The beauty of football fouls | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 02, 2018

The beauty of football fouls

Goals are a work of art. The blood, sweat and tears that go into them really give them a whole new beauty. However, in this World Cup, I had found beauty in something else: football fouls. You see, goals still maintain a linear procedure: shoot, score, cheer. But fouls? They're ever-changing. Goals may be art, but fouls are life.

Fouls are like a mystery story: full of plot-twists. Here's an example. Imagine that a player gets fouled; perhaps the other team's player did a slide to kick away the ball and foul him at a risky moment when he might have managed a goal. He falls, his mouth forming the beginnings of a scream. It's relatively predictable so far, yeah? But when the dust settles, why is he clutching his face? Everyone is nonplussed. Close by, the player who had committed the foul stands slack-jawed. Meanwhile, the medics rush into the field with a stretcher. The fans scream in the bleachers. At the side-lines, the referee, who has a PhD in human anatomy, warily taps his own ankle to check if his face hurts or not.

Legends say that a body's most powerful reflexes happen when a foul occurs. Not every player exhibits these reflexes. However, those who do are said to be the most physically fit, and no wonder at that. How else could someone be pushed very slightly, only to somehow end up on the other side of the field, rolling around in anguish? Scientists at NASA have been trying to figure out the secrets to these powerful reflexes in order to just push people to Mars directly from the Earth's surface, but results are inconclusive as of yet.

However, the most beauty spawned from a foul is the drama. I don't know if you've heard, but right before the first match of the 2018 World Cup, there had been rumours that people had found Shakespeare slowly clapping in his grave. They have also discovered a four hundred year old note, prophesising the arrival of Neymar, the Lord of Acting. I, for one, believe in the prophecies. Especially after seeing that one match during which a player simply put his foot close to Neymar's, and the poor man started screaming as though his entire line of ancestors all broke their ankles. No one could have moved so many people's hearts. Had we not fought for Leonardo Di'Caprio's Oscar? Well, people, now we need to do it for Neymar.

Despite its miracles, football fouls have enemies. Many people laugh at living gods like Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi, etc. The referee turns a blind eye (or touches his ankle). People leave hundreds of heart reactions to GMB Akash's photos along with the sad stories, but never sympathise with the art born from the agony of fouls. I ask you, my friends, to stand up against this injustice. The next time someone laughs at a foul, show them the beauty. Tackle them and knock 'em flat.


Rasheed Khan is a hug monster making good music but terrible puns and jokes where he's probably the only one laughing. Ask him how to pronounce his name at

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