I want to write about joys rather than sorrows so I’m not going to dwell on Birmingham City’s game against Doncaster. Instead, I’m going to provide links to a couple of football news items about the good side of football.
For a start there’s a delightful video1 of Paul Sholes scoring a goal from the halfway line in a veterans match. It’s clear that he was as surprised as everyone else when the ball ended up in the net. The reason for the game also brought a smile to my face; it was raising money for orphanages in Kenya and Uganda. There is corruption in the professional game but football can be used for good as well as for greed.
The Guardian also had a story2 about the way football is being used in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The people who live there have fled from Syria and many of them have witnessed dreadful atrocities. They are traumatised and need rehabilitation. And the reason that football is part of that rehabilitation is that “at the most basic level, football does seem to have a tremendous capacity to enable people to connect with each other … it provides a currency in which the exchange of social interaction can be conducted.” Abeer Rantisi, a midfielder in Jordan’s women’s team, said: “We all speak football.”