- Sad state of football in Cyprus
- Thinking about the World Cup, of course, also
helps take my mind off the fact that Chelsea thrashed Manchester United to
take the Premiership last week and also the fact that football in Cyprus is
going from bad to worse.
- True, my home club may, in a few days be
celebrating the Championship, and I will be out driving and honking my horn,
but watching the news reports of the events during and after the weekend’s
game I was disappointed once again. Seats were torn out and set on fire and
objects thrown at the players and the officials on the pitch and, outside the
stadium, fans were throwing stones at each other, destroying property and
It seems that some fans had a
feeling that their players had under-performed or that the opposition had
over-performed, that the outcomes of the two big games should have been
different. Everyone believes that is a lot of corruption in Cyprus football-
the statements made by club officials over the course of a season seem to
strengthen this idea; the cricket scores in the games of the title run-in
often seem unnatural. Fans believe that everyone has his price; many expect
their officials to bear this thought in mind.
All this is sad. The suspected
corruption, the violence both on and off the pitch, the way that party
politics keeps rearing its ugly head have dragged our football into the mud.
The few fans that turn up at games seem bent on causing trouble.
The Championship this year has
been exciting and it will go down to the last game of the season. A few teams
have looked good, though there has been no runaway leader. I have seen some
games where the football has been end to end, where the players have played
like their lives as well as their wages depended on it, where goals have been
scored that took my breath away. I have seen passionate managers jumping up
and down in joy or agony, fans chanting in unison, players showing real skill.
There is much that is good about our football.
But there is so much that is
wrong. It is sad how people are turning away from football, how fathers are no
longer taking their sons to the football grounds. The violence and the alleged
corruption of Cypriot football, so long disregarded by the Cypriot FA, the way
that party politics almost rules the game- a fact encouraged by our
politicians, the way the club officials choose to speak of their ‘wonderful
fans’ overlooking all the damage their fans cause as they rampage in and near
the football grounds- all these things make me sad.
I want to feel safe at a
football ground. I want to start going to games again. I want to take my
nephew to an Apollon game and explain the offside rule to him, when I
understand it myself and when the referees themselves understand it. I want to
have more excitement at the players’ feet than in the stands.
After all, flair is so much
better than flares, is it not?
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