Hitting vs. Spitting in Soccer

May 27, 2008
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In the FIFA (Federation of International Football Association) rule book, spitting has bigger penalties than hitting. If a soccer player was to hit another player, meaning they punched, kicked, head-butted, or any other form of physical injury, there would be a serious penalty. If a soccer player was to spit on another player, there would be a very serious penalty, greater than a hitting penalty, even if the spit missed. Hitting hurts a lot more than spitting, that’s why I think hitting should have greater penalties. Spitting is only the worst according to FIFA laws because it is very disrespectful to other players. Even if it is disrespectful, I think a punch in the face is still worse than spit on your shirt.


Which do you think is more painful, a broken nose or some spit on your arm? Most people would take the spit on their arm and just wipe it off. Would you be able to just wipe off a broken, bleeding nose that keeps letting out blood? A player could keep playing if he got spat on; he couldn’t if he had a broken arm. The hospital needs to be called for something bleeding, not for some spit on someone’s arm, and the hospital is only called in when it’s serious, so spitting isn’t that serious. Some people might say ‘Ewww, spit! I wouldn’t want that on me!’ Then we should ask them this: spit, or two black eyes?


The penalties for spitting are far worse than those for hitting. In the FIFA 2007 Rule Book, hitting on purpose is worth a red card (an ejection from the game) for Dangerous Manner. Hitting by accident is a Direct Free Kick. Spitting on another player is worth a red card and a Direct Free Kick. “The German soccer federation has suspended Hannover defender Kleber of Brazil for three games for throwing a punch at Hansa Rostock's Rene Rydlewicz in a Bundesliga match last weekend . . . .” (Los Angeles Times, 2004) The Brazilian got suspended for three games, and that was it. “Bart Goor, the captain of Belgium's national team, has been suspended for five games by FIFA, soccer's international ruling body, for spitting at an opponent” (Los Angeles Times, 2004) Bart didn’t even hit the guy with his spit, he missed and still got a five game suspension and the opposing team got a Direct Free Kick. If the spit had hit the opponent, the penalties would have been much worse.


Some people, even soccer stars, spit, but not that much. There are more hits in soccer than there are spits, from stars and ordinary people. In the FIFA World Cup 2006, there was a big on-purpose-hit from French player Zinédine Zidane. Zidane head-butted Italian player Marco Materazzi. “The two exchanged words before Zidane began to walk away from him. Materazzi then said something about Zidane's sister to Zidane, who turned around, made a run-up and head-butted Materazzi in the chest, sending him to the ground.” (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinedine_Zidane) Zidane got ejected for three games. In 2001, “One soccer fan complained . . . that David Beckham had spat in his face after Manchester United lost to West Ham.” (Times of London; Brayfield, Celia) Beckham denied spitting and the fan didn’t have any evidence. Soccer stars rarely spit but they do tend to be a bit rough.


Hitting in soccer should be more consequential than spitting. Hitting hurts a lot more and more people do it. Even if the spit doesn’t land on the target, it’s still considered worse than a direct punch in the face. Spitting in soccer is disgraceful and a good way to spread germs or disease, but hitting is still more painful, done more often, and the out comes are a lot worse.





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