Editorial :

Preserving the glorious uncertainty of sport

As with each direct elimination match, the same scenes of joy and distress take place on the ground. One team laughs, the other cries! So goes life, so goes the sport of competition with its successes and its disillusions. While it is believed that victory is near, a detail (a crossbar…) Tilts the balance in the opposing camp and a whole people fall into despair. In the opposite direction, while all hope of victory seems lost, a miracle occurs and gives back the smile and joy to all.

That’s why we love sports and sports competitions unleash so much passion around the world.

This passion exists and will exist as long as the glorious uncertainty of sport remains. It is the essential condition even if the various actors try to reduce it to the maximum. There are a number of ways to do that. Some legal, other illegal! Thus, optimal preparation of athletes, both tactical and physical, technical and mental allows to give themselves more chance to win the victory. 

In this quest for success, some will be tempted to use illicit means and will call for doping or bribery of arbitrators or players. It may be tempting to succumb to it to increase its chances of success. The objective of establishing strict rules by the competent authorities will be to preserve the uncertain nature of the matches.

Many analysts have been alarmed for several years on the increasingly important reduction of uncertainty in professional football. Indeed, statistics show that there are fewer and fewer surprises and that it is increasingly the same teams that win national or international club competitions. Thus, the arrival in professional football of powerful investors at the head of the clubs, had the effect of concentrating the best players in a very small number of clubs that monopolize the trophies. Aware of this danger, regulators such as FIFA, CAF or UEFA are looking for ways to counter this phenomenon which, by reducing the uncertainty of results, is likely to kill football and its popularity. For example, the financial Fair Play set up by UEFA aims to reduce income gaps between clubs and to recreate suspense. Its effects are not conclusive at the moment, but the approach is to be welcomed.

Last Sunday, we all went to the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium hoping for our team’s victory. Our elimination was a terrible disillusionment at the height of the hope aroused by the excellent result achieved at Ndola. We put all the odds on our side to get the qualification but this one escaped us despite the beautiful performance of our players. It took a while and despite the legitimate disappointment, you have to know reason to keep in view of the results obtained since the beginning of the season. In the name of fair play and the glorious uncertainty of sport, we must accept this defeat and salute the performance of a fighting adversary who deserves, on both matches, victory as much as we do.

To accept it is also to accept that no victory is ever acquired in advance, that anything can happen. This is precisely why we are at the stadium… wishing the victory of our favorite team.


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