Wednesday, February 8, 2023

It’s not about football anymore

Football is supposed to be a beautiful game. The game should provide a platform where people from all nations, races, regions and linguistic, economic and religious backgrounds can come together to celebrate together through the game the beauty of humanity by accepting the diversities of the world, acknowledging each other uniqueness and learning from each other for the greater cause of humanity. Football should never be allowed to convert into political events for vested interest ones to promote their political agendas or to display their loyalty to political personalities or ideologies.
Unfortunately at this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, football is already on the sideline as disgusting politics has taken over the show with the radical liberals influencing many participating players and teams to use the World Cup as a platform to promote their exclusive discriminatory social and political agendas thereby spoiling the beauty of football that was expected to be witness this time around. From the United States team modifying their team’s logo by painting a rainbow color on it to the captain of the English team proposing to wear a “one love” armband until he got reprimanded by the organizers and the German team covering their mouths during their first pre-match photo sessions by alleging that their voices were silenced by the authority, this World Cup has reduced to become a tool for politics and spreading propaganda.
As a lifelong fan of the German football team (and I will remain so), I am no doubt upset by their underwhelming performance which led to their ouster from the group stage for the second successive World Cup. But more than being upset by their premature exit from the competition, I felt let down by the team which I have been supporting since I came to know about football. The German team was supposed to join the other 31 nations around the world to play football, nothing else, make football more beautiful, maybe by winning or by losing, and bring cheers to their fans from around the world. Instead what they did in Qatar before they faced exit had nothing to do with football. They set aside football and started using the football platform to promote some exclusive political agendas. Led by their interior minister, Nancy Faeser, who was in the stand wearing a “one love” armband, the Germans in utter disgrace were coving their mouths during the pre-match photo session in their first match in what was supposed to be a protest against the authority for prohibiting them to wear the “one love” armband. The German minister’s behavior in the stand was in sharp contrast with Angela Merkel’s chancellorship era where she used to simply cheer her team at the stand as one among the fans on many occasions without doing any politics.
Contrary to what the German team and the other teams who had shared the same views as the Germans had alleged, the truth was that their voice was not silenced by the authority. By not allowing any team to wear“one love” armbands, the organizers and the host are conveying a strong message to focus only on football and play football, which is the sole purpose of the competition. By banning wearing an armband, which is meant for promoting certain exclusive political agendas, the organizers are doing a great favour to fans of different teams from across the world. The fans are constituted of people of diverse backgrounds and nationalities, and they formed an important component that makes football a beautiful game and that the interest of the fans should be taken into consideration by making football a non-political event.
It should be noted here that a rainbow flag and one love armband never represent humanity. They are just instruments used by radical liberals to advance their goals by invoking the interest/choice of some section of individuals in the world. The choice of an individual in the matter of human relationships cannot represent the choice of humanity as a whole. And football cannot be degraded to a status to be used for promoting the interest of a few individuals.
The decision of the organizers to ban wearing a “one love” armband is also to show respect for the culture and the sentiment of the host country. One should be appreciative of Qatar’s commitment to affirming the conservative values in the country and consistently refusing to recognize any union/partnership other than a union between one man and one woman as ‘marriage’. If some participating teams and players in this edition of the World Cup are so determined to show respect and promote the interest of some back in their countries why can’t they also show some kind of respect to their host and comply with certain regulations that the host country has set for them instead of trying to impose their thoughts and opinions on the Qataris? It is utter hypocrisy on the part of those participating teams and players to show contempt to the sentiments of their host while acting as if they are showing solidarity to some “discriminated members” among their communities.
The most distasteful part of the World Cup has, however, came from none other than the FIFA Boss, Gianni Infantino, when he declared on the eve of the competition: “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay….” This declaration was not about showing concern or feeling for all humanity. Instead, it was a typical manifestation of globalists’ agendas that uses to exploit their powers and positions to subvert everything and bring humanity under their control under one political system. The globalists, of which FIFA is becoming a part, undermine diversity and believe in a one-world system to be ruled by a few chosen elites. And football today is on the verge of placing itself at the altar of globalism to be sacrificed to serve the interest of a few elite globalists.
Unless humanity, representing diversity, act together and rescue football from the clutch of those radical liberals and globalists, there won’t be a beautiful game called football anymore, and instead, it will become a stooge for those liberal elements to promote their discriminatory social and political agendas around the globe.
Dr. Nsungbemo Ezung
Wokha Town

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