Deviance in Sport
“I would prefer even to fail with honor than to win by cheating.” Sophocles.
Could you find people who think like Sophocles nowadays? Ancient Greek said about global problem that have covered whole life branches now and even gained the sport. Unfortunately people ready to do everything to win and often this everything means deviance. Recent incidents well show that even sport stars make unfair actions to reach their aims. Whoever would have thought that Thierry Henry, popular footballer, will cheat to qualify into the summer’s World Cup or Formula-1 Renault team driver Nelson Piquet Jr will make crash to help his team-mate wins. Two very different kinds of sport but linked with one serious theme – deviance.
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Cheating it isn’t simple rules violation, it is ethics failure, when sportsmen put themselves above other people, make unfair advantage. And it’s doesn’t matter how they made it, it’s more important why people do that, why they decide to take cheating way. Generally they want to be the best, to get rewards, money and popularity. Cheating is a big issue and actual nowadays. Firstly, because it’s an unfair game that is an infringement. Secondly, it makes competitions senseless, because it breaks the general sense of competition, wins not the strongest sportsman but cheater. Thirdly, it covers all world countries and even involves politicians, how it recently happened with football match between France and Ireland. About this incident people discus every day and Thierry Henry became public enemy.
“Henry could have been a hero. But he’s a cheat.” Richard Williams.
It was last match minutes and France was losing 0-1 when Thierry Henry had an excellent chance to make the perfect goal cross to his team-mate and he done it. Whole should be well, but Henry stopped the ball with his hand that is unacceptable in football. Referee didn’t see it and France has qualified into next year World Cup final. Of course, lot of people think that Henry is a hero because he has saved national team, but how? He cheated! However, some people believe that is wasn’t intention action, but simple reflex. Nevertheless he touched the ball twice. Why he did it and why FIFA on the France side in this problem? To answer this questions let’s make little research. France national team twelve times was participated in World Cup final and once won it in 1998, two times was UEFA EURO champion (1984,2000), lot of other rewards and now is taking 7th place in FIFA’s World Ranking. What about Ireland? Only three times participated in World Cup final without successful results and now is taking 36th place in FIFA ranking. Now it becomes clear that France has greater influence and authority than modest Ireland. Result above face – cheating, replaying decline, France into World Cup. However Thierry Henry apologised for his handball even said: “Of course the fairest solution would be to replay the game but it is not in my control. There is little more I can do apart from admit that the ball had contact with my hand leading up to our equalising goal and I feel very sorry for the Irish. I have said at the time and I will say again that, yes, I handled the ball.” But this apologises will not help him now and we will see fans abusing soon.
Let’s take another example. Absolutely different kind of sport, Formula-1, where some month ago was happened big scandal. Simon Barnes: “Nelson Piquet Jr, son of the eponymous three-times world champion, a young man desperate to make his mark on the sport and yet struggling to keep up with its demands, was told to have an “accident” at the Singapore Grand Prix last September. As a result of his crash, Piquet’s team-mate, Fernando Alonso, was able to win a race he would otherwise have not, taking advantage of the safety procedures that are laid down in Formula One…”.
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From one hand it looks two different cheatings. Formula One driver has risked with his and other drivers life, because it is very dangerous to make crash in racing and history knows forty-five world drivers that have died in the accidents. In due course, Henry cheated without any risk for his health. Fact that Nelson Piquet Jr didn’t cheated willfully, because he carried out Renault team’s instructions, but Henry decided to win unfairly by his own mind. That means in Formula One we see simple manipulation by principal, that so often happens also in political life. Simon Barnes: “That is what happens when leading commercial concerns get mixed up in sport: their ultimate goal is profit, not sporting success.” Terrible but true. Nelson Piquet Jr was a victim and he didn’t obtain any profit from this hidden cheating. Hidden because all people knew about it only after 1 year, but situation with Henry was very visual. Thousands of spectators, TV watchers and internet surfers saw this cheating. However Henry didn’t show it, he celebrated team’s score like nothing unfair happened. Next day mass-media has been overflowed by articles and loud statements. Even politicians have started to interfere to the match result. The positive thing that Henry agreed that he has broke rules, but it’s impossible to change anything now and France became Ireland’s enemy number one.
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