Peace triumphs over War blitzkrieg

March 2, 2007

On an unprepossessing field in suburban Surrey, the ultimate academic grudge match has taken place, writes Chloe Stothart. Footballers from Bradford University's Peace Studies department took on the War Studies department of King's College London on Monday.

Peace won, with Bradford sneaking a contentious goal that the War Studies side claimed was offside. The tournament, dubbed the Tolstoy Cup, has a second leg in Yorkshire at the end of term.

There were no red or yellow cards, but the War Studies side appeared to be the more belligerent, with a string of late tackles. The Peace Studies team, however, were not scared into surrender.

The result belied the fighting talk from Michael Goodman, captain of the War Studies. He said ahead of the game that the Peace team would be annihilated by King's blitzkrieg tactics.

"We shall fight them on the pitches, we shall fight them for the goals," he promised.

The trash talk had already begun on the social networking website Facebook, with War Studies supporters calling the Peace Studies team wimps.

In the last encounter ten years ago, Peace inflicted a 15-0 defeat on their rivals. The War Studies goalkeeper surrendered halfway through to be replaced by a volunteer from the Peace side.

Appropriately, this year's Peace Studies unites nationalities from across the globe with Japanese, Angolan, German and Brazilian players - and the only female player in the tournament.

Despite being a Peace Studies PhD student, Adam Baird, Bradford's player-manager, said before the game that there would be "no love lost on the field".

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