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Since when did I need to take a bet to enjoy
the beautiful game? Yet it’s everywhere I look.
Betting company logos splashed across players’
chests, scrolling endlessly on the hoardings pitch-side,
occupying whole pages of match day programmes
and constantly popping-up on live stream TV.
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Do I need some has-been actor, coach, player,
national treasure telling me it’s more fun to bet
in-play? Concentrating on the action it seems
is not enough; I should also make a wager
on which player will score first, and how, with what part
of his anatomy, his foot, his head or shoulder
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or on how many assists, bookings, corners, free
kicks, penalties, offsides, red cards or shots there will be.
The full ninety minutes reduced to numbers, odds
that ensure there is only ever one winner,
the reason why new punters are offered free bets.
Do you remember when we went to watch them play?