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Australian football must turn this crisis into an opportunity

Ante Covic - crucial at the back for the Wanderers. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Roar Guru
28th March, 2013
11

There was plenty of interest yesterday in the article Time for A-League supporters to take responsibility.

It seems that there is a great divide between sporting fans here on The Roar.

Much of the speculation centred on whether or not there was a worrying level of anti-social behaviour surrounding football in Australia.

Truth be told there is, but before you start tapping away on your keyboards coming up with any number of indignated responses, please consider my next statement. Anti-social behaviour is a blight on the entire Australian sporting landscape – not just football.

We can discuss the merits behind the belief that anti-social behaviour is sensationalised in the media until the end of time, although it probably is sensationalised.

However, the current behaviour of the media is beside the point. Sporting culture in Australia is not able to discourage behaviour that is not to our societal expectations.

I believe that there is a fantastic opportunity for the FFA and A-League to become a sporting model in Australia. With the A-League being the newest of the major sporting competitions in Australia I believe they have the opportunity to nip any issues that are present off the field in the bud.

I recall a Simpsons episode in which Lisa tells Homer that the Chinese have a word that means both crisis and opportunity. Crisitunity.

The is an opportunity for footballing bodies in Australia to unite and build a new standard for sports in Australia.

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If the FFA appears to be doing something against perceived problems in football then they are being more proactive than most sports in Australia.

In all reality the media is going to sensationalise a lot of the material that is reported. It is all part of the need to remain relevant when many people are turning away from traditional forms of reporting.

The A-League is seemingly being targeted. It is the easiest to point the finger at, being relatively new compared to the other established football leagues, and with football having had its issues in the past, most of these overseas.

The fact that the general public is naive to the real social issues behind football hooliganism and riots in around the world is convenient for a media that is trying to create hysteria about anything and everything.

I believe that with some strong PR responses from the FFA, football can gain from the ill-informed reporting surrounding the A-League.

But heck, if you are trying to become a united front against crime and hooliganism don’t use the word crime in your catch cry.

Passion is not a crime – but short sighted and poorly thought out movements should be.

No matter how many times I hear that catch cry I can’t help but link it to some sort of movement that encourages the odd fan who takes his passion a little far.

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Hopefully the crisitunity at hand can be taken by the FFA and turned into something fresh and innovative.

One Passion, one Game.