Monday, August 31, 2009

Accident waiting to happen

Tiny shinpads on a CPL player at yesterday's game - an accident waiting to happen
An accident waiting to happen in my opinion. Shinpads as worn by footballers through the ages are meant to protect the shins on the front of each leg from injury. The tibia bone is the one most likely to suffer as it lies directly under the skin without the cushioning given to other bones by muscle tissue. A kick on the shin is not only extremely painful but fractures are common if the area is not protected by a shinpad. Hence my concern is that in today's football, shinpads are becoming far too small and lightweight to offer the protection that is, in my opinion, necessary. Though I didn't play with rolled up newspapers in my socks as the older generation will have you believe, I always wore shinpads that protected my shins but also provided ankle protection too. It seems to me - and the picture above clearly demonstrates this - that the size of shinpads are going in the wrong direction and ankle protection is also in danger of being dispensed with. On one rare occasion when I forgot to wear my ankle padding during my playing days back in England, I suffered a chipped bone in my talus (anklebone) as well as a small fracture of the fibula (the outerslender calf bone) - so I know how painful it can be. My message to all footballers is to wear shinpads and ankle supports that will protect your legs from injury - cuz without your legs in good condition, you will find yourselves on the sidelines.
On a similar note, I am getting increasingly annoyed by the amount of play-acting by players when they are tackled during the CPL games I watch every week. It seems all teams are guilty of it and ear-piercing screams when a player is tackled, rolling around on the floor as if clipped by a sniper in the grandstand and then jumping up and running around as bright as a button as soon as the stretcher-bearers deposit them on the sidelines, makes my blood boil. Also its embarrassing that so-called professional players are trying to get fellow players in trouble with the referee by exaggerating every tackle. The referee's job is tough enough without players seeking Equity cards through their acting antics on the field. I would like to see the Cambodian football federation take a lead in this and issue directives to all clubs to cut it out, and if it continues, then for referees to have sweeping powers to punish the offenders. It's a trait in the game here in Cambodia that we need to get rid of, and quickly.
Shot by a sniper in the grandstand or play-acting - you decide! Photo: Nick Sells

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't play acting like a world wide football thing though? I mean just bc it's universal, doesn't mean we have to be like them but I just don't want to see people seeing a universal flaws as Cambodian only.

August 31, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Yes Anon,
play-acting is universal but I watch football here in Cambodia and so relate it from my experiences here. The amount of play-acting when players are tackled here in Cambodia is at an epidemic proportion, hence my whinge. I feel the FFC need to advise clubs to smarten up their act immediately or else it will get even worse. I have discussed this issue with the national team coach and I know he is as keen as I am to put an end to this behaviour, which just seems to be increasing with every passing week of the CPL. But whatever the FFC do, its still encumbent on the teams and their coaches to get their players to act more professionally on the field (and I don't mean their professional acting abilities).

August 31, 2009 at 3:32 PM  

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