fighting with their opponents, who are also kids.
7.    If your child is engaged in a contact sport, expect some contact, but the good coaches and trainers can help your children minimize or avoid injuries.
8.    Do not impose yourself upon the coaches, school, or team officials even if you contribute an amount of money on a regular basis to help pay for your child’s coach or trainer.
9.    Be supportive by providing what you can in terms of equipment, refreshments, and moral support.
10.    Be a good example to your children.
Well-said, Nim. I also liked what Jack Biantan, who’s now in London, wrote the other day. He said that, sadly, this event has happened — but we have to move on. Let’s all solve this quickly, led by the CFA president Ricky Dakay. He also suggested for the teams to make amends and to apologize. Let’s not put to waste this shocking incident. Let’s all learn from it so that, looking ahead, in the heat of another sporting moment, the same won’t happen again.

Categorized as Football
John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!

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