SPORTS has taught us not only to be humble in victory and resolute in defeat, but also be disciplined and play the game upholding its value as well as spirit. Stars are expected to set examples and be role models for upcoming players.
I’m saddened by the increasing number of players who indulge in unruly and unsporting behaviour in this year’s Qatar Stars League (QSL). In the past too, we might’ve seen similar instances, but they were few and far between unlike this time when almost every week we see some ugly incidents, the latest involving Al Sadd and Al Shahaniya.
At a time when fan support is dwindling fast, even those few who come to the stadium to see players perform will also get disheartened by this kind of unruly behaviour and prefer to stay home, dealing a death blow to the sport.
I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of this issue last week. I talked to quite a few fans, officials, administrators and players. A majority of them felt the players were frustrated due to non-payment of salary and wage cut imposed by some clubs. They were of the opinion that when competitors take to the field in a discontented state of mind, they get easily annoyed, more so when decisions go against them.
Most Qataris are also disappointed with the failure of Qatar Players’ Association (QPA), formed to protect their interests. They felt the newly-formed body was working against them and pointed out that it was with the connivance of its officials that clubs implemented the salary cut.
It’s obvious that anybody would get agitated when promises made to them aren’t fulfilled. Our efforts to contact the QPA went in vain.
A few suggested the competition had become tough for top-half teams as bottom ones were mounting serious challenges in their fight for survival, resulting in more fouls, unfair charging offences and dirty as well as retaliatory tackles.
On top of this, some referees are also not performing up to the mark, allowing several situations to go out of control.
The disciplinary committee, on its part, is firm and meting out appropriate punishment to offenders, but I request the QSL to go to the root cause of the issue and find a lasting solution to it.