The Ethics of football

A football on a field.

Has the importance of soccer come out of proportion?

Around the globe, millions of people are following soccer events like the world cup, the European championships but also smaller events like the Champions League and Laliga. Soccer is almost an exclusively a spectator sport, which in simple terms means that more people watch it instead of playing it and for many fans, it is more than “just a game”. This can be especially observed in the fan blocks during games. Soccer has created inordinate, dangerous and alarming (and in my opinion shaming) passions that lead to seriously dangerous and disrespectful actions: cursing, burning fan blocks, throwing of (beer-)bottles, gang fights etc.

In addition to that everyone looking at figures objectively has to admit that the exorbitant amounts of money that circulate in the football industry are not justified, setting aside passion for the sport. In my opinion, professional football players are largely overpaid. For example, Messi, who is not even the best-paid player, gets 40 million Euros per year. This is an average of 3.333.333 per month, 833.333 per week, 119.047 per day and 4.960 per hour! This means that he earns more in an hour than my mother, a German teacher and exam coordinator at an international school, earns gross per month (without subtracting insurance and taxes). Aren’t my mother’s qualifications as important, when not even more important than Messi’s football skills? She educates future generations so that they pass their exams so that they can become active members of society and potentially change the world. Similarly, we could ask ourselves how much we could invest and achieve in development aid with all of this money! How many children could be fed? How many schools could be built and equipped? How many research projects could be funded?

I do not want to say that football players should not be paid for their work but I strongly believe that the payment should be a reflection of their qualifications and importance in society.