Thin margins of error in life

JOHANNESBURG - In the year 2000, South African cricket was plunged into one of its darkest days when Hansie Cronje admitted that he took bribes from bookmakers to provide information and fix matches.

It was to herald the beginning of the fall from grace of one of the country’s most loved cricket captain and South Africa’s adored sporting figure.

With the appalling scandal following him everywhere, the disgraced Conje died two years later in a plane crash but the sceptre of the shame went with him to the grave.

The Cronje humiliation showed the dark side of various sporting codes with cricket and now football being at the centre of various match-fixing scandals.

While match-fixing has become a web that is threatening the entire sport because of the massive cash that is in circulation, recent events in England in which several England football managers have been caught by undercover sting operations accepting kickbacks, further cast doubts on the credibility of the sport.

What is it with people who have got money but want more and more money?

Is it pure greed or it is the avaricious nature of human beings?

How do you entangle your name is a web of deceit and damage your reputation for a few dollars which you can make in days?

As we speak, Sam Allardyce is without a job and trying hard to rebuild the little reputation left of him.

He was trapped and caught in a sting trying to solicit a mere
£400 000 from an undercover journalist and is now counting the costs of his greed.

There are several other British football managers who are undergoing further investigations by their clubs after the British media ensnared them in various traps.

Former Chelsea striker, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, now Queens Park Rangers coach, is also embroiled in the same scandal in which he accepted £55 000 in return to do favours for a ‘‘Malaysian undercover company’’.

This is not the first time coaches who are paid millions are caught trying to make more money when their annual contracts earn them millions.

For example, Allardyce’s annual income was around
£3 million.

That is a huge amount by any standards in this world.

Former Azzuri of Italy coach Antonio Conte was banned for months after he was found guilty of complicity in a number of match-fixing scandals and Harry Redknapp had his own running battles with the law but was later acquitted by the law after being tangled in another bribery scandal.

And the fact that eight other English managers have been caught in the sting operation accepting transfer bungs speaks a lot about how human beings have gone down for negligent amount of money when they make millions.

While we are all wiser in retrospect, at times it is prudent to ask oneself a number of questions before you involve yourself in decisions which can curtail your reputation for the rest of your life.

While Big Sam admitted he was devastated by his stupid decision, the harsh reality is that he will have to go to the grave carrying that big shameful cross.

Those are the thin margins of error in life; slight mistake, you can make it big or that might be your ticket to the Hall of Shame. That is life for you!

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