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This soccer player’s act of kindness is exactly why we love sports

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You don’t have to understand Arabic to know this is the definition of sportsmanlike conduct.

Everything’s happening in Arabic, so it’s damn near impossible to determine why the call was made, but whoever was refereeing this game has obviously never been stuck between a rock and a hard place when one of his shoelaces went untied.

Ingthz05’s YouTube description gets it better: In a Saudi Premier League match Thursday, Al Nahdha goalkeeper Taisir Al Antaif and Al Ittihad striker Jobson took part in one of the most basic forms of sportsmanship when Jobson noticed Al Antaif’s shoelace was untied just before the goalie was to kick the ball back in, so he bent down to retie to the shoe—a move made necessary, of course, because of the goalkeeper’s clunky gloves.

It’s a cool thing to watch, because it acknowledges a lot of ideas about sportsmanship and fair play, even if it did create a particularly extended lull in game action. 

There’s a steadfast rule throughout FIFA soccer that goalkeepers are only allowed six seconds with the ball in their hands after they’ve picked it up. Jobson’s tie-job took about eight. The referee whistled Al Antaif for delay of game, and awarded Jobson’s squad a free kick. 

What happens next might be even sweeter sportsmanship than the shoe tying. 

Photo vía Ingthz05/YouTube

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.