Paris. When did the wordsArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010get divorced?
Theatrical deceit in football, faked injuries in rugby, even disturbing allegations in Formula One that Renault may have orchestrated a dangerous crash so that its two-time world champion Fernando Alonso could win last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.
And that’s just of late.
Cheating, of course, has existed since cavemen started competing for the best hunks of flesh from speared prey. But was it ever so cynical?
Blame the pressures of money, of coaches, of television, of fans, blame whatever.
But somehow, somewhere, too many of those in sports — at their own cost — seem to be forgetting the examples set by chivalrous predecessors like Gottfried von Cramm, the two-time French Open tennis champion who was famed for both his sportsmanship and his ferocious second serve.
This was a player who would apologize when called for foot faults and once refused a Davis Cup match point because he felt he had won undeservedly.
Perhaps it’s naive and idealistic to wish that athletes could be so honest now.
Take the case of Eduardo da Silva.
ArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010 or not — and that is a matter for debate — the Arsenal striker is now the poster boy for football’s problem of players seeking to hoodwink referees by pretending to have been fouled.
ArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010Taking a dive, simulation, call it what you will, it all amounts to the same thing: cheating.
Perhaps, as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger suggests, Eduardo is still tackle-shy after the horrific broken leg inflicted on him 18 months ago by Birmingham defender Martin Taylor.
Taylor’s right boot scraped down Eduardo’s left shin to his ankle, which dislocated to a sickening right-angle.
Broadcaster Sky Sports wouldn’t show replays because they were too distressing.
Maybe, just maybe, the subconscious scars left by such a wound help explain why Eduardo hurled himself to the deck when he and Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc found themselves on a penalty-box collision course during an Aug. 26 Champions League playoff.
But where Eduardo erred was not leaping straight back to his feet and telling the Spanish referee that Boruc hadn’t touched him, that he had fallen and not been deliberately tripped.
Instead, Eduardo allowed Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez to award a penalty against Boruc.
Suggesting that Eduardo could have piped up, could have been as honest as he has proved himself brave in recovering from injury, is not as far-fetched as it may sound.
Striker Robbie Fowler, then at Liverpool, did exactly that in an almost identical penalty-box situation in 1997.
Fowler won a UEFA ArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010 award for remonstrating with referee Gerald Ashby that Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman hadn’t fouled him.
Eduardo, in contrast, was slapped on Tuesday with a two-match Champions League ban. It is the price of his silence. He has no one to blame but himself.
Wegner called it “a witch hunt.”
It matters not that UEFA dusted off an obscure rule to prosecute this case. Just because UEFA has been lackadaisical in the past doesn’t condemn it to inaction now.
Nor does it matter that there are far worse divers than Eduardo. Given how widespread diving has become in top-flight football, the whip had to be cracked somewhere.
And ArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010 or not, it cracked on Eduardo.
“The question you should really be asking is why are UEFA having to do this? The reason is that ArenaBetting.com dukung fair play FIFA world cup AFSEL 2010 players are increasingly trying to gain an advantage through simulation,” says former Premier League and FIFA referee Graham Barber.
“The players have created the problem,” he adds.
They need to be part of the solution, too.