Egypt Soccer riots: One more reason not to like Football



Riot during a local match in Egypt is responsible for the death of 74 people with as many as 1000 injured badly.
I often come across discussions where people not into football are considered lame. Or people like us who prefer Cricket over Football are always suggested to grow up and start loving real game like Football and give up Cricket.

The reason most of the time given is unlike Cricket, Football is a fast and exciting game that finishes in a small period of 90 minutes. In comparison it is said that cricket is a lazy game that take up your whole day's time which results in most of the working people working less and concentrating more on the match.

There might be some sense in the reasons given to show how Cricket is not as awesome as Football, but I still feel, Football is a worse game than Cricket.

It is said that Football is a fast game full of excitement. I don't agree. Frankly speaking how many events are worth watching in a football match?
a perfect field goal, a fantastic free hit,  a good save by goal keeper, nice tactics and passes among players etc.
But how much of time these events take up in 90 minutes match? Hardly 5 mins. For rest of the 85 mins actually nothing happens. Goal keeper hits a ball to some player. He hits it to other then third person. The moment somebody come to defend, ball through different passes returns to the goal keeper. If by chance some team scores a goal, then that team surely spends time trying to keep the control of the ball by this method. Most of the matches end up in score 0 - 0 or they are too one sided to enjoy them. And if it is an important decision making match, it will 98% of the time ends in penalty shoot out.
I remember I had started following football way back around 92's and 96's. There were some world cup matches. I remained awake for all the night to watch some of the quarters, semis, finals that used to start sometime around 2.00 AM. To the best of my memory, I do not remember any match where any team scored a single goal. All matches used to end in penalty shoot out. And there hardly were any moments that make you feel excited. May be it was a very odd time to watch a match or I don't find it very exciting if players lazily keep passing ball between themselves, but I decided I am done with watching Football.
Inspite of that last year I decided to give it a try to France-South Africa match  in world cup, 2010. I was in Paris and went with my friends in my Institute's cafeteria to watch the match along with all the students crowded to watch the match on big, wall size screen. The mood was there, people were there, but the match was too pathetic. I went to support France, but by the half time, S. Africa had scored 2 easy goals. People lost interest and after the half time there was hardly any crowd left to watch the match, so the channel was changed to some rock music channel.
 If compared to Cricket, it has three versions. Depending on their taste, fans can select their version of cricket and watch. Unlike earlier days, now even the test cricket are result oriented. Every ball can be an interesting event. Their could be 20 fantastic balls converted into wickets. Forget sixs, even a well guided boundary or a good defending shot earns a "WOW" from fans. The swinging ball, bouncers, Shane Warne's special 90° spins takes your breathe away. In addition fielding nowadays have added extra bits to make the the game more interesting. Since Jonty Rhodes era, when you watch a great catch, or a run out or a good dive to stop a boundary, you wait for a minute to munch on those pop-corns  in your hand.

Cricket might appear lazy apparently but its every ball could be equally exciting unlike the hopeless passes in football.
When you follow football, you have to spend entire 90 mins to watch the match because there hardly are any events in the match and if you miss those then there is nothing left in football. In contrast, cricket is so much eventful that depending on your taste and available time you can decide which part of the match can be skipped and which one is must watch. Those who only like hard hitting can check the beginning and the end of the inning while those who like the technical shots and good running converting ones into twos can watch intermediate overs. But sure enough every and any ball can turn the mood of the match.

We can compare the two games on many more aspects, but one aspect I want to highlight here, is the associated riot-like situation with the respective games. While riots among fans is a very common  thing with soccer, similar situations are hardly heard of in case of Cricket. I understand  that people are passionate about their team, but kind of brutality you come across during these riots are really scary.
I happened to watch some videos on youtube of riots that took place during a local match in Argentina. That totally pulled me out of this game. Now I don't really care how fantastic Beckhams free hit looks. No wonder, the players of the Egyptian local club immediately decided to retire from the game after the incidence.
I stay near a football where european football leagues matches take place quite regularly. I decided to watch one of those, but I was suggested to stay away from going to the stadium which is hardly 10 mins walk from my place. And I realised why on the day of the match, when it was a total chaos and I for the first time saw the city's riot control police  marching right from the corner of my house to the stadium.

Talking of cricket, there might some incidences, but except for one that happened in 1996 semifinals in Calcutta, I struggle to remember any incidence that marks black spot on this game's history. And most of the time it is viewers who are upset with their teams  who burn lights and their hardly are clashes between the fans of the rival team. Atleast I am yet to hear of it. Imagine if the Egypt's soccer ground would have been as big enough as Eden Gardens with a capacity of over 100000 people at a time, the death would have crossed 1000's.

It feels great to play football, but its much more pleasure to play cricket. Same holds while following these games. One thing is for sure, now nobody should suggest that Football is awesome. My answer: No thank you, feel sorry for such awesomeness.

Egypt Soccer riots: One more reason not to like Football Egypt Soccer riots: One more reason not to like Football Reviewed by Ka Jo on February 02, 2012 Rating: 5
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