Football is the most popular and perhaps one of the oldest games in our country. Its duration of ninety minutes remains packed with excitement. Perhaps no other game involves the fans so intensely. In recent times cricket has become equally or even more popular, but here the show element is more at play in ordinary matches.

The situation of a closely contested soccer match in a packed stadium is a very common sight. In Kolkata the match between Mohan Bagan and East Bengal is generally of the character. It is an age-old rivalry and its fans are sharply divided in their support. The supporters of the two teams are always at daggers drawn, though not the players. Often a good player of one team joins the other team and one seldom notices any feeling of malice prevailing between them. But their supporters sometimes become dangerous it a fan of the opposite side praises his team. Here the game is not judged purely on its merit. Here Personal feeling and sentiment of the onlooker counts for more.   

But what shall the game look like if such personal feelings do not affect the judgement? If the match is closely contested the ball shall swing from pole to pole. It will generate a rising sensation. Each time a team succeeds there shall be applause. This impartial applause shall encourage both the teams and the tempo of the match rise with every goal.

In a sensational one-day cricket match also there is excitement with every ball bowled and with every run scored. But the excitement is interrupted between over or intervals. But in a soccer match it is a sustained affair. The fate of the team swings in the balance almost every moment. There is almost no break except for the half-time. The crowd becomes involved in the game for the entire gamut of the game. 

These days the victories are celebrated through fire-works and crackers. Banners are displayed are displayed to acclaim individual players. Sometimes people cross the fence, even if a goal by their favourite team is given as wrong by the referee. In fact, the people remain so tense during the brief period; they often forget to behave like sportsmen. 

In view of these risks the authorities tighten the reins of control during such matches. Sometimes in a tense match between two favourite teams the crowd becomes violent. And they become unhappy with the decision. To an observer it seems as if for them the match is their life’s stake. Sometimes even bets are entered into and the match remains a hot topic in trams and buses as the people return home.


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