Viva FIFA!!!

Man I love the World Cup!!!!

It truly does bring out the best in human kind. There are so many emotions that come along with watching the games. Fury, Fear, Fervor, Friendship and any other f-ing adjective you can think of. Princes and paupers, pontiffs and pagans, scullery maids and cabinet ministers – everyone loves a great game of football played on the world’s stage.

The World Cup is just about the only time a small girl (the maid)  in Accra will be forgiven for abandoning her sweeping duties to catch a glimpse of the game on her master’s TV. If she lives in a benevolent household, they may even offer her a mineral to enjoy with the rest of the family. She’ll have to sit in the back of the room, of course – the space on the carpet in front of the TV is reserved for the master and his spoiled little brats. In these exciting days, an Afghan man just might stop beating his wife long enough to let her catch her breath as his eyes are fixed on the tele for those intense 90 minutes, waiting for the pivotal moment when he can screech GOOOOAAALL!!! at the top of his lungs.

Yes sir, those 40 days every 4 years are indeed the best of times.

Unlike the other sport that shares it’s same name (and by that I mean American ‘football’, the abhorrent game in which only one player on each team actually touches the ball with his feet), true football is easy to understand and has very simple rules: 1)Keep from getting offside, 2)put the ball in the net, 3) don’t touch anyone or anything with your hands. Whether the referee is Korean and the player Xhosa, a yellow card is a yellow card. There’s no need for discussion or complaint. You both know the rules, you both know that you (Mr. Player) committed an offense, and all your jibbering won’t make sense to the Ref anyway.  Koreans don’t speak Xhosa.

Apart from Jacob Zuma’s ramblings this morning about this being “Africa’s World Cup” and going off script before declaring the games open, I’d say we’re off to a good start. The entertainment has been top notch, with African artists like M.anifest and K’naan ushering in the spirit with their invigorating and inspirational music in the days leading up to the event. I for one am proud that the games are being hosted on my continent’s soil…and that pride can only be snuffed out if those bush boys in S.A. don’t ruin the reverie in Jo’burg by robbing the world’s visitors blind. Some restraint fellows, I beg you.

Viva La Cup!!!