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14.9.2004
Things you shouldn't do!

Someone tried to put their thumb in my arse last week. Iíve never before experienced such a gruel attack. I was only trying to block keepers view standing next to the wall when unexpectedly I was attacked from behind. Luckily the finger was blocked by my shorts. I was relieved to survive with my backside untouched but still I was disgusted by the behaviour of that Armenian player. He only laughed when I questioned was he attacking both ways. For him it was just part of the game to try to make me loose my temper.

Itís not just the international games that these kinds of dirty tricks occur. I am sure everyone can remember the famous picture of a famous ex-footballer squeezing another famous footballerís genitals. Actually every footballer either has experienced or knows examples like these. All of them are way under the belt.

Unsportsly behaviour happens in football. On occasions you can see players stamping others, pinching or elbowing off the ball. Even many more occasions you canít see it when it happens. Iíve been spat at many times. Itís a very disgraceful experience. One of the culprits finally got his punishment during the last European Championships. Luckily in modern technology there are loads of cameras and angles to see every inch of the pitch all the time. Many bad incidents have been caught and punished by video evidence. That is a very good and just way to make the game cleaner. However nothing can ever fully prevent these things happening.

Passion to the game is both admirable and bit scary. There is something vulgar and primitive when men go inside the lines. They are supposed to be sophisticated and grown up people, but even the calmest gentleman can lower himself to mean things in the heat of the game. The fascinating tension between honourable sportsmanship and getting results with any costs is an everyday dilemma to all footballers.

Spatting. Squeezing genitals. Calling someoneís Mum belonging to the oldest profession. Malicious tackles. Footballers can come up with some cruel things. However it happens usually in the heat of the game with a moment of madness. Everyone knows what the story is. Most of the players have lost it at least once in their career. I still think all this unsportsly behaviour is unneeded and should be judged heavily. However there is something worse than that in football. Something that should never happen. I can just about understand all the spat and horror tackles inside the lines. However I canít accept vicious comments made about other players at the press. Every decent athlete would keep it inside the lines and not attack his fellow professionals through the media.

As we have seen unfortunately there are still these kinds of people and incidents. I canít understand the motives of these players. The main rule is to respect the game, the result and the fellow professional. You should be man enough to swallow tackles and unsportsly behaviour, sort it out on the pitch and never cry about it on the tabloid papers. If you are a player that desperately wants to read your own name from the papers, you can always talk about issues but not involve other players on bad light to it. It is cowardice to accuse others. I think it only tells about the one who has the need to make these comments.

Most of the time the game is clean. Still sometimes in his career every player is involved with something controversial. Because of all the hype in football, it will be noticed and he will get his hard time from the public and media. There is enough bad said about football anyway, players shouldnít give anyone more chance to despise our own profession. What happens inside the lines should stay there. Talking bad, accusing or gossiping about other players is against all the professional rules. That is not just disrespecting the fellow professional but also disrespecting the game. It is like pissing to your own tent.

Obviously sometimes you donít like or you even hate another player. You want to point out a bad tackle or misbehaviour. If you desperately want your revenge, most of the times there will come a chance on the pitch to put the score even. However unsportsly behaviour shouldnít be used there either. The only acceptable and best revenge is to win the game, outplay your opponent and ignore his behaviour. That will hurt him more than any dirty trick on or off the pitch.

Every bad tackle is unnecessary. Every unsportsly behaviour is unnecessary. Every name you give to tabloid papers is unnecessary. I donít know or want to mention the name of that Armenian player. Iím sure he is a good player and a good professional. I made sure during the game that he knows my bum is exit only. Justice can be done on the pitch not on the papers.

AKi


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