Just like brawling footballers, errant ministers must get the ...

Ideas

Just like brawling footballers, errant ministers must get the boot

The action against Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is a major improvement. But it is not enough

Executive editor: opinions and analysis

Football is not what immediately registers whenever the city of Paris comes to mind. One tends to think of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, all those trendy arrondissements, and fine cuisine. But the French are also crazy about the beautiful game, and being the reigning world champions, they are damn good at it too. Few will forget those emotional scenes in 1998 when the maestro, Zizou, led the victorious national team, Le Bleus, down a packed Champs Èlysées hoisting the World Cup trophy on home soil to chants of La Marseillaise.

Liberty, equality and beautiful football moments are what the French have given us ... well, at least until two Sundays ago. A foul-tempered clash between Paris St Germain (PSG) and Marseille at the Parc des Princes saw five players, including the Brazilian magician Neymar, sent off following a nasty brawl involving the two opposing teams.

But you see, football has a way of holding hotheads accountable, even after the fact. So it came as no surprise when French football authorities – after viewing footage of the brawl – upheld Neymar’s two-match suspension; but his teammates Layvin Kurzawa and Angel de Maria each received six- and four-match bans respectively for their part in the skirmish. ..

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