by Danny Hunter – Chief Football Writer
The Football Association has responded to falling viewership, believed to have been leeched by flagship European competition the Champions League, by instigating a new and unusual rule change. The standard rules of association football have been altered to allow for the murder of the opposition team.
When Manchester United take on Crystal Palace today the players will be allowed to attack each other with punches and kicks. The FA say that the violence is not being encouraged, but merely permitted, which means if it happens it is the players own fault.
The move comes after UK Athletics made it legal for their athletes to stab one another with spiked running shoes, and the International Cricket Council permitted the use of explosives at boring test matches. It seems the competition for blood in sport is really heating up.
“I think it’s bullshit and completely irresponsible,” said incorrigible cueball and president of the UFC Dana White, “MMA is a full contact combat sport where hurting your opponent is the aim. We have to ensure safety for our fighters and are bound by rules and regulations that do just that. How other sports can just come along, add a combat element and not be bound by those regulations is beyond me. It’s stupid, it’s just stupid.”
But FA executives believe the move could lead to better, more profitable years ahead for their end-of-season event. They also believe it will make English players more resilient and less likely to wimp out in international competitions.
“It’s nature, isn’t it? It’s survival of the fittest,” said Harry Bagsacash, secretary to the head of the FA, “We are just promoting the best of the best in footballing competition and ensuring anyone who isn’t up to that standard can’t just have a flukey season and end up in a lucrative contract with an idiot club like Newcastle or Liverpool.”
Personally, this writer feels this is a daft move by an organisation pumped full of money but starved of success for its measures as the England national team continues to underperform. Football purists will always reject rule changes, but it strikes me as daft that the FA would go for a move like this before they would ever consider video evidence use in matches or retroactive punishments for diving offences. But, it will make today’s meeting a much more interesting event.