Football can heal all of sorrows. It could be either sadness from war, hurt feeling of being discriminated, sorrow from disease, struggle with poverty, uneducated or even the sadness of dead. Football have been healing all of these sorrows, bring people around closer together, shorten the distance and differences in culture, and make our world to be a better place every single day.
No more fear of dying?
Imagine you wake up every morning and start counting the number of days you left to live. What would you choose, do everything you want to do to feel no regret before die, or start hiding everyone, give up on everything and being all alone waiting for the death coming. There was a kid football fan name Bradley Lowery had chosen the 1st option.
The Sunderland Football Club fan boy Bradley, who suffered from neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer which primarily affects children (Critchley, 2017). The time of living was only count by months. Before rest in peace, he was only want to come the stadium named The Light of his favorite football club. A very small dream before saying goodbye forever to everyone.
Jermain Defoe, former English National Football team, Sunderland player as well as the idol of Bradley have said “You can imagine the unbelievable feeling. Obviously, it fills you with tears, but you can’t show your emotions as he is only young and you don’t want to show him you were upset. (Shammas, 2017). When Defoe was holding the boy before Sunderland welcome Chelsea, the player have tried his best to hold tears but he could not.
Bradley received a huge round of applause during the fifth minute of the game at the Stadium of Light, and both sides sang “there’s only one Bradley Lowery” (Shammas, 2017). Before dying, a dream have been fulfilled thanks to football.
There is only one Lowery (Polden, 2017)
Healing the Hurt from War
If feeling of dying can be considered as the most scary feeling, the second most scary feeling has to be the suffering from war, during wartime and post war. Well, there were several Asian countries have suffered a lot from two World Wars included Vietnam. Vietnamese people had to fight against Chinese, Japanese in feudalism and then fought against two Western Superpower which was the French and the U.S. Being invaded by many much stronger countries and as a result most of their lands has been destroyed or attacked by the invaders.
Even though they managed to kick all of enemies out of the country bravely but the truth is there are millions of Vietnamese people includes soldiers normal people have died to exchange of the freedom and independence. The most extensive survey estimates deaths in the war from 1954 to 1975 at between 1.5 and 3.6 million people. This estimate includes both civilian and military deaths in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. (Vietnam War casualties, 2015)
And football played a very important role after wartime in bringing Vietnamese people closer together and build up dreams for people. They gathered to watch football matches either in the stadium or via TVs. Suffered terrible lost from wars, poverty, less-educated but whenever a football match broadcasting, it seems like people forgetting all of their sadness in real life, and when their favourite team win it looks like people was provided more power to believe.
Champions League, No Racism
After both World Wars come to end, humans have experienced Cold War, Drug War, fighting against poverty in Third World countries. But there is a “Fight” or a War that the whole world still keeps fighting that is The War Against Racism. Do I really need to put any references here? I don’t think I need to do that. People understand the term Racism and how hurt the feeling of being discriminated by others.
Since 2001, The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has forged a close partnership with the FARE network, which comprises groups and bodies working against intolerance and discrimination across the continent. (No to Racism, n.d)
Bring Hope for Poor Children
Third world countries are places where people have been suffering a lot by poverty, uneducated and unsafe environment. I cannot imagine how they can live among the environment like that, but they did. Let take the example of a George Weah. He was born in Clara Town, a poor coastal neighborhood. He was raised by his grandmother in a poor little home and the poorest of families. You have to work earning money very early, go fix the phone. But then, the passion for a round ball that he used to chase in the slippery, narrow streets of the ghetto also helped him change his life.
The 51-year-old football legend claimed his landmark victory in the polls as he won 13 out of 15 counties. His opponent, 73-year-old current vice president, Joseph Boakai only won 2 counties. Liberia, Africa’s oldest modern republic, who gained independence in 1847, had been hit by series of civil war that destabilized the country. In 2006, after the end of two civil wars and a fight to regain her democracy, the country gained stability as Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first African woman to be elected president. (Ebimoh, 2017)
To sum up, football is a healer of every sorrow, as an international communication students, I am aware of that we can use football as a channel to spread out messages of unity, liberal and strongly against racism.
Critchley, M. (2017). Jermain Defoe says final farewell to ‘best friend’ Bradley Lowery. [online] The Independent. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/jermain-defoe-bradley-lowery-story-twitter-sunderland-neuroblastoma-a7831161.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].
Ebimoh, E. (2017). Former football star, George Weah becomes President of Liberia. [online] Nigeria Breaking News > 9News Nigeria. Available at: http://www.9newsng.com/former-football-star-george-weah-becomes-president-of-liberia/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].
Thuy, H. (2016). Người Hà Nội mê bóng đá từ khi nào. [online] Báo Thanh Niên. Available at: https://thethao.thanhnien.vn/toan-canh-the-thao/nguoi-ha-noi-me-bong-da-tu-khi-nao-66754.html [Accessed 2 Mar. 2018].
Turse, N. (2017). The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll. [online] The Intercept. Available at: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/the-ken-burns-vietnam-war-documentary-glosses-over-devastating-civilian-toll/ [Accessed 2 Mar. 2018].
Shammas, J. (2017). How Sunderland-mad Bradley ‘best friend’ Defoe stood by him until the end. [online] The Sun. Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3970808/bradley-lowery-jermain-defoe-best-friends-sport-personality-of-the-year-campaign/ [Accessed 10 Mar. 2018].
UEFA.com. (2018). Respect- No to racism – Social responsibility – Inside UEFA – UEFA.com. [online] Available at: http://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/social-responsibility/respect/no-to-racism/index.html [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].
Vietnam War casualties. (2015). [PDF] p.1. Available at: https://sopheaphen.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/vietnam-war-casualties.pdf [Accessed 2 Mar. 2018].