With Luis Suarez recently declaring that he did intentionally try to win a penalty in a match earlier this season, is sportsmanship dead?
By Gino De Blasio – @ginodb
Ok, so where do you stand on good sportsmanship? If you look up its definition, it includes; playing fair, following the rules of the game, respecting the judgment of referees and officials and treating opponents with respect.
The day that Suarez admitted to “failing to get a penalty” was also the same day that I read about Ivan Fernandez Anaya. Whilst competing in a cross-country race, and lying second behind race leader Abel Mutai, he did something rather extraordinary. Ten metres from the finishing line Abel Mutai suffers a hamstring injury, seeing this, instead of taking advantage and pushing for the win, he instead guided his competitor to the finish line allowing him to win. Is that good sportsmanship or a little misguided?
And does anyone remember the famous Paolo Di Canio moment of fair play? West Ham were playing Everton, and goalkeeper Paul Gerrard injured himself with West Ham on the attack. Instead of ceasing the opportunity to put West Ham in front with minutes to go, Di Canio catches the ball that was passed to him, insisting that Gerrard be treated before play continues.
So with that in mind, is sportsmanship really dead or does it still exist only we hear less and less about it in the mainstream media? Does good sportsmanship only really exist in less commercial sports because there is less to lose, fewer people watching or is it just more inherent in those sports? It’s easy to go after Suarez, too easy sometimes; but does he let himself in for it by his own admission of guilt in these cases?
Give us your views @talkingbaws or comment below. Watch out for Paul Boyle’s blog tomorrow.