Fair play is a big theme of the 2014 World Cup. FIFA has promoted this for over a decade and even dedicates one week a year to promoting the spirit of fair play. During this week, FIFA calls on member associations to organize activities dedicated to fair play and to highlight its importance both on and off the pitch. What does it mean to promote a spirit of fair play at the grassroots level?
Last week I was playing pickup soccer and witnessed an honorable fair play moment by one of the players on the opposing team. Our team thought we had lost possession by kicking it out of bounds but our opponent raised his hand and admitted he touched the ball on the way out. My first reaction was to thank him for his honesty but one of his teammates responded differently. He protested angrily at him in their native language.
I started thinking about the number of dishonest moments that can occur on soccer fields throughout the world every day. When violating fair play we create small acts of injustice that at a global scale creates a culture of tension in the game. PlaySoccer2Give wants to break that tension by promoting generosity and playing fairly is a great way to do it. Let's celebrate, encourage and speak highly of fair play moments on the professional level. While the media loves to show us the negative side of the sport, we need to share stories of honor in this beautiful game. Here's one from Aaron Hunt that inspired another instance of fair play. The same way that injustice breeds injustice, honesty can breed honesty.