From the terraces

DEAR RED ARMY; GET CIVILIZED!

FROM THE TERRACES

By Catherine P Jimu (The Sports Princess)

July 4th 2018. In the footballing world, all eyes are in Russia where the world’s greatest soccer nations are outsmarting each other to call the shots on who has got the bragging rights, footballically.

Unlike other editions, this is a spicy one as surprises are the order of the day. Giants, pre-tournament favourites have each seen their wings plucked and head back home prematurely. Portugal, Argentina, Spain, and even the defending champions, Germany have all booked their planes back home, unceremoniously.

As usual, there have been some questionable refereeing even with the aid of the famous Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR) technology. VAR has still left one too many teams falling victims to questionable officiation.

However, there has never been any act of ugly scene from the terraces in an expression of displeasure over poor or questionable officiation.

Take the case of Japan for example. After painfully giving away a 2 nil lead to Belgium, Japanese supporters were seen cleaning up the terraces from the stadium; an act of true sportsmanship.

Miles away, back home, the case is completely opposite. It appears there are some teams that do not take defeat as part of their game. To them, they have to be winning day in day out.

The ugly scenes that erupted during the Airtel Top 8 finals between Blue Eagles, and Nyasa Big Bullets (last Sunday) over a last minute penalty to the former is an act of animalism.

I mean, where in the world do we sort out our displeasure over poor officiation by violence? At 54, are we not supposed to be more civilized? What the heck is wrong with Nyasa Big Bullets? As the most successful club in the country, and one of the oldest on the land, they had to know better than anybody else. Equally disheartening was thatit was from the players, the officials and the men from the terraces, all being untied in this stupid display.

Memories are still fresh as same Bullets got fined K400, 000 for behaviour of their fans, who invaded the pitch and assaulted the officiating personnel after been disgruntled with officiation during their TNM super league against Azam Tigers on 23 October 2016 at Kamuzu stadium. And now here they are, at it again!!! Does this team learn at all?

Poor officiation or not, but that’s not the way to go! What message are we sending to the sponsors, and potential ones? What kind of a footballing nation does that? This is unacceptable!

We need to grow up and make soccer a sport for all. We, From the Terraces will be happy to see very hefty fines being pushed to all the culprits so this behaviour should repeat itself again.

As Football Association of Malawi’s Technical and Club Licensing Manager Casper Jangale advised, “Let’s make our football professional; when your team looses, learn to accept the defeat and move on without violence despite circumstance that led to the loss……that’s what we call sportsmanship.”

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