Football is about fraternity

Pope Benedict told us. And he is right. But it’s not just that. If we’re honest, it’s also about competition. Big-time.

The current trend to attempt to remove all forms of rivalry and competition from the lives of our children is highly irresponsible and smacks of ‘hippy gone wrong’.

The trend doesn’t just apply to football, of course, although the Pope’s latest missive inspired me to finally tackle the topic. Children nowadays are being taught – at schools, playgrounds, nursery clubs and everywhere – that competition is an evil thing.

We are all winners, children are blightly taught. Erm. No we are most certainly not. And if you’re going to teach your kids that no matter what the standard of their performance – whether related to sport or academia – they’re winners, well all I can say is that you’re setting them up for a very bad fall indeed.

Reality is that life is based on competition. Charles Darwin didn’t coin the term ‘survival of the fittest’ on a whim. He coined it because only the thicker-skinned of whichever species go far in life. The rest, if they’re not on top of the food-chain, go extinct.

Humans don’t go extinct (as yet) so they’ll simply fall by the wayside to lead a mundane life – or a struggling existence if they’re unlucky.

Of course, in no way am I advocating the kind of ruthless competition that overrides all common sense and civilised behaviour. The term ‘healthy competition’ might be a cliché, but it works well to illustrate my point.

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