A cup final between rivals Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers is always a feisty match one cannot bear to miss despite the fact that the quality of football has lost its salt.
I must, however, say I am disappointed with the organising committee for failing to sell tickets before the match. Pre-match ticket sales help to prevent chaos and violence at the gates and reduce embezzlement of gate revenue. These are twin evils besetting our football but it seems we are not prepared to change the way we run the game.
It is this ‘business as usual’ attitude that is stunting the development of the game. Enough of that!
I remember when Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muwamba collapsed on the field and regained consciousness due to proper first aid attention he received at the stadium, there was unison for better first aid in football across the world. Administrators proposed proper medical examinations before matches to avoid such scenes.
Recently, our junior football league has lost two players after they collapsed on the field. This is even more serious than the violence we are crying about. What first aid treatment do these young people get during their matches? Do they even have team doctors on the bench or it is ‘the business as usual’ attitude where someone with no medical background runs on the field with a bottle of water to give players first aid treatment? Our football administrators will probably wake up when one of the parents initiates litigation against them.
The Champions League draw once again dominated debate this week for notable fixtures. Arsenal meeting Bayern Munich three times in four seasons is something that some faint-hearted Gunners fans are unhappy about. But my diehard friends have accepted it as a necessary challenge to overcome to be worthy champions.
Man City too are in what looks like a group of death with Juventus and Sevilla as opponents that could give them tough competition. Champions League has eluded Man City since the new owners started splashing cash around. This season could be different judging by the ruthlessness with which City have started their league campaign.
Meanwhile, there are interesting fixtures to enjoy in the Premier League. Arsenal meet Newcastle in an early kick-off today and this would be an interesting match looking at the resilience that Newcastle showed when they avoided defeat against Man United last week. Arsenal are favourites to win this one.
Chelsea too have a tricky fixture against Crystal Palace. As Arsenal discovered a fortnight ago, Alan Pardew’s side is not an opponent to be underrated. Mourinho’s defence could be tested again today as the John Stone’s transfer saga is protracted. Everton as usual want to make maximum profit from free-spending Chelsea by refusing a $45 million offer.
Manchester United travel to Liberty Stadium to meet Swansea on Sunday. Swansea held Chelsea in their opening league match and it was deserved. United need to show consistency. Their Champions League play-off outings have been pleasing on the eye. The flow, the purposeful attacking, the ruthlessness in front of goal are all there. It’s time to dream again if you are a United fan with belief. But Swansea is the team that collected six points off Man United last season. Let the games flow. n