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Football can Calm the Savage Beast (For 90mins...)

Pic from the game: Maxim Malinovsky/AFP/Getty Images
Just in case anyone doesn't believe soccer/football takes shape off the field, take a look at this take on the current tensions around Russia and its border nations. When Ukraine and Belarus played a Euro 2016 qualifier last week, politics came to the fore.

But, what is really interesting is that the game, for all the violence - both potential and real - put the blow-ups on hold. The violence here was around the game, not during it.

Sure, soccer/football can set off or be used to justify thuggish behaviour. But, the game itself - those 90 minutes between white lines - is rarely disrupted (I say rarely as it does happen).

The thuggish stuff would happen anyway, with or without any soccer/football, so it's unfair to blame the game for it. The game can take some credit though for putting it on pause, mostly, if only temporarily. That's a moment in which peace can take hold.

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