Organisers of the first international football tournament between the different world religions were close to abandoning the entire event this morning, after violence and scandal had marred the opening week.
A tricky opening derby between the rival Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam erupted into open violence on the pitch, followed by all out war leaving thousands dead, a whole region devastated, but both sides moderately satisfied with getting a point from the scrappy 0-0 draw. The atmosphere was not helped by the Sunni fans’ frustration at being unable to think up any rude chants to shout at the Shi’ites.
The late imposition of a strict no-mother policy had already led to the withdrawal of the Jewish side, and the Catholic team are still under investigation thanks to an overenthusiastic under-16 recruitment philosophy.
Hare Krishna United, the team widely tipped as contenders to win the cup, have been banned from holding goal celebrations that go on longer than the match itself, and the Zen Buddhist team have been warned that their equivocal stance towards winning throws ‘a cloud of suspicion’ over their inclusion. The Ras’tafari have failed to turn up to a single match on time, while there have been aggressive tactics from the Jehovah’s Witness front men who replays have shown running towards the opposing goalkeeper and then trying to sell him a copy of the Watchtower.
More violence broke out between Protestant and Catholic teams after the Catholic centre back was let off a red card after a confession and ten Hail Marys. Football pundit Andy Townsend commented, ’The Christian lads have clearly been suffering at the hands of several newer and more dynamic religions, including Islam, Shinto Buddhism and er, Homebase. It was about time they smartened up the squad and got some new transsubstantiated blood in.’ However he was left speechless when fellow pundit Richard Dawkins questioned whether God or indeed football actually existed.
The tournament continues for the time being, but the signs are not good. As the Catholic manager Pope Benedict XVI said in the post match interview; ‘We’re hoping to draw the Quakers in the next round. We’ll kick the shit out of them.’
Zadok (hat tip to Fun and Games
and Stan Laurel)