Soccer Manager Tells The Media Winning Isn’t A Priority

William Boyd | Contributor

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez told the media Wednesday that winning against England is not the priority.

Yes, you read that right.

He said, “We want to perform well but the priority is not to win,” according to The Guardian.

Belgium is tied with England in their group in the World Cup and has already advanced to the next round. Not winning is strategic so they get a worse side of the bracket, but this is just flat-out stupid. In sports, we shame tanking or losing on purpose. This should be no different. Not wanting to win defeats the purpose of playing the sport. Might as well just not play the game then.

I understand that your team has advanced and that it is important to rest the players for the next round, but it literally defeats the purpose of sports. Athletes are out there to compete and fight to get the win. The competitive nature is what we thrive for in the world. We want to be the best and come out on top. Now, soccer is just crapping on that idea. Deciding that losing is your best method is when you lose the competitive nature of sports. That is when sports fails.

Tanking is prevalent in many sports, and that is why fans do not like those teams. Who wants to lose? I would hate if I knew going into a game that I had to lose. Sports just would not be fun then. There is just no point to this match then. Why would they even play it? What do you get out of it?

The match has to go on because of the World Cup, but it sure will not be entertaining. Belgium and England are supposed to be two premier soccer teams that should have an entertaining game. But, when you have a coach telling his players that winning is not a priority, that’s when you lose fans. Personally, I love the World Cup, but I will surely not be watching this game. Nor will I want to watch any Belgium game again. I’ll most likely actively cheer against them.

This sounds weird to say, but let’s hope Belgium wins or even ties, just to mess with the manager. It would serve him right. You’re hurting the integrity of sports just by even suggesting that you want to lose.

William Boyd



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