Spontaneous sportsmanship broke out in a recent international soccer match between Al Nahdha, an Omani soccer club, and Al Ittihad, a Saudi soccer club. I’ll take my encouragement from wherever I can get it these days.
Al Nahdha’s goalkeeper was about to make a clearance early in the second half of a 2-2 tie, but hesitated because his shoelace was untied, and seemed worried that his shoe would fly off. An opposing player, a Brazilian striker named Jobson, noticed the goalkeeper’s dilemma and instead of taking advantage of the soccer equivalent of a wardrobe malfunction, tied his opponent’s shoelace for him. The surprised and grateful goalkeeper slapped Jobson on the back and gave him a high-five as the crowd cheered its approval, then he kicked the ball.
A ref, however, spoiled the moment by signaling that the goalie had delayed the game by taking too long with his clearance. He awarded an indirect free kick to Al Ittihad , and Al Nahdha lined up to defend. Then, after talking the situation over, the Saudi team took what could have been its shot at a game-deciding goal.
The team just kicked the ball harmlessly past the goal, refusing the penalty (and rebuking the referee), while also making certain that its earlier good sportsmanship wasn’t rendered pointless by a gratuitous ruling.
The crowd loved it.
I bet I would have too, if I would let myself be caught dead at a soccer match.
[Disclaimer: The title on the video above is the opinion of the video poster, and does not necessarily represent the views of Ethics Alarms.]
Pointer: Jonathan Turley