It’s heart-warm­ing to see fans pull to­gether over Muamba tragedy

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

IF there’s one pos­i­tive thing that has come out of Fabrice Muamba’s shock­ing sit­u­a­tion, it’s that foot­ball fans CAN act with some class and dig­nity.

Sup­port­ers of clubs across the land have joined hands in pray­ing that the Bolton player re­cov­ers from the car­diac ar­rest he suf­fered in Satur­day’s FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane.

Flow­ers, scarves and mes­sages of good­will have been laid at Bolton’s Ree­bok Sta­dium and the London Chest Hospi­tal where the 23-yearold re­mains in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

Cyn­ics will mock of course – they al­ways do. It’s faux outrage, they say.

But is it any more false than the be­hav­iour of thou­sands of fans ev­ery week­end at foot­ball games all around the coun­try?

Mock­ing the dead, ques­tion­ing sex­u­al­ity, ac­cus­ing peo­ple of pae­dophilia, ca­sual racism – it’s all in a day’s work for far too many sup­port­ers.

And why are so many fans seem­ingly a hair-trig­ger away from kick­ing shit out of an op­pos­ing sup­porter?

Any­one who has had the du­bi­ous plea­sure of sit­ting in the ‘wrong end’ at a foot­ball match will know what I’m talk­ing about. are to breathe the wrong ac­cent, or ap­plaud the wrong team’s play, and nine times out of ten you’ll be met with a plume of spit, a con­torted face and a shak­ing fist.

And why? Be­cause you like one set of over-paid mil­lion­aires more than an­other?

Yet these peo­ple who abuse, fight,

Dspit, swear and act like cave­men de­nied their piece of di­nosaur flesh will then trot home and cud­dle the baby, kiss the wife and set­tle down to The An­tiques Road­show.

Too many treat foot­ball as a bub­ble – a sep­a­rate world where they can be­have how they wish with­out con­se­quence – and f*** any­one who gets in their way.

You only have to ven­ture onto so­cial net­work­ing sites for an in­sight into the world of the foot­ball moron.

Over the week­end, a Swansea Univer­sity stu­dent was ar­rested for mak­ing “racially of­fen­sive” com­ments about Muamba on Twit­ter.

On Sun­day ‘Fabrice Muamba RIP’ was a trend­ing topic on the site be­cause so many sickos had in­cluded it in their posts. ut for the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple the ‘foot­ball mask’ slipped for once.

Ev­ery­one re­mem­bered they were hu­man af­ter all and all of a sud­den the petty point-scor­ing, name-call­ing and bait­ing was shown up for what it re­ally is – a load of in­signif­i­cant bol­locks.

Muamba’s car­diac ar­rest put things into per­spec­tive – but it SHOULDN’T take some­thing as shock­ing as that to put things into per­spec­tive. Fans should be able to find their moral com­pass with­out the prod a su­per-fit foot­baller fight­ing for his life pro­vides.

Bill Shankly once fa­mously said: “Foot­ball’s not a mat­ter of life and death – it’s much more im­por­tant than that.”

Shankly got a lot of things right but he got that so, so wrong.


CARING FANS: Mes­sages of sup­port out­side the Ree­bok

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