Saturday, January 9, 2010

Football was so long the game of the masses. The working man's game and also the working man's escape.

An escape from reality in a way, whether it be your work, your homelife or just the little things that get you down.

To many it still is. When you talk to people as to why they sing and chant and swear their heads off at the football, it's a release. You leave your "real" world behind just for those few magical moments you share with your buddies and your team. It makes all the hassles at work seem forgotten when you can use your hard earned cash for a day at the match.

It's not always a bed of roses. There's anguish involved and sometimes disasters, literally (Ibrox, Hillsborough and many more).

When you switch the TV on these days, it's pretty depressing stuff. My wife won't watch the news. It's not that she doesn't want to know what's going on, but because it's all doom and gloom. You struggle to find happy stories at all in some bulletins.

We live in a world of terror. Executed terror attacks, thwarted terror attacks and the media building up the fear of terror attacks.

Sport, and football in particular, is no longer immune from such atrocities as yesterdays attack on the Togo national team in Togo shows. The working man's one last quiet place is no more.

Other sports have been hit recently of course and there's talk of countries withdrawing from the Commonwealth Games later this year in India for fear of terror attacks. I don't know why though, but football always seemed save to me. I guess the recent attack on the Algerian bus in Egypt was a precurser to what was going to follow on the continent, except the Togo incident had nothing to do with misplaced football fervour.

The Togo team seem to have been in the wrong place in the wrong time but in the world we live in today and with football being the global religion that it is, I fear that this won't be the last terror attack to hit the game in the next wee while.

My hearts go out to the Togo players. What should have been the pinnacle of some of their footballing lives has been shattered. They will undoubtedly have the world behind them as they have made the brave decision to carry on in the tournament as a tribute to those who died and as a defiant stand against the terrorists that won't let ordinary people have ordinary lives.

We salute you. Terror must never win.

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