I don’t consider football as a mere weekend leisure option. It is a religion. It is a profane religion that is practised from Monday to Sunday and recognises the fans in the stands of the stadium as the executors of a family, cultural, and even aesthetic heritage. The fan in the stands at the stadium is the one who does not consider the opponent, the cold or the heat as an impediment. You go to the stadium because you have to go. After all, it is part of the football liturgy; it is something greater than oneself that does not consider age or social class. You go because you are part of a consecration.The membership card is not a piece of plastic that is passed through the turnstile at the entrance; it is not a customer card, it does not imply the return of the money if you are not satisfied with the play of your team or with the result, you get angry if you do not like what you see, of course not because you have not come to warm up your seat but to warm up and feel the warmth of the stands. We go to the stadium for the shirt of the team we want to win. The goal, the embrace of the goal, remains the high point of the liturgy, but the pre-match will also be worshipped. And post-match if necessary. It does not have a merely decorative role that modern football, always fearful of everything it cannot homogenise, foresee or anticipate in market studies, grants it. The stand fan wants to have fun. But that will not necessarily depend on them witnessing a goal or the ball moving quickly on the pitch. But belonging to a group means that being entertained or bored is a tiny sensation, as opposed to commitment, identity, belonging, adhesion, and community. The stadium fan has a “Kennedysian” halo that is vindicated by wondering what he can do for the eleven on the pitch. Wave a flag.

Go for miles. Cheer more—queue for hours. Stay after the final whistle to pay tribute to the effort. The stadium fan has his calendar. Their team’s match conditions trips, plans and holidays. The stadium fan assumes that with his support, he can have the ability, the right, to influence the final result directly. So much so that coaches ask for a pressure cooker when a match gets complicated; each has its own rules and peculiarities, which is why every stadium sounds different. It is an aberration to dilute it with soulless megaphones that reproduce identical messages in all stadiums until they impose a patterned landscape lacking plurality. That is censorship.
The stadium is the fan’s home, history, city, and memories. We must avoid understanding football as an export product in search of new markets. That is simply plundering; teams belong to the neighbourhoods that gave them their essence, to the cities where rivalries were forged, and to the fans that populated the benches of their eternal rivals. Football is a cultural heritage that should be protected, and political institutions should be aware of this. Stripped of its habitat, football becomes a distorted simulacrum with no future. Passion is dying, not a fad subject to the current situation. It is precisely unconditional support that is the foundation on which everything else must be built. If football is a fad, it risks being eclipsed by the next fad when it is least expected.

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