CapeTownFootball journalist Kyle Lewis shares his insight on the maturity of the PSL, compared to the top leagues in Europe
As I saw the news of Gareth Bale’s car being kicked and attacked, I realized how lucky we are to have such a tolerant soccer league. I’ll admit that it’s not the most technically astute soccer available, but I’d rather have that than the cynical behavior of hooligans.
In a perfect league, racism isn’t a regularity and players respect one another as well as fans. But football doesn’t do ideal worlds.
The animosity overseas in the top leagues between the clubs, and the supporters, are gigantic. In England, it’s been particularly noteworthy over the past couple of years, Hillsborough and Munich-related chants have increased. These are incidents between Manchester United and Liverpool that stole so many souls, yet, are disgustingly used as banter towards each other.
So there goes sympathy. If it’s not chants then its racism towards blacks.
Legend says, ‘old habits die hard.’ Whether its Luis Suarez racist remarks towards Patrice Evra, Chelsea fans not allowing a black guy on the train, in Paris or Dani Alves being thrown with bananas – it’s disgustingly abusive and inhuman but yet people get away with it.
No sympathy, no equality, at least they come to football stadiums to watch football or do they?
Recently there have been too many incidents of national teams and club supporters letting off flares, or perhaps to be more accurate smoke bombs.
Can someone please elaborate the reason for lighting them, what do they achieve by delaying a football match and acting like foolish hooligans? Or the awkward scenes of people invading the pitch, with or without clothes, stopping the matches momentum because they got dared.
The slogan “no pyro, no party,” has grown tremendously which accompanies an epidemic of smoke bombs at grounds up and down the countries at all levels of the game.
So they’re racist, immature, un-sympathetic and let’s not forget the sexist chants directed at female physio’s when they enter the pitch.
Well, lucky for the footballers, football is only on the pitch or is it?
If players abroad had a bad game they receive thousands of twitter “tweets” with slander towards them and their families, or sometimes even the more radical approach of bus attacks with the most recent example taking place in Turkey. Trabzonspor fans attacked the Fenerbahce team bus with bricks that lead to big injuries.
This is what football has come to.
The age of the mavericks being looked up to and football has been used as a platform for intolerance. Sometimes shockingly labeled as, ‘passion from the fans.’
But then you get the PSL, a highly disciplined and mature league with most of the controversial incidents happening off field.
You wouldn’t expect that of a country so encompassed with consistent hooliganism, whether it’s the group of blockhead people striking in South Africa, throwing bins down and robbing shops, or our government starting a civil war in parliament.
However, the PSL remains a calm environment. Why? Maybe because they come to a football match to watch football – the way it should be.
The only time PSL actually stole headlines was when Pitso Mosimane was thrown with objects after performing badly at Sundowns, but nothing really hit him.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the PSL is so unattractive to some, maybe we idolize the rebellious behavior that majority find entertaining.
If that’s so, the direction we going into, feels like one step forward and two steps back to the traditions of the 70s and 80s.