Ban indiscipline, not football

18th March 2005 at 00:00
By blaming football for a corrupting influence on children, Martin Ward of the Secondary Heads Association is very much placing the chicken before the egg. The undisciplined and abusive footballers in the media spotlight are young men who until recently were exhibiting exactly the same behaviour in schools for exactly the same reason; namely, they were allowed to get away with it.

As with schoolchildren, the minority of footballers who choose to behave inappropriately receive a disproportionate amount of attention. To suggest that these players mean that football should be shown after the 9pm watershed, is to ignore the myriad positive aspects of the game.

Further, to show football later would be to impose a collective punishment of the type that Mr Ward's colleagues would hopefully discourage in the classroom. It would also be a counterproductive punishment, as it might increase the number of children staying up too late on school days.

Andy Conner

180 Shenstone Road

Edgbaston, Birmingham

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