Europa League Final 2016: St. Jakob-Park Debacle
As Jonas Eriksson blew his whistle to signal the end of the second 45minutes in St. Jakob-Park Basel, Switzerland, a quarter of the 38,512 spectators erupted to celebrate the victory of the three times Europa league winner - Sevilla. Tears trickled down the cheeks of some Liverpool players who had anticipated to go into the history book at Anfield after 'hitting the post' in their second finals of the season. For Liverpool, It was a tough showdown with the Liga Copa del Rey runner-up; a match officiated by a refereeing crew which after a drug test admitted to puffing hallucinogenic drugs.
Jonas Eriksson reportedly told UEFA doping officials he inhaled about “one gram of K2" before kickoff. Though the English side enjoyed a quick-witted first 45 minutes where blatantly palpable - egregious - fouls were not called as the officials who were patently under the influence of the narcotic changed the rules of the game allowing the match see four very obvious hand balls not counted. An instance of such was the Daniel Sturridge perfectly weighted pass that Grzegorz Krychowiak reached down and batted away. Jonas Eriksson said "I SAW A THOUSAND LIFETIMES IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE", "I TALKED TO GOD, I AM MY OWN FATHER".
The final whistle in Basel saw Sevilla clinched the trophy the third consecutive time. After successfully turning UEFA Champions League final into a Liga Madrid derby, Real Madrid trumped their city rival to lift their 11th UCL title.
The dominance of the Spanish league is now like the luminescence of the moon which can't be shielded. As the English teams struggle to clamber up the league of top clubs in Europe, The Spanish teams had climbed to the top taking part in all competitions across the continent. This is the third time Spanish teams would be clearing the tables leaving nothing left for others to compensate their travels.
When Liverpool football club arrived Merseyside, there were no open roof buses to convey them; their defeat to the Copa del Rey runner-up is the fifth consecutive final their newly appointed manager, Jurgen Kloop would lose.
While it continue to look as if the city of Liverpool is alone in their mishap, or as if Jurgen Kloop tribulation had just continued, I see the country that presently inhabit the duo to have added to its adversity and might strictly be affected by the loss in the long run. One tenable repercussion had been the non-participation of more than four English teams in Europe most elite competition whereas the Spanish empire have been having five representatives over the last 2 years.
The failure of Liverpool squad to replicate the night at Istanbul; Jurgen Kloop's unlucky kismet with finals; Jonas Eriksson misinterpreted vision and St. Jakob-Park debacle all accumulated to add salt to English football's injury.
NB- Squire Readen is a freelance writer who writes critical sport commentaries and other related articles. He is an objective sports fan and is currently the Director of Sports for the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), OAU Chapter. You can reach him on Pharmsquire@yahoo.com