In one of the Champion League games yesterday, Manchester City star Raheem Sterling tripped over himself (not diving) as he was about to shoot. The referee awarded penalty to Man City, and the shooter scored. They ended up winning 6-0 against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Watching the clip, it was not a good moment for FIFA’s Fair Play. There are moments in life when it makes sense not to win (here, score) because you have no reason to win. Yes, the best result is NO WIN – of course, it is easier written than done! That a striker clearly tripped himself, and was mistakenly awarded a penalty would have been a moment for someone in Man City bench to pass a message: pass that ball to the goalkeeper; do not score.
Sure, you may say it is football (yes soccer). But we face such decisions in business. You have tripped and yet your opponent was punished because of your mistake. WIN-WIN for any industry will not have any meaning unless someone can shoot that penalty away. Get me right – I am not saying it is easy but it would have been a moment if Pep Guardiola, the coach of Man City, had asked his men to pass the ball to the goalkeeper.
Yet, there may be a good outcome from this: UEFA may be shopping for video replay systems which it has resisted. FIFA is smiling because when you pay men state budgets to run around fields, you must ensure the calls are right.
What you see play out in football pitches isn’t different from how most humans live their lives, a complete departure from what almost everyone professes to hold in high regard.
One of the most overused words you hear from businesses, corporations or institutions is ‘values’, but when the moments to demonstrate the much vaunted values, men and women either grow dumb or become invisible, suddenly. Yes, almost all sporting institutions profess and harp on fair play, but somewhat cannot protest, when an unjust goal, penalty or foul is awarded in their favour. We can argue that it’s just football, but there are people whose happiness and life-savings are on the line, depending on what a referee chooses to do; they do not seem to matter…
We see same in corporations and businesses of all kinds: after all the talk about corporate governance, ethics and values, there are still rampant cases of sexual harassment/assaults, with the subsequent cover-ups; because we all care about reputation than HUMANITY, and life goes on.
There are too many bad behaviours all over the place, whether we wear suit/babaringa; our art of telling lies and countless cover-ups haven’t changed.
Every bad call affects someone, we must pay attention to that.