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Final Whistle

WHEN ARE COMPARISONS JUSTIFIED AND WHEN ARE THEY NOT? THE ANSWER IS WHEN “LIKE” IS COMPARED TO “LIKE” AND NOT WHEN APPLES ARE COMPARED TO ONIONS. IT IS THAT SIMPLE!

South Africans, especially in the townships, will almost always never compare anything local with what’s happening in other Africans countries, but will compare those to the First World. A typical example arose the other day when a group of football followers argued about the lack of bums on seats at South Africa’s Premier Soccer League matches. This was compared to the always full houses in the English Premier League, the La Liga in Spain and Germany’s Bundesliga. Many reasons were proffered ranging from the “poor” of the local game, unemployment, games not being played at Kasie stadiums, television bringing the game live into our living rooms. Why? You can even watch it on your Smartphone. And many more.

All these reasons – perhaps with the exception of unemployment – are but just lame excuses because they also exist in the aforementioned countries and still they come. The reality is simply the pulling power and quality of players on display at those stadiums. Our PSL is said to be among the Top Ten best leagues in the world. But that’s only because of the sponsorships. Number one in Africa, that’s for sure. But compared to the EPL, La Liga and Bundesliga with clubs owned by pound and dollar billionaires the PSL is child’s play.

The PSL can only attract mediocre players from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and failed Nigerians and other African countries. More than half the Zimbabwean nation football team plies its trade in Mzansi. Compare that to big name players in the UK, Spain and Germany, the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antonio Griezman, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and hundreds of others of their ilk and tell me the comparison is fair.

by: SELLO RABOTHATA

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