Saturday, February 03, 2007

Which is worse? Bad refereeing or walking off?

If you watched the 1st leg of the Asean Football final between Thailand and Singapore, what did you think about during the 15 minutes when play was halted because the Thai players walked off the pitch due to their dissatisfaction with a penalty awarded by the referee?

Did you agree with this irate letter writer (Warut Promboon) who wrote in to Today newspaper saying:

Let's face it. We know what went wrong on Wednesday. Wrong penalty awarded first and wrong walk off second.

Let's get the facts straight.
Well, Warut... you're half right. You right that both incidents are wrong. But you're dead wrong that the second is somehow justified or of lesser significance, because of the first.

That's suicide bomber logic. Talibani-math.

It's the mindset that an immoral initial transgression warrants and morally justifies an equally or worse immoral response... but with the accompanying fallacy that the immorality of that response is somehow mitigated by the immorality of the initial transgression.

That's the excuse that aggressors use to justify their aggression. The excuse that someone or something forced their hand, that their aggressive response is a justifiable price to pay in order to right a perceived wrong.

So, Warut alleges bad refereeing resulted in a bad penalty. Therefore, the Thai players were justified to walk off the pitch, halting the match.

Bad refereeing is a fact of life. And in football circles, an unavoidable fact of life. And all sportsmen learn to live with it. In addition (and this is a big addition), at the time of the walk-off, nobody could rightly confirm the referee's lapse of judgement until an inquiry is held after the match! Therefore, the bad refereeing was still an uncertainty, a strong suspicion at best.

On the other hand, the walk-off would have been wrong under any circumstances. Man-handling the referee would have been wrong under any circumstances. The Thai players know that, but they did both anyway. And THAT, is why Thailand should be disqualified from the tournament.

I am shocked that more people don't see the difference. But my guess is... that those are the same people who think the 2006 coup that unseated Taksin's government was justified. The same people who believe that the suspicions and demands of roughly 10 million inhabitants of Bangkok - justify the utter rejection of democracy and the overthrowing of a government still supported by the remaining 50+ million Thais outside Bangkok.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you got me wrong there. If you read the article by Leonard Thomas, you would know that the article is biased. I only urge people to look at two sides of the coin. There is no excuse to walk off the field. In fact, Thai team should be fined and the goal on the penalty shot should be reverted. Now I think you are wrong to draw a conclusion between a soccer match and the current situation in Thailand. I am not sure how much you know about Thai politics and the democracy in Thailand but I think we need to separate sports from politics. As a Thai, I do not like the coup as well as Taksin and i am happy to educate you separately. Please also refrain from stereo-typing and personal attacking. It will poison your mind...