I am disappointed by the corruption in FIFA because I trusted them, like many of my fellow soccer fans around the world. It is clear to me these FIFA officials didn’t really understand the true spirit of soccer. If I ever meet them, I will tell them soccer is anything but business and politics. To me and my fellow soccer fans, soccer is a way of life.
When I was in high school, soccer saved me from getting into trouble. Many of my friends will engage in risky street racing while others would smoke. Some even experimented with drugs but fortunately I stayed away from trouble. It is more accurate to say I was saved by soccer. I used to play soccer so much I really didn’t feel the temptation for other things. Playing soccer requires stamina and energy and I knew I won’t be able to play at my best level if I smoke or use drugs. This also tells me soccer is a way of life because I stayed away from trouble also due to my love for soccer.
I also believe soccer is love. I know some professional players play soccer for living and earn millions of dollars but I and billions of people around the world play soccer because they love it. My love for soccer cannot be measured in money and I knew I may not be able to play at professional level but this didn’t change my love for soccer even a little bit. I often display strong emotions when I am watching a soccer match, especially, when I am supporting a particular team. These emotions include joy and sadness and I am not surprised because when you love something, you do experience these emotions.
Soccer has also been a great education for me. I have learnt many valuable skills from soccer such as hard work, teamwork, moral ethics, and selflessness. I have also learnt about the importance of good health and fitness from soccer because one cannot play soccer if he is in poor physical shape. Last but not least, I now understand practice is necessary for improvement. One must never give up because over time one improves. I had poor soccer skills but over the years, I have become much better player.
I also see soccer as an ambassador of peace and unity. I have friends from quite different cultures and countries but I feel strong connection with them due to our shared love for soccer. I see the power of soccer to unite people during major events such as the FIFA World Cup. Similarly, I have observed how soccer helps improve diplomatic relations between countries.
FIFA scandal has disappointed me and billions of soccer fans but my passion and love for soccer has not diminished. I loved soccer even when I knew little about FIFA and soccer will continue to be an important part of my life forever. I wish FIFA officials understood business and politics have no place in soccer. Soccer is a way of life, a passion, an education, a message of hope, and a source of peace.