Football - a game of unity, not politics
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Let’s talk about football. This game is very simple at first glance. All you need is a ball. Football, or how it is known in the US, soccer, is very popular all over the world, regardless of nation, culture, race, gender and age. The World Cup – 2018 gathered millions of people in a competition, where countries were competing, not by showing off their military might or political influence, but by demonstrating professionalism and the preparedness of well-known athletes to the game.
Football has a power to unite people together. It also facilitates the call for am active and healthy life among people of different ages. However, with growing scale of the game, new problems arise on the stage. Among the popular football players I have favorite athletes that I follow on social networks. Most of them post photos, videos from their training sessions, press conferences, matches and advertisement of sport brands. This summer, unfortunately, I saw a post of a popular football player addressing racist remarks made by some officials, media and fans in his country. At that time I started to think about the place of football on the world stage. What it means for politicians and officials of different countries.
On the World Cup -2018 I saw strong determination from the Croatian team and immense support of their president on the final game in Moscow. However, due to the commercialization and huge popularity of the game, many politicians use it as a tool of propaganda and spreading their ideologies among a wider audience. This happened to a 29-years old football player Mesut Ozil. In his Twitter account he posted a long text, where he accused press, fans and other people for demonstrating a racist attitude towards his Turkish roots. His words: “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose”. Because of unreasonable accusations against Mesut he was left without a support of his sponsors, with whom he planned to visit a German school and help finance children of all nations to play football. Because he posted a photo with a Turkish president Erdogan he was accused of being a Turkish nationalist. As Mesut wrote in his address: “For me, it didn’t matter who was President, it mattered that it was the President. Having respect for political office is a view that I’m sure both the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May share when they too hosted Erdogan in London.” What is bad for a football player having a respectful attitude towards his cultural roots? Should other people call him an immigrant if he lived almost all of his life, was taught, raised and played in Germany? As for media, I agree with Mesut. Instead of spending lots of money to politicize a single photo of a football player, they need to think more about consequences of their actions on the life of an individual and the further problems caused after their articles.
As a result, Mesut Ozil quit a national team, because disrespect of his Turkish roots turned him into political propaganda. Football was a game that connected millions of people. Now, when politics came to the field the game appeared to be a tool of disunity, disrespect and conflict. I am very upset seeing such a professional quitting his beloved national team. I hope that people will understand an incorrectness of such actions and won't repeat mistakes of others.