Friday, April 8, 2011

Let it be

The F.A have banned Wayne Rooney for 2 games because he swore in front of a camera during Manchester United's 4-2 away to West Ham United last weekend. This is an unprecedented feat. It is also a ridiculous one. Banning a player for what he said into a camera during a game.

Imagine the scenario, you’re at a tough away ground, your every touch is being booed and you are the target of abuse from the home fans, your team is 2-0 down at half-time in a vital game. You then miraculously score a hat-trick and get your team ahead. Nobody can convince me that there is a footballer in this world who would not scream the words “f**k” ,or any other insult, in elation or aggression if they were in that position. Even though a couple of hours later, Rooney apologized for the words he had said (even though he didn’t need to, as he wasn’t hurting anyone in the process), somehow the F.A have made an example of him by banning him for 2 of his club’s upcoming games.

They say that type of language is unacceptable in football and is not exemplary to the younger kids watching the game. Well then if that’s the case, how about we mute all coverage of the 90 minutes of games that are on television, sanction supporters from singing chants and ban children from going to games. If the F.A have been anywhere near a football stadium anywhere in the world (especially in England), they will know that football fans sing abusive songs and scream way more insulting things to footballers for the entirety of a game than the 3 words that Rooney muttered into a camera last weekend. On television, so many times we can lip-read or hear players scream “f*****g hell” at almost every misplaced shot, every decision or every goal scored; but this is football, and I find it so hypocritical that some people and some fans are pretending like what Rooney did was some sort of blasphemy.

With the swearing that players endure for 90 minutes, I think it's only fair and part of the whole spectacle of the game if the player reacts in return sometimes. You have to admit that the unpredictability of some reactions make it a lot more entertaining. It shouldn't be that because an individual is a multi-million pound footballer that he automatically becomes oblivious to insults and is not allowed to react. This whole debate rapidly turned into the “it’s because he’s a role model for younger kids” excuse by the media and press. Really? Does anyone genuinely consider individuals that never completed their education, that earn loads of cash, that cheat on their wives constantly, and that lead a superficial materialistic lifestyle as the appropriate "role models" for any society? Didn't think so.

This shouldn't be a shocker. A footballer was caught swearing on camera. I think we should take a step back and look at this whole thing a bit more pragmatically; we all swear and I find it illogical for anyone to be charged for doing so, especially while playing football. Can anyone in their right mind tell me it bothers them hearing a footballer swear? I doubt it, and if it does bother you then the next time you watch a game, I’d like to see you stay quiet for 90 minutes when your team is playing.

On the contrary, I think it makes it better viewing. The raw emotion and passion that a player shows during a game is part of what makes us love this game. Remove the human emotion factor from the game, and trust me you’re removing a major part of the game’s attraction as a whole. Fans and players alike all swear. But it seems that according to the F.A, this behavior was unacceptable and he should be made an example of. It’s a shame, because from now on every little insult we’re going to hear players say will mean that this new rule of banning the players will have to be considered and if it's not then we're getting into a whole double standards debate. It’s funny though, Wayne Rooney swears on television and gets banned for 2 games, whereas Ashley Cole carries a gun to training and shoots someone and nothing happens. Strange decisions, one must admit.

The insults, the celebrations, the controversy, the joy, the passion, the hatred, the rivalries, the chanting...this is football. It's not an office. Let’s keep it that way. Let it be.

Wayne Rooney: "F*****g what!"


  1. Hey anth, (hope everything is fine with you  )
    I have to say I slightly disagree with you on some topics. Rooney is not first one to get such a punishment, but I’m sure that since you’re a big fan of MU, when it happens to your rivals you just close your eyes :P. I didn’t see anyone complaining when Drogba was banned 4 games for “fucking disgrace”.
    In France the best players of OM’s team or psg’s team are booed, screamed at, every time they touch the ball (Gignac, Valbuena, Nene, Gourcuff). Why? It’s the only a way that supporters think they can disturb the player and put his moral down for the game. None of them ever shouted or sweared in front of the camera. Simply because all of them probably wanted to to do it more than once, but they don’t simply because they know that they will be consequences…
    However I agree on you on that point, saldy, the media are leading the world’s opinion, to football they’re doing what they want to footballer and referees by manipulating the fans and the national federations. Some people just believe whatever the press is writing, forgetting that those people have to fill their quotas of pages every day.
    I’m convinced that Rooney would have played fulham tomorrow if the press didn’t make a big deal out of it.

  2. Guy, always good to hear from such a football fanatic like you :). I must say while writing this post, I was wearing my red-tinted glasses of course, but in comparison with the Drogba situation a couple of years ago, Rooney is not aiming his insult at referees or individuals in particular. Nobody knows exactly who he is aiming it at, but I'd guess it's the cameraman who stuck his camera in Rooney's face after his hat-trick, in inclusion to the abuse of the West Ham fans.

    Also, I'm not so sure in the French league you have got cameras that are allowed to get that close to the players or the fans (correct me if i'm wrong, but on the goal line, I don't think there are cameras in France), so sticking a camera in a player's face would provoke a reaction.

  3. I'm not gonna talk about the FA, because I'm not a fan of the EPL. But I'm gonna criticize FIFA for enforcing the yellow card in the case of a player taking off his shirt for celebrating a goal!
    Well some people might think that some footballers have abusive tatoos, I think the shirt removal shows just how much that player loves the game of football, it's an orgasmic experience!

  4. You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.