I hear the weeping and wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the whining, the moaning and the outright begging.
I don’t care about all that. I only care about one thing, and that’s me. Myself. I.
I am the consumer, the customer, the fan. I’m the one spending my hard-earned (and sometimes ill-gotten) cash money on tickets, on transport, on DStv subscriptions and replica merchandise.
I am the one screaming in the ground or at the TV, spending countless hours in debate and argument, countless dollars on food and drink, alcohol and snacks.
If you sell a game, I am the one who is cheated out of a sporting contest, robbed of the experience of witnessing unsullied combat between well-matched adversaries, all going heart-bustingly balls-out for the win.
If you cheat, you’re not cheating the sport. You’re cheating me. I’m the one who has supported you, I’m the one who pays your fecking salary, and I’m the one you owe your loyalty and absolute dedication.
Anyone who says “take it easy” on someone who cheats me out of the experience I’m paying them to provide should be beaten across the head with a copper vuvuzela. Where were you when the greedy bastard was taking money to throw a match?
Listen, it’s simple. You do the crime, you do the time. The only thing ANY sport has is integrity. If it looks like fans aren’t getting the contest they’re paying for, they will simply vote with their wallets and flee (just ask the ICC how tough 2001 was).
So no, all these Asiagate bastards do not deserve to get anywhere near a soccer pitch, ever again. Even the so-called youngsters who said they were just following orders. If you’re told to throw a game and you do, you’re guilty. It’s simple.
Speaking of cricket, I’m glad Hansie Cronje is dead.
The cheating bastard.