Football is perhaps one of the few games in the world where one person’s suffering is another’s survival. Despite all the rules and regulations, its seems it is perfectly legitimate to cheat not in a subtle way but in front of millions of televised viewers and thousands of punters in stadiums. It seems anachronistic then that cameras have not deployed in this deceptive game. But more of that later. I want to focus on the ethics of cheating.

The E word – Ethics is all about morality. From the day we are born we are taught the difference between wrong and right. So then is it virtuous to be in a goalmouth in the last-minute of a game keeping the ball out of the net with bare hands. Or as a goalie, watching a ball bounce clearly over the line, is it right to simply stay silent? What makes it all so much worse is we know that they know that we know they are cheats. And that tag line will follow guilty parties for the rest of their lives.

Maradona is no Pele in my mind. He was a great player but that ‘hand of god’ in 1986 against England, will mark him out for life as a cheat. I know he then went on to score a phenomenal goal where he dribbled round 6 England players and banged it into the net but that hand, for all the world to see stamped on our collective globalised football psyche to eternity.

So how come no one ever admits they cheated. Take Suarez, the latest ‘hand of god’ footballing fatality. Claiming he ‘had no choice’ but to play goalie, his immoral move effectively kept Ghana out of the semi-finals. He will miss one match but who knows if Uruguay beat Holland – an unlikely feat – Luis Suarez may get the chance to cheat again.

Football needs cameras just like politicians need accountability. What would people like to be remembered for – their goals – or acts of deception. Pele in my mind will live forever, as a legend. Diego Maradona,Luis Suarez and a plethora of others…wont!

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