Players have got it pretty good in the Premier League nowadays. Any standing water on a pitch and the game is called off in a heartbeat – the chances of looking like complete amphibious clowns are minimal.
Thankfully, such killjoy measures have clearly not quite made it to the J-League in Japan just yet.
Have a butchers at this complete dog’s dinner of a match at the weekend between FC Tokyo and Kobe. A sudden thunderstorm made it clear to all involved that the pitch was totally unplayable.
Everyone except the referee, that is, who happily called ‘play on’ – no doubt restraining giggles as the players scuffed, hacked and paddled their way through the game.
The ball soon became as lifeless as Mario Balotelli in training, meaning an inviting throughball required a cannonball hoof of Tony Yeboah proportions. All in all, calamitous capers befitting of a Benny Hill theme tune.
Kobe won the water-polo match-up 1-0 in the end, earning themselves three points and fully evolved gills and blowholes.
Sadly no fan participation took place in the sodden occasion. To be fair, the bar was set awfully high for them just last month by Poland’s supporters: