By David Goodwin
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Anticipation ripples through the city as its newly swelled population eagerly awaits the coming of the match. The normally dormant crowds are now transformed into a multitude, a sea of swarming colours: reds, blues and greens merge to become one as the masses are seen swarming through the city square towards a unified destination – the stadium.
fans, the stakes could not be higher. One slip means millions of crushed
hopes. One wrong decision results in rage and hatred, but one
well-placed kick consummates pure joy for millions of avid followers
around the globe.
before the game, the masses are heard chanting their war cries, taunting
each other to the point of fury. The opposing fans eye each other off,
like bloodthirsty soldiers, looking for chinks in their enemies’
armour as they prepare to do battle. They stand on their seats around
the stadium, hoisting their banners high. Each side of supporters, loyal
to the last, glorious in the adulation of their heroes, but vicious in
the ridicule of their enemies. The stadium (fortunately split in two) is
contrasting to say the least. Red and Blue face each other and prepare
for battle like a dormant volcano, awaiting the inevitable eruption.
this explosion takes place as the players emerge from the safety of the
tunnel. They are greeted by rapturous applause of their supporters…
along with the spiteful and malicious derision from the opposing forces.
As these emotions merge, all that can be heard is a deafening roar that
reverberates around the stands, causing the stadiums’ very foundations
to omit a low rumble.
A flash of
colour suddenly appears as several bright crimson-coloured flares are
let off around the arena and with its enclosed roof, the atmosphere
created is a hazy, hostile battlefield that somewhat resembles the
sulfuric pits of hell.
by cries of discontent, the reluctant referee, dwarfed by the giant
athletes, blows his whistle and the ground becomes alive with movement.
The roar somehow reaches more decibels than before and the yells of the
players, only metres away, are overpowered by their supporters
outbursts. As the match progresses, the roar slowly decreases to a buzz
that hums around the arena as the masses settle.
silence doesn’t last long as a player darts down the wing, leaving
three slow, bumbling defenders in his wake. In slides a defender, and
after gleefully skipping his tackle the midfielder crosses the ball
goalward. In an action almost parallel to his teammate, an optimistic
forward bolts down the center of the pitch towards the ball and as it is
crossed, he can be seen bustling his way past several defenders as he
soars to meet the ball…
the ball agonisingly flies past the desperate, outstretched hands of the
keeper, the delirious mob behind the goals rise as one: a sea of red,
swarming with delight, triumphantly raising their arms in victory as the
opposing side of the arena, clad entirely in blue, stare in disbelief,
play resumes, the verbal war between the supporters hastens and grows
then bottles are traded as riot police move hastily into position and
get ready to earn their money.
doesn’t deter the mob as they continue their bickering, which,
thankfully, hasn’t graduated into anything more serious.
But then it
happens. As if the entire stadium was filled with gas, a single spark
occurs to ignite already frayed tempers. A young, na´ve striker,
darting in a zigzag pattern towards the goals, is rapidly approaching
his date with glorious destiny. Forty yards out, he releases a venomous
rocket off his left boot and the ball, like a heat-seeking missile,
soars and curves, seeking the top-right-hand corner of the net.
celebration, the young looks put of the corner of his eyes and
formulates a vision of something sinister, approaching at breakneck
speed. Realising that this glimpse could be somewhat more menacing than
originally anticipated, the young, unschooled competitor turns and
stares into the stone-cold eyes of his nemesis and sees something more
colour drains from his face, the young man, in vain, attempts to protect
himself in the best way possible. He thinks he glimpses a glint of metal
studs as his legs are taken from under him and broken in a sickening
crack. A deafening silence speeds around the stands as the crowd
watches, filled with horror, but unable to look away. They witness the
young man flip up in the air, like a scarecrow in a vicious storm.
People in the front rows then catch the evil snigger of his adversary as
the young man lands in a crumpled heap – motionless.
opposition supporters shudder in sympathy for the dismembered object
that once resembled a successful athlete. But their empty sentiments are
silenced by the white-hot rage and vehemence that spews, like molten
lava, from the red side of the arena. They leap from their seats as one,
and run towards the fence. But this time they do not celebrate.
for the man’s blood.
protest and scuffles begin on field, but off field, absolute bedlam
rules as the match pales in insignificance to the events that surround
it. More police are called as the fences that separate these mortal
enemies bend and groan under the pressure of the masses, whose war cries
have passed the level known as ferocity. Their rage now has a hunger all
its own, that can only be satisfied with its own pound of flesh.
greedily await confrontation.
efforts to keep peace ultimately fail as the fence that disjoins them
crashes down spelling the end of stability for all. The two halves of
the arena rush into battle as hungers are abruptly satisfied. Red and
blue merge to become a sickening magenta-coloured orgy of violence as
opposing ideologies and weapons clash. Chairs are ripped out of the
ground, flung and then make contact with faces, crushing noses, cracking
jaws and smashing sculls.
enough, the players and officials realise the carnage that now surrounds
them and call the game off, but not before thousands of crazed, bloody
supporters hurdle the fences and begin to invade the pitch, seeking
retribution. Like a swarm of murderous bees they stream onto the grass
as green is superseded by reds and blues, no longer clashing but now a
confederated force with a unified objective.
teammates, deprived of their safety barrier, glimpse at each other, then
at the outstretched hands and murderous eyes of what were once their
loyal subjects and rush for the safety of the tunnels beneath the
ground. As they run for their lives, they take one last quick glance at
the defoliation surrounding them and realise that what started out as a
game has turned into cold-blooded war.