Jamie Carragher has been under the scrutiny of many high figures in the press and in the football world this week, after spitting at a 14 year old child whilst driving, after his lifelong former team Liverpool fell to a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on the 10th of March.
Consequently, the incident led to a suspension from being a pundit at Sky Sports, although it is not confirmed yet whether he will be allowed to return for the 2018/2019 season – although it seems his removal from the world cup punditry team is certain.
The incident in question is said to have occurred as a result of the 14 year old child and her father – who was recording the incident behind the wheel of the vehicle – winding Carragher up after the defeat by repeatedly proclaiming “2-1” (in relation to the score of the game) at Carragher, who then proceeded to spit towards the vehicle – clearly an unacceptable reaction.
Harry Pettitt, 20, is a student at the University of Essex, who has also gone in and out of many football academies, including those of Norwich City, Colchester United and Ipswich Town, and this season has been involved for Braintree Town Football Club reserves.
In relation to his opinions of the matter, he showed clear disappointment at the fact that Mr Carragher had not been sacked, putting a very frank take on the matter, saying “If you’re working in One Stop and someone complains that the cigarettes are too expensive and you spit at them, you get sacked on the spot”.
He also believes the apologies aren’t a worthwhile matter from Mr Carragher, saying simply “If you punch someone in the face it still hurts”. In relation to football experiences himself, he states there shouldn’t have been a reaction, saying from his own experience that footballers are essentially “trained to take abuse”.
John Ottaway is a football fan, and is a former player
himself, having played for the Suffolk FA as a junior, and through various other leagues as an adult, before his career ended prematurely due to injury. He himself isn’t so sure on the incident, stating that ‘it hasn’t been seen from more than one angle’ and that ‘you can’t be sure of what happened prior to the filming of this incident’ – although it is alleged that the events of the girl shouting “2-1” occurred from multiple witnesses. He was also quick to point out that previously, Carragher had been a role model for many young footballers, but has also said that “as a role model you get there from learning from your mistakes – spitting in football I general is unacceptable”.
He also outlined the fact that spitting does occur in all levels of football, talking about his own experience in county football “One was blatantly at me but it was on my chest. At that point, I did show the referee, the referee took no action whatsoever – he basically told me to get on with the game – in the mid ’90s it was
Spitting has been an item that has gone unnoticed by officials in football for a long time – something clearly amplified by players such as El Hadji Diouf spitting at players repeatedly whilst at Liverpool and Celtic.
However, with items such as Video Assistant Referee – where the referees can pause the game to review incidents from multiple angles – and of course mass discussions taking place on social media – in particularly on Twitter – then it is surely only time before spitting becomes so obviously scrutinised that referees and officials can’t miss it. Not to mention the fact that referees can now more easily than ever before hand out retrospective bans – otherwise known as bans after the game – to players (just look at the Luis Suarez biting incidents for an example.
Agressive spitting – a blight on football, but a blight that with discussion will surely be eventually removed from the game.