Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa were awarded The Fairplay Award on Monday night at The Best Fifa Football Awards – which has sparked mass reaction on social media, including Tweets from a Derby player and Gary Lineker.
The award has been handed to Leeds after Bielsa ordered his Leeds side to allow Villa to score an equaliser in the 1-1 draw in April at Elland Road. It was after Mateusz Klich had scored with Jonathan Kodjia injured.
Albert Adomah equalised at the request of Bielsa, and the game finished 1-1. However, many in the footballing world have mistakenly suggested that Leeds should not have won the award because of what has been dubbed as Spygate.
Leeds were caught spying on Derby County’s training sessions, before Bielsa admitted to spying on the rest of the league’s opponents. But the award was given to Cooper for the Villa incident. Lineker and Bennett reacted to the award.
Liberrrrtttyyyyyy, FairPlay award 😂😂😂
— Bizzle (@Masonbennett20) September 23, 2019
🤣🤣🤣 🕵️♂️ https://t.co/zlpw9iqVgO
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) September 23, 2019
TBR’s view – Bielsa has done everything to make things right
Lineker and Bennett, and indeed many footballing fans’ reaction is somewhat harsh on Bielsa. The Argentine boss admitted the mistake of Spygate, but has reiterated that he did this at all of his former sides – and it was an honest mistake.
He paid the £200,000 fine out of his own pocket. Against Villa, it was Bielsa that spoke to Dean Smith on the touchline, and despite being sworn at by John Terry, he ordered his players to allow Villa to equalise.
Bielsa deserves the award, even if Mason Bennett and Gary Lineker do not believe so.