Let me start by saying that I am a football aficionado myself. But I deem it a waste of time to devote so much time to not only watching but also arguing about football when one has better things to do. True, I watch football, but I never leave my workstation for a game. I am a fan of Manchester United football club and I always support them when they play. I am happy when they win and I am sad when they lose. Seeing that the world has been gripped by football fever – especially the parts that perform worse in the World Cup, Africa – I thought I will share my thoughts on this issue.
For me, it is total lunacy to leave everything one is supposed to do and go and watch another person do what he is supposed to do. Let me clarify that. I tell my students that they are now at the prime of their youth; that they should read their books and make sure they come out with good grades at the end of grade twelve. But instead, they watch, talk, sleep and eat football, so to speak. Take any boy and ask him the name of any of the footballers for Barcelona or Chelsea or Man City. They will not only tell you the names of the footballers, but also how many goals they have ever scored, how many matches they played and so on and so forth! But ask that student to construct a sentence using the third person singular, and huh… he will start to stumble. Worse still, if you were to ask such a person to recite a chapter from the Holy Qur’an or you ask them for a quotation from the Bible, they will not be able to give you one!
The worry is that this is not only students but our youth who can be rightly referred to as the workforce of our dear motherland are as infected as the school going youth. Some people can spend an entire day arguing about football. If it were only arguing then it could have been tolerable but it hardly stops there. Most of the time you see people fighting to the extent of stabbing each other and the cause will be nothing more than football argument. I once heard of a young man who took his own life in one of the East African countries because the team he supports in Europe had lost the champions league! Now that is what I call rhythmical madness! A team in Europe, who do not know our young men here, they have no idea about the struggle we face in order to develop our country but are simply doing what they do to better their lives, play football and be paid, we leave what we do for a living and go and watch them do their job, ‘dafa ndohe de, … wolla?’
My point is, a sport is of course important for the development of any nation because it promotes the wellbeing of the people – health wise. And as it is said, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. As a nation therefore, we should do everything to promote the development of sports, football in particular, but not at the expense of our work to develop the key sectors of our economy!
Nusrat Senior Secondary School]]>