Sunday, 25 April 2010

Football Fix

"Why I hate Dynamo Kiev," explained my student, "is that during the Soviet Union they took every good player in Ukraine. "If you score for Odessa, first you go to the army, and then you go to Kiev." "How about Donetsk?" I asked. "Don't they have all the money now?"

He leaned closer. "There are two groups in Ukraine, one is for Kiev and one if for Shakhtar. All the referees are for Kiev. They lost today and it was the first time their player has been sent-off in three seasons. Three seasons. That referee will be unemployed." "So who's in Shakhtar's group?" I asked, thinking I'd need to check the internet to see if he was right. "At the moment there's Shakhtar, Kharkiv, Odessa, Luhansk and Karpaty Lviv, but Lviv sometimes change. We fight very hard when we play one of the other group but when we play each other everything is arranged. For example, tomorrow we play with Shakhtar. I can tell you the score now. It will be two-zero."

"And this is good?" I asked. "It's Ukraine," he shrugged.

UPDATE: Chornomorets didn't score, but Shakhtar got three. Which, according to this site, is also the number of red cards received by Dynamo Kiev players this season.

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