Posted by: the watchmen | September 11, 2008

Sunday Soccer_____________Newsletter.

Lord’s Day is gradually being eroded


AFTER years of debate, the first Irish League game to be played on a Sunday has taken place. For a long time, clubs from nationalist areas led calls for the rules to be changed, so it was ironic that yesterday’s controversial match kicked off at the heart of Protestant east Belfast.

Admittedly, there were exceptional circumstances – Glentoran should have played Bangor on Saturday but the ground was waterlogged and the fixture list is already congested because of the referees’ strike and a previous weather wash-out.

Some will argue that this is a further sign of Northern Ireland society ‘maturing’ and falling into line with Great Britain. Yet for others this will be another sad milestone in the gradual erosion of the Lord’s Day.

Religious faith is still strong here and many people will be deeply uneasy that football has crossed this line, placing Christian players and fans, as well as churches close to grounds, in invidious positions.

Six days should be enough to accommodate football – and club officials ought to think long and hard before taking any steps to make yesterday’s performance a more regular occurrence.<!—
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