Conflict in Football
How is the conflict in the sport of football handled, and how is this effective to a team?
Conflict in Football
How is the conflict in the sport of football handled, and how is this effective to a team?
Conflicts are natural and normal features in any organization. Conflict is inevitable in an organization that strives to attain its goals. As e Pina (26) reports, people living in the same setup must collide. Conflicts can result in either positive or negative outcomes, depending on how they are resolved. Like in any other organization, conflict in football is unavoidable. It can happen between team members, a player and a coach, or between teams. Teams have disagreed to engage in a physical war in the field. An example was the Battle of Santiago between Chile and Italy. Even though team members are supposed to work together and protect each other, some have disagreed and even fought while in the field. An example is Eoin Doyle and Jermaine Beckford, who plays for Preston. The two disagreed after a wrong ball pass. Another similar case involves the Placido de Castro Brazilian players who blamed each other after losing. While such fights might turn out negatively, some might result in better outcomes. For instance, Placido de Castro's Brazilian members' fight resulted in losing. To solve the fight and its similar occurrence, the team formulated proper playing strategies that brought success in their future games. In football, team members are faced with competition, assumptions, emotions, among others. Such characteristics mimic real-life situations. Handling such different aspects results in conflicts. Some of the common causes of conflicts in football include competition, miscommunication, perspective, diversity, discrimination, and jealousy. Like any other sport, football is competitive. Groups can use different methods to handle such conflicts, effectively maintaining the teams.
Handling Conflict in Football
The conflicts in football sport are frequent and unavoidable. The three common conflicts in the football sport include between team members, individual and coach, and between different teams. The pressures on the players, different opinions and diversity greatly contribute to conflicts. However, to understand the means of handling conflicts, understanding the causes of the conflicts is indispensable.
Communication: Communication can either be positive or negative. Miscommunication is a common thing among team players. Once information is given or received wrongly, a conflict might occur. Lack of communication also drives conflict underground, resulting in hostility and misunderstanding.
Diversity: Individuals differ in many ways. Football is for everyone irrespective of race, color, and religion (Al-Khaldi, 61). Most players differ in age, culture, experience, knowledge, among the other factors. If the players do not embrace the differences, conflicts can occur.
Perspective: Diverse perspectives on different things are common among individuals or groups. According to Stura and Linda (114), people view the same incidents or situations differently. Football is a sport that involves many different activities for a team to successfully plan a match, play and win. A conflict arises when an individual or a team wants the other to follow a certain path.
Emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the attribute of controlling one’s feelings and emotions while dealing with others. Kossakowski and Tomasz (860) state that emotional intelligence is an inborn characteristic. However, it can be learned, strengthened and built over time. Football is a game that involves many frustrations and happiness. How the players or coach react to any outcome is determined by one’s EQ. The coach and players must learn to positively take the game's outcomes and move on. According to Martins and Heloisa (n. p), coaches should always control their emotions, especially when frustrated. If players lose, a coach should motivate and not scold them. Players should also learn the art of controlling their emotions irrespective of the outcomes.
Discrimination: Discrimination plays a significant role in creating conflict in football. Discrimination is treating people differently due to their origin, race, and other aspects. Discrimination cases in football are on the rise. 2019 and 2020 have shocking numbers of race hate and homophobic abuse in football (Stura and Linda 100). Coaches have also been reported to discriminate against players. Such acts result from the race, among other reasons. There are also cases of discrimination among team players. According to Mack et al. (130), such cases have risen to up to 94 reports over the past few years. In similar research carried out by Stura and Linda M (113), 30% population reported having come across racist comments directed at footballers. In an attempt to defend or stand up for themselves, the discrimination might cause conflicts. Discrimination results in hatred-based conflicts, which might extend to fights.
Competition: Players compete for resources, money and other valuable commodities. In football, competition exists between members and different teams. Every football player dreams of becoming the best in their team and the world. Among the players, those considered best get more gains in terms of pay and rewards. While they compete in being the best, team players can get jealous and end up into a conflict. Conversely, players play to win and defeat their allies. The competition should always be healthy. At times, the defeated teams might try to justify their defeat with corruption, unfairness among other reasons. The teams might disagree over the results, resulting in a conflict, worse when it gets to a fight.
How Conflict in Football Is Handled
Football conflicts are inevitable. The conflicts can happen during different football activities such as training, meetings, after a match and worse, while on the field. Conflicts can be healthy or dangerous (Al-Khaldi, 62). If handled correctly, conflicts can bear positive results such as better performance, motivation and unity. However, if handled negatively, conflicts can result in adverse outcomes to the teams, coach and other groups. Football coaches and managing bodies have different ways to handle conflicts. Such include the set rules and regulations such as conflict policies, training and coaching, mediation, facilitation, among other ways.
Set And Follow Clear Standard
Rules and regulations govern every organization. Football is no different; thus, it should have clear rules and a code of conduct. Team players can disagree over different things such as lineup. Other factors that contribute to conflicts is where players might discriminate against each other, use improper language or bully others. Football teams work with a set of clear standards to prevent such from occurring. The set has the rules and steps that can be taken if the person goes against it. Once a player is signed, they must check the set code of rules. While starting a year or a period, the players and the coach can develop other sets of standards to guide them on different issues. The teams rely on the sets to avoid conflicts. Once faced with a disagreement, the players consult the set standards for guidance on what to do. This way, conflicts are handled amicably.
Football matches cannot take place without a referee. A referee is the person who is always in charge of the players and the match while on the field. He controls players from both teams. Some of the duties of a referee include enforcing laws of the game, controlling the match, keeping time, starting or stopping a match and taking disciplinary actions against players who go against the rules. During the game, a referee oversees that everything is in order. Conflicts can occur during the game. For instance, players can engage in a fight or unfair actions. A score might also result in conflicts. If such happens, the referee intervenes and takes the right action. Some of the ways a referee can use while handling a conflict include warmings, guidance, rules application, penalties and suspension. A referee has the authority to warn or chase anyone causing chaos out of the game. The referee also penalizes those who do not follow the rules. For instance, when a team or a player assaults their peers or plays improperly in a way that might insight fights, the coach has the right to penalize. When a player shows misconduct that might result in conflicts, the referee walks alongside them, warning them. The referee offers a yellow card for small mistakes and red if the player does not correct or makes a mistake consecutively. For instance, if players confront each other, the referee can give a yellow card to whoever is wrong. If a player gets two yellow cards consecutively, the referee can chase them out of the field with a red card. As a result, any player who might want to create a conflict faces a ruling from the referee. There are rare cases when the referees take unjust actions. According to a cross-sectional study, top referees make decisions without interference from noise disturbance or attacks (Mack et al. 130). They follow the game rules to make any move. Thus, refereeing is a great way of handing football conflicts.
Every football team must have a coach. A coach is responsible for coordinating, instructing, motivating and organizing a football team (Kossakowski and Tomasz 861). Coaches are hired after keen vetting and examination. A coach must have high EQ and instruction skills. Some of the ways a coach uses to handle conflict include mediation, communication, instruction, punishment, and rules and regulations. Once a referee identifies a player causing conflicts, they refer them to the coach. When players from similar teams fight or confront each other to an extreme, the referee hands them over to the coach. The coach ensures that their conflict is resolved, not unless complicated. Depending on the case, the coach can replace the players in that game or have them back to the field. While on half-time or before starting a game, the coach must ensure that the players are okay. He/she offers appropriate guidance and assistance when needed. They act as a mediator between the conflicting players. The coach also has the authority to establish policies. They can decide to establish a conflict policy that players should follow. Once the players conflict or misbehave in a manner that might result in conflicts, the coach has the authority to suspend them from playing or any other penalty. Therefore, a coach has a big role in handling conflicts among football players.
Mediation is considered one of the effective methods of resolving conflicts. When the two teams engage in disagreements, a mediator tries to help them come to terms. The sports industry has international dispute resolution bodies responsible for handling disputes that might occur and seem complex for the other party members. In football, the connection is an essential aspect. The team members' relationships should be protected. Therefore, mediation is a great conflict resolution tool in handling conflicts.
How is conflict handling effective to a football team?
Goal Achievement and Productivity
Conflicts result in unconducive working conditions. The arguments affect productivity negatively (Siering, n. p). In every organization, workers must be at peace to remain productive. Similarly, when footballers have peace without existing conflicts, they can play better and achieve their targets.
Healthy Relationships, Morale and Commitment
Personal and professional relationships suffer when there are conflicts. If two people or teams conflict, the outcomes might be explosive. Communication cannot happen without underlying conflicts (Martins and Heloisa n. p). People lack the morale to attend to their workplaces and even participate in activities on bad terms with their peers. They find it hard to commit to their duties with the lack of morale. In football, teamwork is critical for sports success. Thus, once the conflicts are solved, the teams’ members relate well, which boosts their practice and playing morale and commitment, resulting in successful outcomes in their activities.
New Insights and Lessons
When the results are positive, conflicts benefit an organization. While stipulating means of handling such conflicts, the team learns new insights and lessons. They get a chance to identify the possible loophole which might result in issues later. The learned lessons might be used as new rules or standards.
Disagreements are a part of people’s interaction. Conflicts are unavoidable in any setup with more than one person. A football team setup is no different. Conflicts can arise among individuals or teams. Some of the causes of such conflicts include low emotional intelligence, insensitivity to diversity, and miscommunication. To prevent conflicts from happening, rules and standards to be followed should be set. The teams should revise the set standards yearly, monthly or according to their plan. The teams should revise the standards and search for solutions when a conflict arises. In case of a conflict, mediation should be applied to find a solution. Mediation ensures that after the conflict resolution, the teams are satisfied and in good relations. Notably, the referee and couch act as the authority figures. The players must obey them. As a result, the two can always play important roles in fighting conflicts. They can penalize, mediate, instruct or guide the conflicting parties. Once conflicts are solved, the teams can work harmoniously. They can comfortably achieve the set targets. A peaceful environment also promotes good relations among the team members, boosting productivity.
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Kossakowski, Radosław, and Tomasz Besta. "Football, conservative values, and a feeling of oneness with the group: a study of Polish football fandom." East European Politics and Societies 32.4 (2018): 866-891.
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