Football, an essential education

University students being offered cheaper tickets should be a regular occurrence

NEVE MATTHEWS

The atmosphere was electric at La Rosaleda on Sunday afternoon for the home match against Amorebieta.

Not once did the rowdy crowd in the 'grada de animación' falter in their chants, even when the opposition scored, in the ninth and thirty-ninth minute.

While sitting in the stands, feeling a camaraderie so overwhelming it almost seemed a physical being, I couldn't help but feel that attending matches should be made more accessible for students, particularly those in the Malaga area on short stays from other countries.

The initiative launched in an effort to fill the stadium for the Malaga-Tenerife weeknight match on 15 November, in which University of Malaga students were offered tickets for five euros, should be a regular occurrence.

This is a mutually beneficial arrangement which should be carried forward into the future; not only does a bigger crowd equal more encouragement, but it also encourages an affiliation between those students, mostly tucked away in the university district of Teatinos, and the city in which they have chosen to study.

Spending an evening at La Rosaleda is truly something special. The energy can be felt from the moment the stadium comes into sight and is sustained through to the very end of the match and beyond, both visually, with a sea of blue and white, and audibly.

It is welcoming to even the least committed or knowledgeable of people, and it is goosebump-inducing. The crowd works as one to uplift the energy of the team as much as possible, and when there is a common team to get behind or a mutual enemy to unite against, the solidarity of the city can be felt clearly.

One cannot help but feel patriotic watching Malaga CF at La Rosaleda. Therefore, it is highly important that university students who do not belong to the city feel some sort of connection through sport, which really does bring communities together.