Marc Van Ranst’s whistle


It should come as no surprise that the people of Laeken were evacuated for the duration of the competition and that Zaventem airport was temporarily closed. Everything for safety! It should come as no surprise that a spray plane disinfected the Heysel Stadium half an hour before the match with a caustic and strong-smelling product, causing instant concrete rot, staining the turf steed and the birds falling dead from the sky. It will not be surprising that the 22 players with a mouth mask from a good brand took office, not only for the traditional team photos, but for the duration of the entire match. That they wore plastic gloves in club colors, which usually do the dishes.

“Men,” referee Van Ranst told the team captains, just before kick-off, “whoever does not keep a meter and a half away gets yellow, who cannot keep their hands at home or feels the need to tackle, gets red from the first time, is red. understood that? ”

The captains, who had been pressured by their club chairmen to always agree with Van Ranst and especially not to laugh with the jersey that the virologist wore over his referee outfit, muttered ‘yes’ from behind their mouth masks. They just wanted to play and no bullshit.


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