After Igor Lebedev, of the nationalist LDPR, published proposals for the legalization of football hooliganism in the run up to Russia hosting the World Cup in the summer of 2018, we take the time to think through seven of the implications of this concept and how, whilst one day many years hence you might be able to bet on Draka (literally “fight”) matches between rival gangs of supposed football fans in specially designed arenas around the world, right now it’s a bit far fetched…….um…..isn’t it?
1. Could We Legally Bet On Draka At Bet365?
UK gambling laws do not technically allow for wagers that involve human suffering (although it’s never stopped the bookies taking bets on the Eurovision Song Contest) and there would need to be some adjustment in legislation if the likes of Bet365 were to even contemplate running books on which group of hooligans from which country might triumph in an organized brawl. That said some of the side bets (first head injury, number of broken bones per team, final death toll) would be fascinating.
2. Pre & Post Draka Interviews
One need not spend too much time paying attention to sports to know that most of its leading exponents are to public speaking what a road accident involving nuclear waste is to your daily commute to work but that wouldn’t stop the TV coverage filling in time before and after the matches with silly interviews, and you can bet on draka exponents not being the most lucid of speakers. Worse still, imagine a polished up hooligan speaking after PR training from a consultant…….or just look at Nigel Farage.
3. Live Commentary
Obviously forward thinking television executives and management agencies will currently not be alone in the US, Russia or UK gambling news of these proposals might somehow turn into a real sport down the line. After all, stranger things have happened. Donald Trump is president. However you can bet on draka being a challenge for any live commentary team, which is why only Toby Moody & Julian Ryder are in any way capable, perhaps with added sideline reports from Chuck Norris and Sarah Palin.
4. Combo Moves For Extra Points
Naturally any sport needs a scoring system and whilst a suitably large number might be accrued by a team for having members still standing whilst the opposition all lie in a bloody heap of their own pain, there would also need to be additional points available for flashy combination moves that could be used in the amassing of the statistics necessary to make a bet on draka no more random than on your FIFA favorite or local Premier League team. Perhaps a panel of judges would be needed or a phone-in vote.
Any large scale sporting endeavor requires sponsorship these days and you can bet on draka being no different. After all, there are the travel expenses, hospital fees and funeral costs to think of, they all mount up. Fortunately there would be plenty of personal injury lawyers, medical care providers and funeral homes just queuing up to grab a spot sponsoring the sport, and whilst big names like Bet365 might not get involved, big sporting goods manufacturers like Adidas or Nike might like the publicity.
6. Signature Weapons
With the sport established, and millions visiting Bet365 etc to place a bet on draka each weekend, it would naturally come to pass that there would be an evolution towards ever more violent and shocking scenes as teams vied for world championship standings. Eventually this would involve the permitted use of some weapons, with each team perhaps allowed signature weapons representative of their heritage, their history and their origins. The Russians could have a hammer & sickle for instance.
7. Uniforms & Guns
The end game of any move to legalize hooliganism, or even merely turn a blind eye to it, is to have organized groups of armed young men in uniform with guns fighting each other to the death in nationalistic competitions of violence and gore. It would only be a matter of time before those who began by placing the odd bet on sports in UK or Russia would find themselves putting wagers on nothing less than localized wars. If nothing else you can bet on draka to be the thin end of the wedge.