Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A sober piece on the Aboitiz Cup brawl

(I've had about three drafts discarded for my scheduled Fair Play column for Thursday and since I expect this one to be discarded anew pending a press con at noon on Wednesday, I decided to publish it here. Ahem, a sober piece written at my usual witching hour.)

THE now infamous parent was right when he intervened, seeing one player--who we now know wasn't his son--get pinned down in a headlock while his sister and mom watched helplessly, crying, from the sideline.

He shouted at the goalkeeper to stop and while this was happening, the attention of the four match officials were on another melee on the far side of the court.

At first, I thought the officials were partly to blame but they did try to diffuse the tension, even calling the attention of the team captains to control their teammates early in the match.

In the 37th minute, a foul was called, something provocative was uttered and someone from the stands took on the taunt and had punching spree. The officials were all on that side, trying to prevent it from getting worse.

That's when it was noticed that the goalkeeper suddenly had the striker on a headlock with no official near them, and the parent stepped in. 

He made the right move, up to that point. What he did after his shouts were ignored was not only wrong but only hurt his team, school and Cebu football.  By the way, kudos to that brave guy in a sleeveless shirt who rescued the keeper.

And it won't be only him that will pay for it. The school, the community, the CFA and even the Aboitiz Cup will all bear the bruises of that moment when rage took over reason.

Now, it's no longer about who started the brawl but about the conduct of parents in football.  The CFA's probe will eventually get to the bottom of who started it--and may they be punished--but the incident has opened the need for coaches and parents education.

Because a week before the incident, the CFA also encountered one, a parent attacked a coach.  And a photo, too, of such incident was taken.

Like any sector of society, there are good and bad sports parents and they all come from all classes and background. I've seen a dad try to intimidate his son's foes in a collegiate game; I've seen football moms taunt public school students in a 12-under match, "You run so fast because you're a bunch of snatchers."

Looking at the moms, I was so tempted to say, "Didn't you use to dance at those strip clubs?."

Often, the parents learn football only through their children's games, and while those who know the game know about advantage fouls and the like, some parents are quick to yell "cheats," when they see anything they don't like.

Parents have a role to play, but I hope this incident will force the CFA and schools to rethink that role.

"Control your players' parents," is a regular advice match officials tell coaches and I've heard that regularly.

But if you are a part-time coach in an exclusive school, will you have the balls to say, "Shut up sir, you are not helping?"

Some coaches, too, are guilty.  

Can you expect fair play from players of coaches who scream,"Tirahi na sya!...Bogo-a gyud nimo. Panimalos sad! (Hit him...you're so stupid...get even)!"

Let the incident be a lesson to all.  Words are just words, some say, but look at the mess Cebu football is in because of some careless words?


Miguel Mike Goitia said...

The kid in the brawl who held the other kid in a head lock WAS NOT THREATENING his LIFE. The ho0ld is called the Kesa Gatame, a bisc Judo pinning hold. It is a simple Pinning hold which can be easily ESCAPED and REMOVED bu either the kid being pinned or the adult witnessing the fight without causing BODILY INJURY to the person APPLYING the Hold. The adult did not need to apply a STRIKE on the kids BACK HEAD. This is NOT A CASE of SELF DEFENSE. The Adult who Striked the Minor USED EXCESSIVE FORCE to remove the kid from the pinning Hold. And he should answer for it in a court of law. Use of EXCESSIVE FORCE can only be performed if your life or the life of someone is threatened. In this case, it is simply VIOLENCE AGAINST A MINOR.

mrgio69 said...

I love football or soccer. I am a footballer myself. I am saddened by this news. It became a blot in our local football tournament. A brawl is not new in football. I started playing soccer when I was in mini division in the 80's. Today, I belong to the 40 above. Since then the brawl has occurred when it pops. Let us learned from this incident. Truly, there are many things to learn from it. I have a suggestion to make: Orientation for all the parents who have footballers before any tournament commences. Make it a requirement therefore. No tournament is allowed unless such orientation is conducted.

Anonymous said...

Hi blog admin. Please change the author of earlier comment and change it to this ID. inbetweencolumns.wordpress.com. Pressed enter inadvertently. Thanks. my email anol_cebu@yahoo.com.

Mike Limpag said...

Hi Sir Anol,

I can't change IDs in comments. I decided not to publish your previous comment as that identity may get dragged in issue. You may post it again under personal ID, thanks. Mike