Wednesday, July 12, 2006


My only qualification to write about this 'idol' is that I have awlays enjoyed the charm and skills of this once retired player. It is difficult to tell what was going on in his head but facts that are emerging indicate that he was insulted. One can say that he lost the nerve to contain the insult. I recently 'attended' a soccer mental training camp that my son's provincial Team arranged. I must say that it was one of the best. I learnt that soccer games are not only won by skill. Intimidation via insults, gestures and the like are part of the package that players with blessings of their coaches unleash on their opponents. Claiming innocence from match officials even when the offence is blatant is another tactic that is used without shame. These tactics are encouraged because of the big money involved in soccer and any sport for that matter. Materrazi, the Italian defence man who is alleged to have insulted ZZ was probably implementing what the coaches had put in his tool kit. It should be noted that this player (Materrazi) is quite a character too. He spat on a player during the European Champinoships and was sent off.

ZZ has issued an apology and by all means, soccer loving people should accept his apology. It was uncalled for, with only 10 minutes to go and millioms of people watching. The racial and terrorist overtones that have been linked to the incident suggests that even a man of steel can break. The zero tolerance to racism that was promoted at the start of the tournament is now moribund and the true colours of how racist soccer is in Europe are emerging. Remarks by an Italian politician/senator that France sacrificed the world cup by featuring an all black team is surely a case in point on how intorlerant Europe is to black players.

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