Let’s Keep Sport Sporting

If there’s one thing about sport that really annoys me, it’s cheating.

Now I don’t mean in a criminal taking bribes to throw a game kind of way. That’s an obvious one which ruins any sense of sport for everyone – and jail time is a perfectly reasonable solution to that.

What I’m talking about is the casual cheating that goes on. Some players or sports people even think of it as some kind of ‘tactical play’! To win a free kick or penalty means forcing an error from the opponent by putting them under pressure. It does not mean taking a dive and hoping your theatrics convince the ref.

Call 911, he breathed on me.

This kind of thing deserves serious fines and match bans. It’s not how you play a proper game – it’s cheating.

The same thing goes for shirt tugging, psychological BS like name calling or “oops, so sorry my elbow ended up deep in your gut, how did that happen”. Seriously, if you’re resorting to this kind of rubbish, then it’s because you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough to beat your opponent fairly. And you’re not good enough to be out there representing your fans.

Cricket used to be the game held up as an example of how gentleman play sport. That went down the pan too didn’t it. More psychological name calling, manipulating the ball, ‘accidental’ dangerous bowling – then the whole bribes thing.

What has happened to our sport? Why do we sit back and watch players cheating in the world cup – without getting outraged? I don’t care if the ref missed it, I saw it along with millions of other people. Let FIFA review footage after the event and hand out fines, bans or even team disqualifications where blatant cheating is captured on film.

And if you play with mates, or for a local club – set the standard, don’t stoop to this kind of cheap rubbish. You’re better than that.

There’s More To A Game Than The Game

football fans in the pub

I know it’s a game of two halves, but there really is more to football than that. It’s not just 90 minutes of play and that’s it. For the players or the fans alike.

Obviously the players spend a shed load of time on training and fitness to even be considered to appear in that 90 minutes. But that’s not what I mean. For fans there is just as much beyond the first and final whistles. We’ve all dissected a game in the pub at full time. Or sunk a few pints before the match in a pub full of nobody but fans of your team. That’s a big part of football.

There’s even more to it than that of course. If you are into betting there is a whole world of football betting you can get lost in. It’s a bit more complicated than horses because you’ve only got 2 possible winners in a match. I know that sounds confused but because one team is often much more likely to win, bookies don’t make it that easy on you (or they’d lose their shirts). So if you don’t know, there are lots of good guides online that explain it. It’s not hard when you get the basics, it’s just a bit different. It does add a whole extra layer of excitement to being a football fan though.

You also get to travel to matches sometimes for the Premiere League or if you’re lucky the big competitions too like the World Cup, and that travel aspect adds yet more to being a fan. There’s a lot of camaraderie with groups of fans overseas – and I don’t mean in the negative sense often depicted on TV – I mean real happy comradeship amongst a group of like-minded people. It’s great being part of that crowd.

Even at school many of us ‘lived’ football 24-7. We collected stickers or cards (Panini anyone?) of teams. We played football at lunchtime, we played it again in sports lessons and again on the way home after school. When we weren’t playing it were arguing about which team was the best, or which player or who would make up our ultimate fantasy team. Then we stopped at the shop on the way home to pick up the latest football magazine, and pulled out the poster to add to the collection on our wall.

Football has always been so much more than just a 90 minute game, it really is a way of life for many fans just like the professionals.

Premiere League Soccer In A Nutshell


Launched in 1992 the Barclay’s Premier League (BPL), or English Premiere League as it has been known outside of the UK, has rapidly grown into the most popular sports league in the world. The Premier League consists of 20 teams. During a season each club will compete twice in one home match and one away. The 38 total matches are played out during the length of the season running from August to May.

While other European Leagues take a winter break the Premiere League plays through, only stopping if some FIFA- mandated international break calls away some of the Premier League Players to play for their respective countries in an international event.

Premiere League has become quite a popular spectacle for many reasons. The skill of the many world-class players and the wild crowds that fill the stadiums up and down Wales and England are only some of the attractions.

The games in the Premier League also have very unpredictable outcomes, making the final league standings very difficult to predict. Other European leagues have more predictable outcomes, in Spain, for instance, the consistent victors have been Real Madrid and Barcelona.

In the Premier League, the teams that occupy the bottom three positions each year are placed into the Championship, the 2nd tier of English Soccer. While the four teams occupying the top positions qualify for the UEFA Champions League which is the most prestigious soccer tournament. Here the qualifying teams will play against the best teams from Europe.

Although the teams in the top four positions automatically qualify for the Champions League, the fourth team must win the Champions League Playoff in August to claim the spot. Teams holding fifth and sixth place qualify for the UEFA Europa League and depending on the outcomes of the FA cup and League Cup the teams in Sixth and Seventh positions may also qualify.

If the team holding the FA cup also qualifies for the Champions League, this spot will go to the team in the next position. If that team has also qualified than the next team with the best position from the Premier League will take the spot.

Due to the Fair Play initiative there is one other available spot in the Europa League. Should the Premier League take one of the top three positions in European Fair Play Rankings, the team with the highest Fair Play rankings, which has not yet qualified, automatically secures a spot in the UEFA Europa League’s first qualifying round.