Monday, March 15, 2004

Learning the right lesson 

Last Wednesday, Jiang Tao, an 18-year-old Chinese national playing for Sinchi FC in Singapore, died after being struck by lightning while training at the Jurong Stadium.

In yesterday's The Sunday Times, Jeffrey Low wrote an article with the headline "A lesson for S-League from untimely death". Yes, I thought, there is a lesson to be learnt: footballers should not train in the rain.

Well, it turned out that Low intended to say that Singapore footballers should learn to emulate the dedication exhibited by Jiang in striving for excellence, coming all the way to Singapore from China to achieve his ambition in football. And ultimately dying for it.

I'm not sure that Low got his priorities right, though. Personally, I think it's much more important to teach footballers and coaches to avoid lightning risk during training to prevent another tragedy.

Getting struck by lightning is a life-and-death issue. Football isn't.


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