Championship side Sheffield United and their Premier League counterparts Middlesbrough are to be the first two teams to be prosecuted by the Football Association under the controversial 2008 Cruelty To Football Act, after their FA Cup 5th round replay at the Riverside Stadium this week.
The two, who had already contrived to kill football in their first meeting at Bramall Lane ten days ago, stubbornly refused fans' requests to show enthusiasm for the game, and throttled all signs of life out of it, forcing many to walk out at halftime, and to go home for a cup of cocoa.
Many supporters claimed the two teams weren't trying.
Blades' fan Ernest Boredom, 12, who had travelled more than 100 miles to see his team, moaned:
"It was a disgrace what they did to football. I was so ashamed of myself for just sitting there and doing nothing. Never, in all my years as a fan, have I seen anything so cruel."
And Boro fans weren't any happier. Stanley Dour, said:
"The poor game was on its last legs, but they kept on kicking it whilst it was down. It was shameful. They ought to be prosecuted for cruelty to football."
It was this latest remark that prompted the FA to act. A statement on the FA website explained:
"If teams are going to meander through games like these two did, the FA will have to step in. Football is all about putting effort into every game, not just World Cup Finals. Wet Tuesday nights and long trips to Plymouth and Carlisle are all part and parcel of the game."
Richard Doogood, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Football (RSPCF), said:
"Football's for life, not just for Christmas."