To non-afficiandos of Belgian football, (and I am sure there are some of you!) you may not know that there is a stalemate at the top of Belgian league between Anderlecht and Standard Liège. This means that two sudden-death “test matchs” – a first in the history of the league – will take place this week.

This led to an appeal by my Standard-mad Belgian flatmate that this was a sporting and cultural event not to be missed. Convinced, we raised ourselves at the ungodly hour of 6h00 on Sunday, bleary-eyed and still tired from the previous night’s festivities. A one-hour drive, two and half hours being rained upon in the queue – only to be told that we were too far back to have a chance of a ticket.

Demoralised and damp, we decided to head back to Bxl for a hearty breakfast, only to spot a gap in the barriers at the very front of the queue for tickets.  How much do we want these tickets? We jumped in, skipping a few thousand people in the process and straight away were wracked by guilt. Catholic consciences kicked in and we decided that the fans we had skipped were just as keen as us for tickets, only prepared to get up that bit earlier. So, we stepped out of line, ticketless but with moral fibre intact.

My Mum would have been proud, my football loving Dad disgusted.

– Michael

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