Categorized | Satire

FIFA: On the Field of Battle

Posted on 16 June 2010 by .

It’s that time of year again, when the city fills with so many flags you would think we had just turned into our very own UN. But don’t worry, this article isn’t about the boring UN, it’s about soccer, a much more admired international institution. Many people have said that if women ruled the world, there would be no wars. Opposingly, if I ruled the world there WOULD be wars. These wars would be fought on a soccer pitch, not a battlefield, using players instead of soldiers, and ball instead of bombs and guns.

And you know what? It seems that the world is catching up to my humanitarian level of conflict resolution; sort of… We haven’t stopped battling globally, BUT it does seem that FIFA is taking into account global turmoil/economics when devising which teams may face each other.

If you notice Japan and South Korea have been separated from North Korea possibly due to their conflicting pasts, and sadly present. However, the dispersal of the Asian teams may also reflect a need to keep the Asian Fifa market running. Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator/crazy person had announced that prior to the world cup he would only inform his citizens (prisoners) of Korea’s victories. If you’re a little bit confused about what I just said then you may not know that outside communication (internet, international newspapers) are banned in North Korea. It’s a shame North Korea ended up in the hardest group possible. It looks like Kim Jong Il will just have to tell his people that the World Cup was cancelled this year.

Also notice that all the African countries have been dispersed so they do not face one another. The logic behind this move is more economical than political. The host nation is African (South Africa), therefore Fifa wants to make sure all African teams have an edge in making in to the round of sixteen. Since inter-African travel is obviously cheaper than international travel, you are bound to make a higher profit from the Africans; this would be on top of other sales.  And let me tell you there definitely will be an African team in the round of sixteen; South Africa (host nation). As far as I know, in the history of Fifa the host nation has NEVER failed to advance to the round of sixteen (gamblers tip). Obviously this is another way to not only make sure local excitement for the cup stays high, but also to turn a higher profit and obviously boost the economy, although I’m sure how much Fifa cares about that.

But it looks like as South Asian’s we have been left out of all the fun; we’re on the sidelines and not in the arena where we belong. So, since there are no South Asian teams, which countries do we as South Asians support? The answer, as I have found is pretty eclectic. I support England, my cousin supports Germany, my brother likes Nigeria, and my friends would prefer South Africa, Cameroon or Ghana to win the cup. But let’s say, hypothetically, that a South Asian team did make it into the world cup. How would the rest of us feel? Would we support them, feel indifference, or want them to fail? As an Indian how would you feel if Pakistan got into the world cup and started parading around with their flags and honking their horns every time they won a match? Now my guess is you would say you’re indifferent. But come on, your only human, after you hear a car horn paired with a Pakistani flag enough times classical condition sets in, and you get annoyed. And really, why shouldn’t you? The countries of South Asia have a moderately conflicting past to say the least. But in the world cup “South Asia” doesn’t exist, it’s all about the individual country. No one ever cheers for the country right beside their own. Ireland won’t support England, Canada won’t support the USA, and India wouldn’t support Pakistan. To an extent the World cup is about National pride, and there is no way any country would ever support their biggest rival; and that’s fine.

In war, and in soccer, the only way you will ever unite two conflicting forces is to find a common enemy. And to that extent I hope one day that every single South Asian team does make it into the world cup. I would go a step further and say I would like us all to play as one team; “South-Asia United”. But most of all, it would be my preference to solve our problems on a field without guns and bombs. South Asia is 20% of the world’s population and 0% represented the world cup; that needs to change. Let’s put down the cricket bats, and use them as goal posts. It’s our time to take the stage.

Author: : BIlal Sarwer ,bms041788@hotmail.com. I like compliments and complaints; maybe you can combine the 2 and tell me how good I am at being terrible.

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