Fair play in futsal: a sport to brag about


Pre-match statements that raise the temperature. Goal celebrations that can be considered as excessive. Insults or swearwords from certain parts of the crowd. Players that challenge the opposing coaches. Players that are not paid for months. Proxy wars between leaders. Lately, controversy is served almost every week in the LNFS. And among such darkness, all this scuffle, all these unnecessary battles, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It was not, probably, the most important match of the week for the fans. Neither was it a game where the media focused. When in the middle of all this obscurity, something as special as this happens, the fans stand up and clap, the press must surrender to something so uncommon and, what we would like to see as a usual thing, turns into a major gesture.

Futsal is, without any doubt, that sport in which clubs and fans can brag about having better moral standards than some other sports. We are used to seeing players signing or taking pictures of themselves with fans from the opposing team at the end of the match; it is common to see players giving out their jersey (or even their sneakers) to an opposing fan after a cleared ball causes an accident in the stands. We are used to seeing players sharing likes and comments in social networks, playing for rival teams.

Fair play signs

But it is very difficult to get this fraternity and honesty spirit among rivals when we go back to the field. That is why Pato’s and his Ribera Navarra guys gesture against Industrias Santa Coloma on day 25 of the competition has appeared in broadcasts all over Spain and even abroad. And the moment has gone viral in social networks, what in the world that we live on, is even more important.

There were five minutes left in the match when Tripodi received a ball inside the rival goal area and slipped it into the net. The goal gave an advantage to Ribera Navarra of 4-1. It was funny to see how the home team did not celebrate the goal because they realised that Miquel Feixas, the away goalkeeper, was laying on the floor before the Argentinian winger scored.

Neither Pato nor his players had a moment of doubt about how unfair that goal had been and took their responsibility of that incorrect action. Tripodi himself explained later that the action had been so quick that he did not have time to react and send the ball outside the field.

The response of the orange team was immediate: they decided to let Industrias score a goal and continue the game with the same difference as before everithing happened. Cardona kicked off the ball from midfield and walked, literally, to the home goal where Gus stepped aside, while the rest pf the Tudelan team watched him do it.


Video of the fair play gesture of Ribera Navarra. Via: Real Federación Española de Fútbol

This gesture reminds all of us others (very few, that is true) lived in the blue field sport. José Antonio García González “Josiko”, a Peñiscola’s player in the 2015-2016 season, also got to get a fair play sign viral durong the first quarter final game of the league playoff against Movistar Inter. There were 15 minutes left of the game and his team was trailing 1-2. Ricardinho fell injured on the floor after a bad luck action with his team mate Humberto. The Madrid team set a counter attack that ended into a recovery from the house team. When Josiko headed Alex González’s goal unnopposed, he stopped and sent the ball away so the Portuguese, that was still on the floor, could be attended to.


Josiko and Ricardinho after the fair play gesture from the Peñiscola´s player. Image via: El Mundo.

We need to go back a little bit more, as far as the 2002 season, when Duda, the trainer of ElPozo Murcia, also let the opposing team, Fiat Autoexpert Torrejón, score a goal after his team scored with a rival player injured on the floor. Because of this action, the Brazilian got the “Infantas de España” Award for a so relevant gesture regarding fair play.

The lesson we need to learn

Signa like these ones having such an impact, and being remembered over the years, mean two things: on the one hand, these are very occasional signs to be considered as the rule. It is the repetition of a fact what makes it usual, and if they continue being a viral thing is because we are still not used to them. On the other hand, the most important one, it means that there is hope, that the fans and the public opinion believe in the importance of these gestures. So, on the basis of this key, let´s look at it as it deserves to be looked at, as a sign that should brag about as futsal fans, because these things dignify our sport.

Details like this one, in the end, help us to give voice, something that we really need, because we continue being left out by the sports media and the leaders. And, also as an example, as a lesson. Pato focused on he most important part of Ribera Navarra´s gesture for him is that the large crowd of children that attend the Ciudad de Tudela every two weeks got a valuable moral: honesty and fair play standards must take pride of place over results.

And, as children, the elderly. Maybe it is time for us to focus on the great amount of good things that this sport gives us, on and off the field. Let´s make this sport a show, not only because of the huge level of the competition in the LNFS, but also for gestures that keep our mouths wide open for days, that make us talk and discuss from a common point of view and that help us look up to and love (a little bit more, if possible) futsal. Maybe this way the discussions in social networks between fans and pros can grow to a higher level, and can go from an open war to mutual understanding and from offense to dialogue.

Let´s put in value what we have. Let´s look after it. Let´s show why futsal is the best sport in the world.

Author: Noemí Carbonell (@noe_tdl in twitter)

Image: @RiberaNavarraFS

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