Monthly Archives: June 2014

Biting v headbutting or shit v skit

The Suarez saga has once again made me reflect on what value we put on actions and words. How they can vary, a lot, in different countries. I am honestly interested in why some consider biting so much worse than a headbutt, elbow towards the head just to give examples of fouls that happen off the ball so to say.

I remember when my eldest child was around two, there was a girl who used to bite. Her mother watched her and did all she could to get her to stop but it didn’t really help. Other children would hit out which was considered “normal”. At the time it seemed really bad that the girl was biting but why is it worse to bite someone than hit someone? In years gone by a bite could make us quite ill but these days tetanus injections and other types of medicine keeps us quite safe.

However following social media it is apparently much worse to bite someone that headbutt, tackle someone so they break a bone, elbow someone in the face, the list goes on. I really would like to know why? The pain and injuries that the other fouls can lead to are much worse. Why does biting make people so upset? I honestly don’t know! I am not condoning it in anyway but it has made me wonder on what grounds we judge? Physical injury? Career ending?  I have no problem seeing it as bad but why worse?

A different example but for me on a similar vein is swearing. In UK my kids come home from school saying sugar, honey, ice and tea as saying shit is BAD!  They then make a game out of it to get around the taboo. In Sweden, my native country, we use skit = shit an  auxiliary sentence modifier that emphasizes the meaning of an adjective eg skitbra which means “very good”.  Swearing in Sweden is generally not considered as very bad but more of a stage children/ teenagers go through. Many continue to use some swear words but again more looked upon as modifiers in the sentence. The use of four letter words are an issue mainly among the young as we get older we look upon the use as childish and uneducated. We generally don’t take offence as much as we judge the person using the word. Obviously there are situations where it can cause problems say if alcohol is involved and other issues are present causing tensions.  Another sport related word that I have learnt is really bad in the UK is “cheat”. I can’t even find an equivalent in Swedish.

Obviously there is a different view on swearing in the UK and in Sweden. I am sure there are loads of similar example from other countries. It is clear that we add values to words and actions, positive or negative,  differently. From what I have read in social media the main outrage regarding the Suarez bite has been in the UK. I haven’t read the media in other countries so I can’t say for sure that this is the case but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. In Arabic countries men hold hands to show affection and friendship, in Western countries this would not happen.

So if anyone has an answer please let me know, all I have seen so far on biting is that it’s worse just because and I shouldn’t have to ask……




Wales and rugby

The EGM has yet to take place but unfortunately I don’t think much will change. The clubs are intimidated by the WRU and some have  been promised things that are yet to happen so few are prepared to rock the boat. This is unfortunate as if they all the clubs talked to each other and rocked the boat it would surely capsize and we would hopefully start again with something better, well could it be worse…

For me twitter has been of interest over the last  few months when these issues have been more in the spotlight. Personally I took the decision 2-3 years ago not to hand over any of my money to the WRU. Two main reasons for this

1. The 4th Autumn International.  Do I need to say more? Gatland says he needs the players at least 2 weeks before a match to prepare. The WRU and Gatland wants a 4th AI that gives the regions less than a week to prepare for the European Cup.  Then Gatland criticises the regions for not performing in Europe…..

2. An interview  with Roger Lewis a few years back saying that Team Wales is the future of Welsh Rugby. No Roger, grassroots are the future of Welsh rugby as that is where your players will come from. As a grassroots coach I would feel betrayed by the WRU. Volunteers in all sports  (I coach football) spend many hours a week, sometimes in horrible conditions as there is no optional roof on our pitches,  making it possible for Wales to field a team not just this year but in years to come. But sorry grassroots rugby coaches what you do is not part of the future.

However, there is one thing  that some clubs have taken as a reason/excuse to stay faithful with the WRU and blame the regions for all ill.. that confuses me…

Compensation for players that they have developed and in their eyes,  the regions steal from them!?

So if I get it right, there are a number of clubs out there who think that they can have a professional rugby team in their town, village? They think they can find the sponsors build a stadium say  Parc Y Scarlets size..keep a business of that size going?

Also this said compensation that they want, I have been wondering where it will come from and the only solution I can see is that they want a transfer system like in football.  During two transfer windows any player can be bought regardless of contract as long as you pay enough money for him. This is the difference, in football the clubs/regions are paid for a player as long he’s under contract and from this payment compensation to the players’ previous clubs is paid is some cases. At the moment most professional rugby players will see through their contract and then sign a new contract which might be with another club. If so their previous club/region is not paid as the player is not bought as in football. There have been a few early release compensations paid, eg George North but they are few and far between.  So my conclusion can only be that they want rugby to be more like football as they would then be able to receive compensation…Because as we all know money doesn’t grow on trees and any form of compensation costs.

I have written a blog before where I talked about  the relationship between clubs and regions, Regional Rugby – Thoughts, so just a recap now. For me a local club would aim to have minis, juniors and a senior team. Some local clubs might be able to field teams in all age groups some not, but the aim is there. I can’t see that it should be the aim for every local club to have their own professional team, that just doesn’t work, anyone disagree?  This means that the professional tier will cover more than one local club while at the same time being the local clubs’ top tier. It is theirs, so when a player goes on to play professionally, maybe starts in the academy, they have reached the local clubs top tier!

Unless of course the local club rather keep the player, as they get no compensation, not encouraging him to reach his full potential as a rugby player which for some could be playing for Wales….