The game of football.

I suppose the question people have been asking is this: Why in god’s name did Zizou do that?

Granted that he could have been provoked into it by Materazzi – he, after all, never had a very sterling, squeeky clean attitude on the grass. So it would have been hardly surprising if he indeed deserved that very painful headbutt to the chest.

Then again, there is Zizou, a French national hero, about to retire. He should have known better than to end a career in this fashion, we say. Some see him as the one who is rarely given to sudden bursts of violence on the playing field but others would disagree. “Zizou has a history of violent reactions.” “He has a temper.”

People start to find fault without looking at the heart of the matter.

Under the imagery of popularity, money and fame lies the age-old problem of racism and bigotry. You’d expect that in today’s society, people would be capable of accepting differences, that we would have learnt a little from history about bigotry and racism.

Instead, we excuse uncivilised behaviour to “it is part and puzzle of the sport to taunt”. No, it is not, DAMNIT. You don’t step on a badminton court and think of calling your opponent a chink in order to break down his defenses. You don’t step onto a rugby field and yell racial slurs at the opposite team in hopes of making them drop the ball. That is not sportsmanship and that is hardly being true to the game. If anything, racial taunts and slurs only serve to tell us that this form of “sporting” behaviour is uncivilised and primative. (Then again, we’re talking about football here.)

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I can never sit down and watch a game of football from beginning to the end. I don’t see any form of sportsmanship and I certainly don’t see any form of ethical behaviour.

Call me a prude. Call me an idealist. Call me whatever you will.

BUT racism and bigotry should have no room AT ALL in today’s world. If you ask me, the bigger culprit here is Materazzi. Why? For thinking that he can say whatever he wants to anyone and get away without being punished. (If the article is indeed true, can we really blame Zizou for giving it to him?)

Look at it this way.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

On the side, far be it for me to say but since when did you have to be cultured to know the meaning of the word “terrorist”?

He has denied, however, some of the more vile insults referring to his wife or sister or calling him a terrorist.

“It was one of those insults you’re told dozens of times and that you often let fall on a pitch,” Materazzi said.

“I did not call him a terrorist. I am not a cultured person and I don’t even know what as Islamist terrorist is.”

He added: “For me the mother is sacred, you know that.”

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