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Today, there is meant to be an international friendly game of soccer with our beloved red, white and blue against Ukraine. Yes, that is the same Ukraine that is having some political issues.
At first, the game was off. The governing body didn’t want to send the team to Cyprus, where the game will be taking place.
But the latest news is that the game is going to take place, according to the United States Soccer Federation. But why? Why do people insist that this game must be played?
I do understand that this is a very important match for Jurgen Klinsmann as he prepares to decide who will be on the squad come World Cup time. I can almost guarantee that there are many different reasons of why the game should go on. But should a somewhat meaningless game be played in such circumstances?
To me, this is a little bit different from people wanting to boycott the Olympics because Russia was killing stray dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I do not support that. But I just don’t think a boycott would do any justice in that situation. There is a country in major distress. Who at the moment has allowed Russian soldiers to intervene?
I know that sports have the power to bring countries together — just go and watch the movie “Invictus.” To go along with that, there is the story of a Russian hockey team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Their plane crashed on Sept. 7, 2011, killing all of the players and coaches on board on their way to their first game of the year.
After taking the year off, the team was rebuilt for the 2012-13 season, when the community and players combined to give an inspired event. Even after losing in the first round of the playoffs, things had gotten back to normal, even though many people were still feeling the loss of loved ones and heroes.
One single moment can help the country forget about those issues, but for how long? A win against the United States may stop the riots and craziness, but that is not the solution. I am not going to get started on those reasons, but something needs to be done soon before things get too out of hand.
But when must we realize that there is something bigger than sports? When should we put our efforts into stopping the other problems going on outside of the world of sports?
I don’t believe that stopping sports is going to solve all the issues for every single problem out there. I believe there are certain situations when they need to take a back seat, as people’s lives are more important than what my mom calls a “silly game.”
I am more than a little excited for the World Cup, but I am almost sure that Klinsmann will be able to find his squad before it starts. This game will not make a big difference in a lot of things, but it might leave an impact on how people view those two teams and countries.