Compliments of the New Season my fellow soccer lovers, though I know some of you would like to say “Complaints of the New Season” if you didn’t end on a high note and that note being that your team didn’t win any tournament this past December.
Well let me say this my team (Soweto Diamonds FC) didn’t win any tournament they entered either quite heart-breaking for the young men and I. I would like to take this opportunity say this, I am super proud of every single one of them, they exhibited skill, discipline and passion towards every game we played even though at times the results were not in our favour. I guess that’s what make us the Diamonds that we are.
Now that is out of our way: I know that I usually rant about soccer fraternities and the players, be it positive or negative. For this once my tirades are about “The Fans”, the most significant component of this engine called Soccer. You see without the fans there would be no soccer or any other sports for that matter, because fans are what give sportsmen and women the motivation and determination to excel in their sports, they don’t only do it for themselves or the financial rewards they do it for you The Fan.
This past December at the couple of tournaments that I attended as a spectator there was drama and when I say drama I mean Generations and its 16 actors has nothing on what I witnessed. I observed true love for particular teams that got fans avalanched with emotion. I understand that as fans there is true passion and love for the team and individuals that you support at these tournaments and yes granted these teams need this kind of loyalty for them to excel as a team, not only at local tournament but maybe as far as the PSL.
The tournament organisers depend on you the fans to come support your teams thus also supporting the tournament as well, this is how tournament organisers attract sponsors for their respective tournaments. These organisers not only have the wellbeing and development of teams on their minds but they also do this to bring you the fans entertainment and the opportunity to see raw talent before it gets selected to higher teams thus setting a stage where this talent can be showcased.
As fans we have a duty to protect and respect what is brought to us locally free of charge. Our behaviour at each tournament determines whether the tournament continues, as fans we must remember that tournaments with major sponsors have responsibilities to fulfil to appease the sponsors and crowd control is one of them, no one wants to be associated with something dangerous especially corporates.
At the tournaments that I attended there was disorderliness from the crowds particularly if they felt their team is winning and the opposing team equalises, the worst of these where members of the crowd throwing firecrackers at opposing goalkeepers. This is by all means unnecessary behaviour, which is not only endangering the players but those who have come to enjoy the sports
This forces the organisers to look towards more security for such events and thus taking extreme measures to ensure that the games go on without a hiccup, these hiccups you must remember costs the organisers money especially if they go off the schedule. These additional security measure cost the organisers more money leading to a diminished price money to cover these costs, which will not be fair to the teams entering these competitive tournaments. Another consideration would be the ban of alcoholic beverages and you know that will not go down well.
So this is a plea to all fans for upcoming tournaments to check yourselves and think about what you about to do and how it will affect the rest of us who do this for the love and development of soccer. Let’s try enjoy every game bought to us in the same disciplined manner we would if where at official stadiums.
Having said all of that, Congratulations to all the teams that won at the respective tournaments they entered and well done to all the team that entered, the fact that you even tried makes you Diamonds in my eyes.