Dialogue is civility and should be championed
Posted Monday, September 30 2013 at 01:00
It is highly unlikely that you grew up in a family where you and/or your family members did not disagree at one time or another. There must have been at least that one day where you fought, sulked, acted petulantly, argued or insulted one of your own. If it wasn’t at home, it must have been with your neighbour. If not, it must have been at school, probably with your best friend or desk mate.
We are innately created to believe we are right. We tend to suppose we know it all and very rarely accept that we can actually be awfully wrong. That is all ok, provided we acknowledge that to err is innate too. Unless you landed from Mars yesterday morning, Ugandan sport has been awash with disputes of many forms. Some, like the Uganda Olympic Committee and amateur boxing, have been resolved to a point that is perhaps categorical.
Others differences continue unabated. The most glaring one because of the sport involved, football, is a tired tale that needs no revisiting. The minister of education and sports Jesicca Alupo has abundantly failed and at the same time, we are back to the madness of parallel leagues.
A new Fufa administration under Moses Magogo was ushered but is already grappling with the load of the old administration. In all this, the one lasting solution to the disputes is either being avoided or ignored altogether.
There were dialogue sessions between Magogo and the Uganda Super League officials, who are up in arms after Fufa proscribed their semi-autonomous status. Mostly, at least as of last season and the one before, those sessions were forced on the two parties by the ministry.
Clearly, they were bound to fail. The talks were premised on wrong foundations. For them to bear fruit, the Fufa team and USL group had to, or have to acknowledge that it is in the best interests of them all to operate from the same page. Pulling apart was neither good for them or Uganda.
There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. There is, however, everything wrong with refusing to bridge disagreements. Working around disputes is maturity and civility. Meeting a real or perceived enemy is not a sign of weakness. It is gesture of strong leadership. It is not possible that routine meetings of extensive discussions can fail to heal the disagreements affecting league football.
It is not just a football problem. There have been protracted wrangles in the other big federations and associations such as rugby and cricket. There have also been rows in the relatively smaller sports like pool and tennis.
Football’s issues stand out most because of their magnitude and the popularity of the sport. Until dialogue, not a court summon, is promoted as the only solution, sport will remain stagnant.
Embracing of technology much welcome in football
Arguably the best news in football this year has been the embracing of goal-line technology. The cases for and against technology have been prominent for a while now, but common sense prevailed once Fifa confirmed they had endorsed the idea for next year’s World Cup. Finally, football can embrace an age where genuine goals are counted and no-goals not awarded.
The Premiership is already using goal-line technology as witnessed in the Hull-West Ham match on Saturday, and everyone including those who opposed it must surely be impressed that the work of the officials is easier. The arguments against technology are lazy. There is no point in football retaining its human feel when goals are dubiously awarded like Luis Garcia’s in the 2005 Uefa Champions League semi-final.
Those who suggested it would slow down the game have been proven wrong. The anti-technology view that football must be the same everywhere is also lame. The balls played in our league(s) are of cheap quality compared to the onion bag kicked in the Premiership, La Liga or Serie A. It doesn’t make the soccer different, does it?
Simeone one of the few to make transiton into management
Atletico Madrid being the seventh club he is coaching in as many years, Diego Simeone’s nous on the touchline merited scrutiny not so long ago. But more than three trophies he has delivered at the Vicente Calderon in two years and a best league finish in 17 years, Simeone has given Los Rojiblancos a Barcelona-esque identity that is manifested in their victories. They were deserved winners over Madrid for the first time in 14 years - further evidence that Simeone is one of the few good players who have fashioned superb management careers.
Kiprotich’s third marathon of the year
Watching Kenyan star Wilson Kipsang set a new world marathon record of 2:03:23 in the Berlin marathon yesterday, inevitably the person of Stephen Kiprotich cropped up. Kipsang, who was beaten into third place at last year’s London Olympics by gold medal winner Kiprotich, is pursuing a cut of the million dollar jackpot - to be split split between the men’s and women’s winners - of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) series and is currently second behind Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede.