Tag Archives: soccer

Shot of Sports Juice: motivation for 7 year olds

I just came across a story about the new French national football team coach, Laurent Blanc suspending the all 23 players who represented France at the World Cup from their next international match.  The French team was a ‘huge’ disappointment in South Africa, losing all three of their games and failing to move on past the first round.  I put quotations around huge as the team would not have qualified for the World Cup had it not been for an illegal hand ball by Thierry Henry in their last qualifying match that lead to the goal that put the team into the World Cup.  For the French though, their team was supposed to do better.

As for the punishment, I am drawing a blank on the logic that went into the decision.  I do understand that a coach’s only real power is the amount of playing time he awards to a player.  What I do not understand is why a brand new coach would forego starting fresh and instead further twist a knife into recent wounds.  Why not take a French jersey from the World Cup and burn it with the players before the next game to symbolize a new beginning?

Even more curious is the fact the coach is punishing individuals who volunteer significant time to represent their country.  These are multi-millionaire athletes with high paying club jobs who answer the call to represent their country.   What is a public humiliation supposed to achieve?  Perhaps I am missing some sort of cultural element in all of this, but I suspect most multi-millionaire athletes would opt to get both middle fingers in the air and get on with their day jobs.  Who wants to give up their free time to play for a disorganized federation that lacks anything resembling leadership and who does not appreciate their efforts?

It is a good thing the World Cup only comes around every four years.  It would seem that France is going to need every one of those four years to get their house in order.  It starts by understanding that the team is not comprised of spoiled brats, but rather proud athletes who want desperately to be successful for their country.  Once that is understood, they can take productive steps towards improving their program.


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FIFA World Cup: A Success Despite Poor Leadership

I am somewhat hesitant to jump into the debate on the use of replay in the FIFA World Cup.  Instinctively, it makes sense to get things right in the biggest sports tournament in the world, especially one that only happens every four years.  It seems to me to be a shame to have England and its fans absolutely gutted because the sport refuses to take advantage of the technology of the day.

FIFA are lucky they are in charge of the biggest tournament of the most popular sport in the world.  If it weren’t for the natural interest that comes with Nationalistic pride, FIFA might just be dim enough to ruin a great thing. 

The following was in an article I read today:

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who attended both games Sunday, strongly opposes introducing any video technology to help referees.

“Let it be as it is and let’s leave football with errors,” Blatter said after video experiments were halted at a March 2008 meeting of the rules panel, the International Football Association Board.

“Other sports regularly change the laws of the game to react to the new technology. We don’t do it and this makes also the fascination and the popularity of football.”

The above could be called arrogance, it could be called naivety, or it could just be called stupidity.  What other organization in the world would hold fast to outdated views and opinions despite clear facts to the contrary?  Who else says that critical mistakes and errors in judgment are an essential part of what  they are trying to sell?  In answering those questions, perhaps what Blatter says makes sense:  if the inexplicable weren’t allowed to stand, there would be no opportunity to look towards the heavens and say, “Why God why?”  Although football is viewed as religion in many parts of the world, there is no reason why it shouldn’t slowly evolve for the better and take advantage of technological improvements.

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