Translated by Marvin Najarro
Football soccer is the passion of passions, and this is something that is not under discussion. We all know that. As a passion it has the irreverence of making us trill in unison, wherever we are, speak the language we speak; by its universal character. The goal is the closest to touching the firmament with the fingertips; who scores a goal has achieved immortality, it does no matter whether the game is played on a poor neighborhood street and with a rag ball.
Passion, (as I like to call football soccer) is one of the most beautiful thing we have on earth, and for the happiness it give us, we should respect it. Venerate it always. But we do the opposite. We humans destroy everything with our egotism and disrespect. With our habit of wanting to monopolize everything and hinder anyone who gets in our way: literally.
Then we teach the children that if they want to win a match they must play dirty -going straight to the bone- to put the opponent out action. That straight to the bone is reflected in the famous “planchas”, (tackle with studs up to the shin) or the elbows in the nose «that were not intentional.»
We teach them that instead of charging with the body they should push and pull the rival’s shirt so that he does not take the ball. That they should be tricky, and when the referee is not near, scratch and spit the opponent to provoke him and seek his expulsion. We teach the children that winning is the most important thing and forget to play just for the sake of playing, winning is all that matter, and if they don’t win they are useless, don’t understand football soccer, and don’t deserve to play it, they are the shame of the family. If they are girls, we teach them to pull their opponents hair, pinch their nipples or jab their teats with the elbow because the pain will put them out action. The same for boys; in the testicles.
With all this, we rob children their illusion, we are withering them in their early years, we damage them mentally, we transform them into machines of destruction, and we teach them to disrespect the passion, themselves, the public and the opponents. Not only that, but also we teach them that if they lose they don’t have the right to cry because only women or «queers» do that, with this we are also reaffirming the patriarchal and macho role of the male gender in society. If they are girls who cry because of weakness, they should try another sport because it is very tough for them; football soccer is for men. Children then keep their emotions for themselves and take them out by kicking their opponents, in and out the game. And so we are creating violent human beings willing to trample down on whoever might be in order to achieve their goals.
We render them insensitive, unable to react to the pain of others, unable to understand what the other feels, that’s how we see how they make fun of the opponents’ defeats in sports and, in adulthood, how they make fun of enforced disappearance, of a rape, a murder, and a femicide. And we see them hiding with their silence the impunity of all kinds. And worse, to vote for the representatives of sexism, homophobia, racism, classism and oligarchies.
The tragedy of all this is that in football soccer we are what in life itself; who does not respect the passion, does not respect him or herself as well as others. That’s the way it is, no matter what. Whoever is violent in the field will be anywhere. Who cheats in the field will always cheat in life.
And also with this comes our crucial role as spectators; as public. What do we teach the children who are watching the game with us, if they hear us insult and asking a player to take a dive inside the area and seek a penalty. Or insulting the referee who clearly knows more about the regulations than we do. Or asking the players to ignore the fair play. If we make fun of the pain of the losing team. If the losing team is ours and we try to get even with whoever might be. What children see, they absorb it like sponges and they will do that in their everyday life.
Many believe that football soccer is all about kicking a ball and a bunch of assholes running after it. Football soccer is a school of hard knocks; it prepares us for everything in life, in all areas of it. It teaches us discipline, respect, fair play, the importance of dedication, loyalty, and sentience, and brings out our character which is taking shape on and off the field.
So the next time we are in a football soccer game as spectators think how we are acting. What are we teaching children if our role is as mentors, coaches, referees, players and parents? I say children, obviously, without distinction of gender. I dream that one day football soccer is practiced by girls without being insulted, accused or discriminated by her gender.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado firstname.lastname@example.org
In football Soccer, As in Life Itself
Translated by Marvin Najarro