Just before Avellino-Messina someone sends a message to Zeman. Which then really loses and remains petrified. Who had sent it? Why did guests try penalties? Why did the referee whistle two in two minutes? The mystery of one of the strangest matches in Italy
Ping. Notification. Incoming sms. Unknown number. Shall we open? Let’s open. Few words, one sentence. The message reads: “You lose this game”. Nostradamus in less than a hundred characters. When Zdenek Zeman reads the message on his cell phone it is late in the morning of Sunday 12 October 2003, the match is a couple of hours away. Avellino-Messina will soon be played at Partenio, 8th first leg of the Serie B championship, refereed by Mr. Nucini from Bergamo. As he sets out on the bench, under the autumn sun, with his usual phlegm and measured steps, preceded by the smoke of his cigarettes, thoughts chase each other in the Bohemian’s head, play hide and seek, jostle each other to come forward and reiterate your own truth. You lose this game. Okay. But what is it? A warning? A joke? A threat? Or more simply a preview of what is about to happen?
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