Manipulation in its entirety involves direct physical actions that are systematically performed illegally with the ultimate hope and desire to remain undiscovered.
Nonetheless, there’s a second broad form of manipulation within sport, which goes beyond direct physical actions involving more intricate activity, in short, “basic and applied manipulation”.
There are indeed many tricks of result manipulation and the most interesting one is the famous “pushing the envelope” without breaking the rules, bending the rules into all sorts of shapes, which are barely recognisable and this is exactly where foul play becomes an art rather than a crime.
After all, rules are manmade, but not as easy as people think, our rugby authorities have driven themselves deep into the heart of sporting wrongdoing – premeditated illegal activity.
NRU is a moral maze and that’s because of her own doing. At the center of my writing is NRU decision to overturn a ruling by its organ, the NRU Tribunal in the aftermath of a legitimate protest filed by UNAM Rugby Club.
The dethroned students alerted rugby authorities that their opponents Wanderers field a pair of improperly registered players in their semifinal triumph over the Namibian champions.
After thorough investigations, the White Stallions were found guilty of having fielded improperly registered players in the shape of two players, who ply their trade in neigbouring South Africa.
Subsequently, sanction was served on the guilty party that saw Wanderers docked points – resulting in a shift on the log table positions. This new twist meant all results in the semifinals were annulled and matches had to be rescheduled.
Strangely, UNAM withdrew their protest in the hope of good sportsmanship requesting for the final match between United and Wanderers to go ahead as initially scheduled.
Now, the fundamental question that needs to be entertained is; if somebody commits a serious crime and you lay charges against the perpetrator allowing the law to take its course, would that be in the best interest of justice and the general public to withdraw the charges after realising that the culprit is the only breadwinner for his family irrespective of the severity of the offense? I’m just wondering.
Dear readers, where exactly do we draw the line if we keep allowing personal bias to soften the edges of moral outrage, blurring the lines of correct judgment?.
Like any other form of results manipulation, be it doping or other means of performance enhancement, knowingly fielding improperly registered players in an effort to gain unfair advantage over your opponent is a systematic plot to cheat, an exercise that amounts to dishonesty and fraud.
Central to the matter under discussion, Wanderers committed a serious act of dishonesty and the sanction to allow them to continue unhindered in the play offs, is a travesty of justice, so to speak.
The most appropriate sanction for any team that breaks the “Fair Play” motto should be automatic disqualification – finish and klaar!!!.
Given the severity of the offense, yours truly is obliged to conclude the “White Stallions” were merely shipped to Coventry because the sanction meted out is just a gentle wrap on the knuckles, to say the least and to be mindful.
In conclusion, to my learned colleagues in blue suits at Lichtenstein-Strasse I’m detecting a worrisome deficit in your line of thinking, but you have willfully occasioned this debacle, so live with that. NRU is setting a bad precedent that could come back to haunt them gravely.
I rest my case.