The greatest threat to the game today
Urine: Football’s yellow menace.
For generations, footballers have insisted on urinating. They did it at home, at stadiums, and hotels, on airplanes, trains, and even buses. Nothing could stop their regular secretion of waste fluid. But the practice was mostly contained to designated urination areas, such as bathrooms and empty bottles.
Recently that changed. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann got away with urinating behind an advertising board while playing a Champions League match in 2009, and since then football’s authorities have been trying and failing to combat a growing epidemic. In 2016, Mansfield Town striker Adi Yussuf was given a five match ban for urinating at the back of the stand during a match against Plymouth Argyle. In October, a player in Italy’s Serie D was also given a five-match ban after he “urinated in the direction of the away section, making obscene and vulgar gestures to his genital organ.” Two weeks later, Salford City’s keeper was sent off for urinating during a match in the National League North.
This pee-for-all has even extended into the stands, with a pair of Spurs fans getting lifetime bans for throwing urine at West Ham supporters.
In short, football is currently awash in an acrid tidal wave of horror and no amount of policing or punishment is able to stop it.
In an age with so much concern over ultimately frivolous matters like the use of video technology, the oversaturation of money in the game, and whether players celebrate goals scored against their old clubs, the true threat to football drowns the sport like a urinal cake on St. Patrick’s Day.
Getting players to stop urinating when they should be playing football will be a difficult task requiring more than mere red cards and five-match bans. FIFA and clubs around the world will have to work together and take meaningful actions like not allowing players to drink water for at least 24 hours before a match or having halftime last as long as it takes for every player to use the toilet, as if they were young children about to embark on a long car ride. If not, there’s no telling what kind of Lineker-esque hellscape this could lead to.
Follow Brooks on Twitter @BrooksDT.