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Sports & Fitness
July 11, 2014

Diary of a FIFA Virgin

Text by Nittal Chandarana. Illustration by Wyanet Vaz

We’ve finally caught the FIFA fever… just in time for the finals!

I don’t watch Football. I’ve never particularly enjoyed the sport. What good could possibly come of 22 men running around an abysmally large field, just for kicks. However, this World Cup has me converted. The drama, the upsets and not to forget, The Suarez Bite. Here’s what I take away from the FIFA World Cup 2014.

I close at the open: There was a whole lot of expectation from Brazil for the Opening Ceremony. Samba, Capoeira, Latino swag…they’ve got it all, but the grand event bordered on disappointing. The Café Rio panel failed miserably too. The biggest sporting event of the year and this is how they present it?! Twitter rebelled. I did too.

Vive la FIFA! Not. I went on to watch the John Oliver clip on FIFA. This man of the moment has done a thorough job of piecing together the bitter truth. He reveals that FIFA is a highly corrupt organization (but then, what isn’t?) that makes unrealistic demands on the host country and the players. You can watch it here. This probably explains why the Brazilians went berserk after being eliminated from the Cup. All that money down the drain; still no trophy. Yeah, I’d be pretty miffed too.

The GoT (Game of Thrones, you philistines!) touch: Thirty-two countries from world over participated to win the coveted cup. Brazil were touted as the favourites and had the added advantage of home ground. Now, if only the Germans hadn’t invaded the hosts and perpetuated a blood bath. The first semi-final match shall now be pronounced ‘The Yellow Wedding.’ Oh George R R Martin, your creation be omnipresent.

Bite me! Suarez sunk his fangs into an opponent. AGAIN. How does one simply pass that off as a mistake, and then sit back much like a scolded child, nursing a toothache? This is almost as ridiculous as the 2012 Wimbledon final between Federer and Murray where the latter blamed his loss on tight underpants (these sportsmen, I tell you). Also, the Suarez memes doing the rounds were a thing of beauty.

The upsets: It all started with Spain being maimed by Netherlands. No one expected that bad a loss. Oh, Chile also played its part in their elimination. Costa Rica beating Italy…now, what was that all about? Uruguay was humbled by both Colombia and Costa Rica. But then their star striker had to sit these games out due to strong canine instincts. Switzerland waltzed away with a win in a last-minute goal spree. That French loss was heartbreaking. And then there was the epic semi-final. The emotional jolts are real.

Eye candy: This sport attracts unnaturally handsome men. There’s enough written about them and you can click here for that end of the entertainment. Nonetheless, my list has one name: Gerard Pique. I’d like to go all Luis Suarez on him, for, have you seen those intense eyes?

Semi-final highs and lows: Nothing can quite match the lunacy of the Brazil vs. Germany semi-final. The Netherlands vs. Argentina match was a relatively quiet one. All that heady entertainment of the first one brushed aside. Argentina won by a penalty decider and will be facing Germany in the finals but with the Germans looking fierce and at their competitive best, do they really want to?

I’m rooting for Germany this Cup, purely based on their aggressive display of skill. D-Day: July 14. May the best team (duh, Germany) win.

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