Justice and mercy
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Discipline is a pre-requisite for harmony as it propagates tolerance and understanding. When a society is wanting in discipline, it is in effect, at a state of war with itself. Confusion, unrest, banditry, and all sorts of destabilizing situations, are what such a society stands to gain. The result is uncertainty for its subsequent generations. This is why we are very much particular about the subject.
Our concern is evident of the number of times we have attempted to address the issue here on this column. This time it is the case of the Gambian defender in trouble with the laws of his profession.
We might not be football pundits, but we know that it takes a set of participants to make a football game. As we have constantly put it all along, and as it is for every other trade, without a core of disciplined players, the football industry is doomed. The same thing is true for all the other stakeholders in the game. This does not in anyway exclude the referees and the other officials we tend to overlook.
The impulsive act by the young man, by slapping a referee in the pitch of play, was despicable and punishable. And from what we gather since the incident occurred, the view of every football follower is that there should be some form of harsh punishment for such deeds.
However, the idea behind punishing an offender is to correct them. The manner of punishment determines the effectiveness of the intent. For all we know, the accused is currently under an indefinite suspension, which means that he can be pardoned even as we go to press. But it also means that he can be forgotten about. And the implication is that his carrier will be damaged. That will certainly be in no one's interest.
The young Daily Observer editorial writer has had his say, but the elderly Editor-in-Chief's much more stern view is that the offence of slapping a referee is so gross that a life-time ban would be in order! Readers are free to respond!