This Madness Called Football!

Call me a ranting imbecile, I really don't care. The subject of football fanaticism has reached a perturbing height that it begins to beg the question: Is it really worth it? Does it truly count at the end? Wednessday, Ist of February, will be remembered as a black day for the beautiful game of football. It all happened at Port Said in Egypt. Mayhem was let loose between fans of Al-Masry and Al-Ahly. This was after the match where the former had an unprecedented 3-1 win over the more renowned Al-Ahly. This senseless rancour claimed the lives of 74 (78, depending on who you choose to believe) people. Suffice it to say, this ugly incident is simply the latest in a series of violence and unrest surrounding the sport. From the frenzy world of the English Priemiership to the stern turf of the Italian Serie A, to the exquisite football artistry in the Spanish La Liga, the story of violence is the same. Even in our own country Nigeria, some fans have gone insane. We have had series of cases where fans of foreign clubsides either kill or injure oppossing fans. Some marriages have been destroyed in the name of football, idleness have taken on a new name for some, and overall efficiency at work have taken a nosedive, all in the name of football. How did we get here? Football pundits will argue that football offers a form of escapism for many, from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially in this part of the world where news headlines are a pack of nightmares. However, there is the need for fans to check this excessive love (lust if you like) for football. Richard Wright famously stated that 'the spectators can never be part of the action'. Thus, no matter how attached you are to a particular football club, you can never become a gladiator. The true moments of glory and agony of a clubside are truly felt by the players, coaching staff and management. This is not saying that becoming a football fan is acrimonious and bad, however, we all need to realize that at the end, it's just a game which should merely be enjoyed, at least for the fans. Thus, it is obvious that it does not worth breaking a sweat or losing sleep or skipping meals the next time your team loses a football game.

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