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Hong Kong youth

What Ronaldo and Messi’s fates at the Fifa World Cup teach Hong Kong about giving youth a chance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 July, 2018, 5:01pm

I must admit that I don’t watch football often. But I did watch a few matches of the ongoing Fifa World Cup in Russia, and they gave me some food for thought.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are among the greatest football stars in history and household names around the world. It was a shock when both their respective teams, Portugal and Argentina, were knocked out in the round of 16. The results of this year’s World Cup reversed many predictions, and therein lies a lesson not only for footballers and coaches, but for everyone in society.

It is a reminder that it is essential to give the younger generation more opportunities, or they would be unable to fulfil their potential. It is unsustainable for Ronaldo and Messi to dominate the sport for much longer, because one day they will have to retire, if they are not already physically less capable than before. If teams are too reliant on them to score goals, there would be no room for newcomers to shine and climb up the ladder.

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The same applies to a typical workplace and even political parties: we must treasure the innovative spirit and passion of the younger generation. That’s why our youngsters are losing hope – they are deprived of adequate opportunities and their ideas are not respected.

Also, every four years, the Fifa World Cup reminds us of the importance of sports development. Sadly, our enthusiasm often wanes afterwards. It is no good just cheering on our heroes on TV. The government must end its negligence towards sports development by reforming the education system and putting capital into nurturing Hong Kong’s talent.

Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay