Is top sport becoming suicidal?

Published: Monday November 16, 2015

Richard MitchellFIFA is caught in a huge soccer scandal with massive financial corruption being investigated. Every week there are yet more, tedious Premiership controversies about conduct on and off the football field.

International athletics has to prove itself free from serious allegations of doping, undermining previous and current competitions, including the Olympics.

The England rugby union team is going through a torrid time of self-examination, reflecting the confusion about styles of leadership in sport.

Legal procedures are continuing into evidence of match-fixing in world cricket.

It seems that astronomical sums of money in top sport, management structures that don’t work in providing accountability and clear direction, and a success at all costs culture is taking top level sport off the rails.

Who can drive through a reform and renewal culture before trust is fatally undermined?

Thank God love of money and worldy success aren’t Christian values or virtues. The Church has been guilty of these things and may still need to repent, but, the figure of Jesus no-where reflects the modern desire of our need for financial gain and public acclaim that appears to be driving top sport. In that sense, ‘the boy done good’.

Can the values of trust, loyalty, enjoyment and enrichment to community, avoid complete relegation in international sport in the future?

Many good spectators know that some of the best sporting events are not the ones featuring the best players or the ones where your team wins.

The Revd Canon Richard Mitchell, Vicar of Shurdington, Badgeworth and Witcombe with Bentham.

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