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Cynicism will see football paying penalty

THE beautiful game has been ugly for a long time. A serious injury like Neymar's was inevitable.

It is the only profession where to call an act 'professional' is an insult: cynical, often dangerous behaviour designed to gain an advantage through cheating.

Cheating is now the dominant ethos in football. Every corner or near-goal free kick is accompanied by widespread, unpunished off-the-ball fouls.

Unless players can be made to respect rules, unless fouls and deception become the exception not the norm, then football contains seeds of its own destruction.

KEITH FARMAN

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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