Two disc jockeys at soccer matches just discovered that some people playing the “Whamageddon” viral game take it very seriously.

The buzzy challenge involves trying to avoid hearing Wham!’s 1984 track “Last Christmas” during the first 24 days of December. Over the past decade since it began, an online community has been built up, complete with a set of rules. For some players, it seems, it’s an important part of the holiday season.

On Dec. 2, DJ Matt Facer took around 7,000 people out of the game by playing “Last Christmas” during a U.K. soccer match between Northampton Town and Portsmouth. He said he received insulting comments via social media afterward and issued an “official apology.”

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“I never knew people took it so seriously,” he told the BBC. “I gave it a spin, thinking it would be quite funny to wipe out 7,000 people who couldn’t avoid it, but clearly it isn’t funny. I had a bit of an insult on Twitter, light-hearted, [saying] it was not a nice thing to do, and apparently that was quite tame to what was being said in the stadium. … I don’t think I’ll be playing it again. I think it’s a shame people in professions like mine can’t play Wham! until [late] December, but it’s a game and we all have to jump on board.”

An unidentified DJ at a bigger soccer game didn’t seem to get the message: On Dec. 10, 60,000 attendees were “sent to Whamhalla” when “Last Christmas” was played during a match between Arsenal Women and Chelsea Women.

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The Daily Mail reported that while some victims took it as a joke, others were less impressed. “Really annoyed,” one wrote on social media. “Making me lose Whamageddon like this isn’t how I wanted it to happen.” Another said: “Emirates Stadium D.J., have a word with yourself.” Another called the decision “not funny and inexcusable.”

There are four rules to the Whamageddon game: Go as long as possible without hearing the song; the game runs from Dec. 1 to Dec. 24; only the original version applies (remixes and covers don’t count); and you lose as soon as you recognize the song upon hearing it. An additional guideline says: “While we can’t stop you from deliberately sending your friends to Whamhalla, the intention is that this is a survival game. Not a Battle Royale. So ... don’t be a dick, mkay?”

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Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

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