by John Stephens

Every Sunday afternoon men, young and old, the length and breadth of the country play in Amateur football leagues. Far removed from the Theatre of Dreams they are faced with the Theatre of Reality on a variety of different pitches, each one more worn out than the previous.

In recent weeks in high profile games we have seen a few robust challenges, most notably Nigel De Jong on Hatem Ben Arfa which resulted in the latter having to undergo surgery to repair his tibia and fibula. Of course these are commonplace as you descend further into the murky depths that football reaches.

Dr. Michael d’Hooghe of Fifa recently stated that ‘some players come on the field… to break a career’ and even labelled the acts as ‘disfiguring football at the highest level’ and ‘criminal’. On a game on Sunday that was played on Cavalry Park’s own Theatre of Reality, the only criminal acts were those of violent conduct and not of the beautiful game played in its somehow attractive brutal force with a real injection of venom in tackles.