Sunday, June 29, 2014

Robben and the Bankruptcy of Sportsman Spirit

The FIFA World Cup 2014 is now at the knockout stages. (Round of 16)
The pressure to win is palpable. And that too, at any cost. What else would prompt one of the World's finest football forwards to indulge in repeated dives for the sake of a penalty. Introducing, Arjen Robben from the Netherlands national football team.

Mexico looked all set to hold on to the single goal lead to cruise into the Quarter Final till a superbly executed corner found Wesley Sneijder stabbing the equalizer in the 88th minute, two minutes before final whistle. Imagine the horror, if you were a Mexico fan, cheering in the stadium. If that weren't enough, what followed immediately, was a poorly timed penalty decision in the dying minutes of injury time. Mexico was booted out. Arjen Robben, the kicker. Take a look.

During the entire game, Robben dived and dived again, till he succeeded at last. The following video captures his antics, brilliantly.

Twitter captured the outrage of the football fans. Robben's apology after the match only added insult to injury.

It is in times like this that you begin wondering what Sportsman Spirit stands for. Is winning more important than the game itself? What is it that makes fine sportsmen do things on the field that would shame them ?

Or maybe it does not apply if you have "Rob" embedded in your name !