Sunday, November 10, 2019

Fiction

It was the last match of Group 2 qualifier for the 2050 World Championship. Bulgaria was receiving Scotland at the Sofia Glorious People's Arena. The game was sold out despite the incidents in the previous match where eight fans of the visiting side had been killed (two of them lynched under the burning crosses outside the stadium), and which had led to a 500 Euro fine by UEFA, and the rule that no banners of the League for White Europeans would be allowed within 50 meters of the stadium.
Scotland's star player, Kwame McMurthy, had expressed that he did not want to go to Bulgaria: the previous year the Celtic striker Alastair Nsonowa had been discapacitated for life after a racist attack in the player tunnel during a European match (this had led to a 100 Euro fine and two match suspension from being streamed online). The threats were numerous and many right-wing fan groups (there were basically no other fan groups any longer) were openly showing the weapons they planned to bring to the stadium under the resigned acceptance of authorities. A few Bulgarian newspapers even displayed large banners with pictures of the burning crosses from the previous match with the caption: "Welcome to OUR Sofia, Kwame".
Despite McMurthy's fear for his life, UEFA had publicly announced that his refusal to play the match would go against his contractual sponsor obligations, leading to a million Euro fine, McMurthy being disqualified from all football for life, and Scotland being banned from all football for ten years. The Scotting football federation had also asked that McMurthy be provided extra protection, but UEFA had said that they fully trusted the Bulgarian authorities to provide the necessary security.

Amid the widespread violence and death there are no news of the result of the match, but it is known that most of the Scotting players never played football again, and that after reiterating its commitment to fight racism in all its forms, UEFA fined Bulgaria 500 Euros and an unprecedented five matches were not to be streamed online.
But nothing helped, and within a few decades football was dead: Children and youth, growing up in a more diverse and tolerant society (if sadly not yet inclusive),  massively turned away from a sport that seemed to accept that it had become the exclusive playground of ignorant racism, xenophobia, discrimination and violence.
And nobody shed a f...ing tear.

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