Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship in Football
For many reasons, sports have evolved as it’s no longer news that many sports lovers across the globe tend to miss out on the antagonism between Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship.
Just like every other sport, football is however not an exception to this assertion, and more oftentimes than not, the use of the words Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship by fans to mean the same thing has become a reoccurring decimal in the game of soccer.
With a focal point on the game of soccer, I’ll buttress both words by citing several examples and scenarios where each word ought to be used.
Gamesmanship in football is a legal and logical way of using tactics and antics to get results and also gain an advantage in the game. This is usually done by players and coaches on the field of play. For example, when an opponent player waste playing time by laying on the ground pretending to be injured at the expense of the other team who is losing a competitive match. When a manager whose team is winning makes a perpetual substitution. When a player feigned to foul in the 18-yard box.
Regardless, of the angle you look at it, Gamesmanship is an integral part of football and every player or team uses it at one point or the other to get results.
Sportsmanship in football is a way of showing a fair and firm disposition towards the opponent. This could however happen before, during, and after a football match. It is a way of proving that football isn’t all about winning or losing but also about love. For example, when a player offers to raise their opponent from the ground. When a manager acknowledges the opponents and officials after a match. When a player kicks the ball out of play because of another injured player.
Nonetheless, Sportsmanship remains one of the sticking elements of football whose relevance can’t be overemphasized.
5 differences between Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship
1. Gamesmanship can be likened to selfishness in football while Sportsmanship can be equated with selflessness in the soccer game.
2. The core aim of Gamesmanship is to achieve a definite purpose, which can be to win, draw or get a particular result in a football match whereas the major objective of Sportsmanship is to express passion for the love of the game.
3. Gamesmanship is majorly an on-pitch phenomenon i.e. it happens in the field of play or during a football match. Sportsmanship, however, happens on and off the pitch of play i.e. it occurs before, during, and after a game.
4. In football, Gamesmanship sometimes results in punishment when caught e.g. warning or booking by the referee while Sportsmanship usually comes with a reward e.g. applause from spectators and fans.
5. Some indices of Gamesmanship include pretense, craftiness, desperation, anxiety, and greed. Indices of Sportsmanship include love, fairness, dignity, respect, patience, etc.
Similarities between Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship
Both events are legal in football as there is no punishment for exercising them.
Both could happen during a competitive football game.
Both can be staged by players and managers and occasionally by football fans and officials.
They are both an-pitch event that portrays love either for a team or for the game of football.
Logically, both Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship portray the quest for victory.
Finally, Gamesmanship and Sportsmanship have always been part and parcel of football since its inception. Therefore, the expression and submission of either word both on the pitch or off the pitch of play can be translated as an act of “love for football”.