Commercial and bureaucratic hindrances collided with an uncontrollable reality: the faith of many players.
There's nothing like reacting to aggression and scorn with a smile and kindness, turning the other cheek.
The 1985 European Cup final, TURIN JUVENTUS V. LIVERPOOL, ended in tragedy and no-one cared about the score.
A confrontation between two groups of supporters ended with 40 dead and more than 500 injured. It was televised throughout the world, and we witnessed a dreadful spectacle.
It's incredible to me that people can be so violent. Often, a person would never do alone the things that they do as part of a mob. Mobs change personalities, sweeping people along; in a few seconds a simple sporting event becomes life threatening.
Many have, and still do, risk their lives in foolish battles over a club's honour, arguing over a penalty or just insulting those on the other side.
Many don't realise it's only a game, and as such should be taken lightly, with humour, enjoyment and good feeling. Life is so much more important!
We may not have understood Jesus' words about "turning the other cheek" when struck. This sort of tactic would eliminate fights between rival supporters. There wouldn't be any violence at all.
The rules are simple: don't reply to insults; turn the other cheek. Don't reply to scornful words; turn the other cheek. Don't return blow for blow; just turn the other cheek. It's only a game, and it's not worth responding in kind.
Nobody was as mistreated as Jesus, and yet he turned the other cheek. And yet he had all the power he needed to face his attackers! No-one was more hated, spat on, insulted, or physically and psychologically abused as he was.
But he responded by begging forgiveness for his abusers. If we could learn to do this, life would be very different. There's nothing like reacting to aggression and scorn with a smile and kindness, turning the other cheek.