Seville (Spain), Dec 22 (IANS) A joint campaign by Spanish football team Real Betis and the ride-sharing company Uber aimed at raising awareness about the perils of driving under the influence of alcohol surprised fans at the club’s stadium in southern Spain on Saturday by painting crooked midfield lines on the pitch.
In the minutes leading up to the La Liga match between the home team and Eibar, the Benito Villamarín stadium in Seville saw its midfield line suddenly traverse the center spot in zigzag, thus symbolizing the effects of intoxication resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, reports Efe news.
This scene, never before seen at an official football game, captured the attention of the thousands of fans attending the game, some of whom were likely left wondering whether they themselves had had a drink too many in the warm-up as they stared in disbelief at the unexplained crooked white strip across the grass.
Right before the sound of the starting whistle pierced the air, assistants removed what turned out to be a fake-grass cover to reveal the standard straight midfield line that would allow players to kick off the match without contravening FIFA rules.
At the same time, both in the center of the pitch and on the stadium’s screens, a straightforward message appeared: “If you drink and drive, everything gets twisted. There’s football. Let’s go.”
The Christmas season generally sees an uptick in alcohol consumption.
According to Spain’s traffic authority (DGT), 26 percent of the people killed in road accidents in 2017 tested positive for alcohol intoxication in excess of allowable limits. Almost three-fourths of those mortal victims showed at least three times the maximum permitted levels.