Before anything else, I congratulate the Super Nines U20s winner Knights for winning the inaugural rugby championships.
They fought long and hard and deserved to be called champs.
I recognize the Super Nines organizers for providing our local rugby players the platform to earn the shot in the big league.
Now that I’m done with the pleasantry let me address the cancer of Samoa’s sports. the politics in sports.
On Saturday, I was informed that some key players of Savai’i Vikings U20 players will not be playing because they have been selected to play for Samoa A.
At the back of my mind, I say the timing of this indecision is dubious, to say the least.
I feel like the Vikings were positioned in the best worst scenario to lose against the Knights going to the finals. Guys, this is not a dig against the Knights for going against the crippled Vikings, but the truth should be told regardless of our affiliations.
As a result of this decision, the Vikings, once formidable scrum becomes a pushover and the accurate line out, becomes a laughing stock.
Only in Hollywood, we see a daylight robbery but on Saturday we witnessed a midday robbery on the rugby field. Not by the referee either by the players or the coaching staff of the Knights U20s but by the shadowy characters of the gods of sports politics.
Added to my suspicions of dubious politics is when the TV1 sports commentator said that the reason why some key players of the Savai’i Vikings were not allowed to play is to avoid potential injury.
Are they kidding us or making a fool out of us?
Pick your favorite sedition.
Any of these key players could have acquired a serious long-term injury before the quarterfinals, before the semi-finals and even earlier. The selectors have them play anyway until the Vikings messed up the plàns of the certain people of rugby when the Vikings secured the finals spot.
In saying this, I wonder how many Senior A players are chosen to play in the Samoa A yet were allowed to play the finals?
Timing is everything, and in this case, timing played against the Vikings because politics plucked the key players off the team before the whistle blows.
So pretty much, the Vikings lost their finals match before you and I got up.
Can you imagine Keiran Read, Beauden Barret, and Ben Smith are removed before the Rugby World Cup finals because they might get injured before the Lions tour?
Spare my exaggeration but I guess the point is obvious, no one should be too powerful to push around the local coaches and players to feed the greedy mouth of politics in sports.
All along, the people lurking behind the sports are probably expecting an all Upolu finals until the Vikings tied up their hands.
But I guess, not tight enough to stop them from achieving their last-minute deceit for reasons the gods of politics only know.
From my previous article, I said the following:
My two cents is this; when politics is involved in sports, a little more than it should, politics can and will ruin pretty much anything and everything it touches because politics undermines the sports’ unifying and uplifting abilities.
I do not suggest that politics is utterly useless in sports so I hastily add, if and only, politics in sports is kept to the minimal, from all sports, Samoa’s sports will thrive and become a powerhouse.
The operative word here is minimal. Thus, less is more; less politicisation the better for all our sports!
Once again, I see clearly the dirty work of politics working its poison ivy against the less connected and less favored team from Savai’i, a social issue that favors the Upoluans than the Savaiians that is probably best discussed next time. Are the Upoluans deserve to achieve more and get more than the modest players of Savai’i?
Heck no, this is Samoa and we are Samoans living in a small but abundantly blessed island nation.
What I hate the most is not the loss but the fact that the gods of politics denied us the memorable finals between these rivals.
Muhammad Ali was at his best when he fought against Foreman and Frazer. Michael Jordan was at his best when he played against Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Karl Malone and Shaquille O’Neal. Usain Bolt was at his best when he ran against Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, and Andre de Grasse.
The Knights and Vikings can bring out the best from each other so why the gods of sports politics deny us these memorable finals between the future Manu Samoa players? Are their selfishness beyond the reach of human decency?
Today, the Vikings might have lost the finals against their formidable rivals the Knights.
Today, the Vikings won the hearts of Samoa for playing their hearts out without their captain Elisapeta, their playmaker Ricky and their strongman Alofaaga.
Today must be remembered as the day when the greedy politics robbed us of an exciting finals match. Tonight, we should make some noise and say enough is enough!
Avid rugby fan!