Friday, March 21, 2008

Rapid - Steaua

Yesterday's encounter between the two was stopped due to fans throwing stuff (cigarette lighters - I think) at the referee and onto the pitch. Score was 1-0 for Rapid before the game was cancelled and the official outcome is to be established by a league committee. Since Rapid were the home team, the most likely decision is a 3-0 win for Steaua and who knows what other sanctions for Rapid.

At first glance, this is good news for Steaua's fans, but me being one of them, I'm having second thoughts about the entire story. This is a new item on the list of accusations brought against Steaua by those who say this club is bribing referees. Looking back at the mistakes referees made during the previous two games, its clear the victories were influenced by their decisions. I still can't admit this interference was premeditated and paid for, but even so, the team isn't displaying a convicing act and not living up to its reputation and goals.

A second aspect is the fact that club officials and even the players acted cowardly about this whole thing. Steaua's players left the pitch in a rush with no remorse for not having proven worty of the victory, while its managers and club owner were strongly rejecting the idea of a rematch. I think a dozen other aspects were and are still discussed on sports news and talk shows, some based on pure speculation, others on certain precedents. In fact, I suppose sports televisions and newspapers were the only ones who gained something from all this - a new opportunity to spread hatred and increase their ratings with a new scandal and their well oriented questions and comments. As far as fans are concerned, this was a disgraceful display of cowardice and stupidity which has only fueled frustration of both sides.

All in all this was a rather nasty episode in Steaua's history. I suppose this all leads to a question I have to ask myself every now and then: why should we keep watching Romanian football? Romanian - because these teams and players represent us and our country in European and world tournaments and they've already made us proud so many times. Keep watching football - hmm... because football is like real life. I can't believe I'm using such a cliche, but it's true and such events only come to prove it. We all have our moments when we're down and weak and moments of glory and victory. We all act cowardly from time to time, thinking we should save our energy to fight a more important battle. We can all show hypocrisy and say that we would have acted differently than our adversaries, had we been in their place. But to understand what really makes it all worthwhile, have a look below...

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