Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bravo little Ascoli

Thierry Henry showed the bad side of the modern game when he deliberately handled the ball twice to enable France to score against Ireland in their World Cup qualification play-off recently and thus qualify for next year’s World Cup finals.

Diego Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal in 1986 was another prime example of lack of sportsmanship.

Argentina won 2-1 and went on to win the World Cup while England were eliminated.

But, Saturday saw a ray of sunshine in terms of sporting behaviour in, of all places, Italy.

Ascoli are struggling at the foot of Serie B, yet they showed remarkable sportsmanship in their game against Reggina.

Ascoli led 1-0 through a controversial 14th-minute goal.

As Reggina’s Carlos Valdez lay injured on the ground, he tried to kick the ball out of play so that he could receive treatment.

Ascoli intercepted the attempted clearance and scored.

Reggina’s players were furious and defender Andrea Costa was sent off for his vehement protests to the referee.

Ascoli’s players knew they had done the wrong thing in scoring the goal and they did the right thing when play was re-started with a kick-off - they stood aside and allowed Reggina to score unopposed and make it 1-1.

Ascoli went on to lose this home match 3-1.

The three points lost may yet prove crucial at season’s end when relegation is decided.

Ascoli certainly deserve a FIFA fair play award.

Well done, Ascoli. Let’s see if FIFA recognise you. After all, they have 'Fair Play' banners hanging everywhere.

Where do readers of this blog stand?


Charlie White said...

Walter - a good news story. I love the sentiment and to be honest think that sportsmanship is alive and well in the Tas. leagues, I don't remember any incident where I really thought that someone "cheated" their way to a favourable outcome in any game I played in. My only concern with the rules and precedent of kicking the ball out is that if the player gets the magic water and then plays on, why was the game stopped in the first place? I think that if treatment is called for a player then it should be a mandatory 5 minute treatment time, so that players that go down don't do it to gain an advantage. Paulo Di Canio's fair play in the EPL a few years ago is still the greatest display of fair play that I have seen, great player, great sport.

Brian Young said...

Interesting, & noble action, but in reality, no player is obliged to do a "di Canio." One can only imagine what a manager such as Arsene Wenger would have said if his players had "played dead" after the kickoff.

Anonymous said...

well done Ascoli

Rage against the machine said...

There is a precedence being set in the game today where players are 'expected' to kick the ball out of play if an opposing player goes down injured. Failure to do so risks the wrath of opposing players the benches, as well as opposing spectators and is fast becoming a tactic of some teams to halt the flow of play or to disrupt an attack by the opposition. Players are not equiped to make these decisions and should be fully entitled to play on except where an injury is clearly apparent (frank bleeding, head injury, fracture, dislocation, etc.). The onus of responsibility is (fortunately or unfortunately) upon the referee and he/she should blow for a stoppage immediately if their is concern. If an injury is not obvious, play should be continued.

In my (humble) opinion and with a medical background, a player laying on the ground and attempting to kick the ball out of play is not grounds for stopping play. Admittedly, I did not witness the passage of player but it hardly sounds as though the injured player required 'urgent' attention.

Richard Bennett said...

I'm heartened Walter. no 3 points or goal is bigger than the notion of sportsmanship.

the sheppard said...

its not that the spirit is alive and well in the league here, but whether the referees are doping their job to the same guidelines. no team i feel would step aside and i would not instruct my team to do so, but i would not have accepted the goal to begin with. lets not sit on the fence. and there would be only a handful of players that would have accepted the goal in the first place- hmm just at the top of my head yes, there is a couple

the sheppard said...

doing, not doping- but the way they ref it wouldn't surprise me

Amazed said...


Is mandatory five minutes fair if the injury is a result of a foul tackle by the opponent? I think not.

Players should leave the decision re halting play to the referee. If the referee believes that it is a serious injury he will stop play - otherwise the player will be given the opportunity to be assessed by a trainer at the next stoppage.

Charlie White said...

amazed - if it is the result of a foul tackle then I would assume a stoppage would occur anyway, what I meant was the player who goes down in a fair tackle and then rolls around in apparent agony, then is ready to play on immediately (assuming the ball has been kicked out to stop play by the opposing team) should be made to miss 5 minutes or some period of time, if it is a foul plain and simple or a player goes down and needs treatment (without the ball being kicked out of play) then I have no problem with them coming back on . The problem is as a few people have alluded to the ball being kicked out and play stopped so that someone can then jump up and keep going, it doesn't seem fair.

Amazed said...


life is difficult enough as it is for referees. Can you imgine a "genuinely' injured player being made to sit out for five minutes because the referee thought he was faking? I dont think it would work - and neither do FIFA as these along with many similar ideas have already been considered and not implemented because the cure being put forward is worse than the disease.

Part of the issue is players taking it upon themselves to kick the ball out - they should wait for the referee to stop play.

Charlie White said...

amazed - if he is genuinely injured would he be coming back on anyway? This was not a criticism of referees in any way it was was actually a criticism of players who play on the need keep the game safe for all involved. I don't pretend that this is an easy problem to solve and i don't think that it is going to be solved, thankfully it is not a problem that often changes games, unlike diving...

Captain said...

Let the ref decide if the game needs stopping.

Where do we draw the line?

Anonymous said...

I can remember a number of times last season where a player went down in apparant pain and play was halted only to discover it was cramp. I also remember an opposition player telling his team mate to tell the ref it was not cramp just so play could be halted. I think Kim Barker was one of the only refs that would actually keep play going when it was just a case of cramp. I think this would be a prime reason to leave it up to the ref.

Who cares said...

where was that then? do you reckon we should fix that spot?

Banksie said...

I'm sure Ascoli will be delighted to get a fair play award and drop to serie C. : )