Now I'm not one of those people who would ever describe football as 'the beautiful game' - after all, it's awash with obnoxious prima-donnas who are obscenely overpaid, petulant, foul-mouthed and self-centred, and who (along with their vacuous, silicone-enhanced WAGs) provide the worst kind of role models for youngsters by their attitudes, actions and complete lack of humility and respect for authority and society.
However, whilst the excessive salaries, ridiculous injury over-acting, alleged rape and everything else associated with a sport that now seems bereft of morals results in my lamenting the state of football in this country, a quick glance overseas makes you realise that it could be worse!
Example 1 is from Nigeria where two football teams (one of which had the extraordinarily intimidating name of 'Police Machine FC') were vying for promotion. At half-time, Police Machine FC were leading their opponents (Bubayaro FC) 6-0, whilst their arch-rivals, the less impressively named Plateau United Feeders FC, were a goal better off in their match with Akurba FC at 7-0.
Christ only knows what went on in the dressing rooms at half-time (bribes, threats, an episode of Loose Women, you name it) but the fact that the 61 goals (yes, that's 61 goals, or a goal ever 45 seconds) scored by Police Machine was not enough to eclipse the 72 goals scored by PUF simply beggars belief (although there were some suggestions that PUF's 54th goal was off-side).
It makes the Guinness Book of Records highest score (Arbroath 36, Bon Accord 0) look like a highly competitive encounter!
But that is nothing compared to Example 2 from Brazil where a referee, frustrated that a player he had sent off had refused to leave the pitch, decided it would be a good idea to stab said player (fatally), whereupon the stabbed player's friends and family invaded the pitch and promptly chopped off the referee's head!!
I guess referee's in this country will listen to shouts of 'The referee's a wanker!' from the terraces and be thankful they're not hearing the sound of machetes being sharpened.