Basil Henriques, leader of the Oxford and St Georges Club wanted to use his club to make sports and religion identical, his goal was to show the boys that “a good game of ping pong is a kind of prayer and a foul game of football is a kind of sin”. Well, I think some of the world cup players are definitely engaging in ‘sin’ by that definition!
A month ago I submitted my introduction to my supervisor and the section on masculinity came back with a football comment I didn’t understand and had to google. Had it have come back now, I certainly wouldn’t have had to google anything as the comment was ‘just like Luis Suarez’. I was writing about the way in which sports, by the late 1800s had come to be seen as the ideal way for developing vital moral qualities needed for a truly masculine man. In particular, I used a quote from George Mosse who stated that ‘a truly chivalrous football player … was never guilty of lying or deceit or meanness, whether of word or action’. Which brings us back to Luis Suarez, whose actions in the Italy-Uruguay game were far from chivalrous. His defence of his bite was that “After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent,… At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.” Right, sure! Perhaps Suarez could have benefited from belonging to a club such as Henriques’