. Informed . Opinions .

July 13, 2010

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP FOOTBALL: 10 TAKEAWAYS

What will people remember of the 2010 FIFA World Cup? Mostly, the things that got the most attention from the media. Sure, Ghanaian media may have devoted more pages and hours to bashing Suarez than the media based in any other country, and Honda may be a hero in Japan only. But, overall, these things stood out:

10.  Vuvuzela

Every place and every people on earth has some kind of vuvuzela. But none of the other people have used it to such alarming effect. Vuvuzelas have divided people with the same evil power of religion. There have even been clashes between pro-vuvuzela and anti-vuvuzela groups.

9.  The French Revolution

The outburst of the mosly-black soccer team against the all-white management resulted in France’s early exit from the World Cup. It was the first time that both the finalists from the last edition got kicked out of the tournament in the very first round. Soccer in France has been proved to be as great a divider as religion and vuvuzela. 

 
 

The Casillas Kiss. Image source: dailymail.co.uk

8.  Casillas Kiss

Goal-keepers are seldom in the limelight. So they play all kinds of tricks to be there – like pulling a Robert Green or kissing reporter-gf during live interview.

7.  The Dives and the Rules of Soccer

There had been lots of dives, mostly by the star players. The Brazilian team could start a show in Las Vegas with the talented actors they have in the team. Interestingly, dives are encouraged by FIFA. Often, the TV commentators would say that, “if he would fall at the point of contact, he’d win a free-kick.” Indeed, for the same type of contact, if a players dived, he won a free-kick. If he didn’t, there was no foul called! More interestingly, if two players pushed each other and one fell down, the foul is called against the one still standing! This is like traditional traffic accident ‘rules’ in India – if someone’s hurt, s/he’s not guilty!

6.  The Nike Curse

Look at the fallen starts – Messi, Kaka, Rooney, Ronaldo, ……… see the link? May be you can add Federar, too, to the list!

5.  Larissa Riquelme et al

Dutch porn stars offered ‘services’ if Holland won the World Cup. Maradona and Riquelme had made promises to run naked if their respective teams won the World Cup. After the ‘announcement, Riquelme was volcanic. I mean, on Google Trends. But most of the people searching for her had one question: where would she put that famous mobile phone while running naked! Even though Paraguay did not advance an inch in the tournament after her announcement, she striped anyway!

4.  Luis Suárez

One may become emotional about it. Hate him, Curse him. But Luis Suarez is an excellent player and he did what any other player would (or, at least, should) have done in the same situation. Amid all the boo-ing in the game for the third place, he played excellent football against Germany. As for Ghana, they were in the knock-out stage via an undeserved penalty-kick anyway.

3.  Bad Match Officiating

The first round of the World Cup saw some excellent examples bad match officiating. Legit goals were not allowed, goals from off-side have been allowed and numerous examples of other horrible calls. There need to be more officials on the sidelines, or the off-side rules need to be modified. But FIFA is run like the Vatican – both the organizations hate change.

2. Technophobia

FIFA is run by technophobes. Sepp Blatter is still adamant against the use of technology as an aid to match officiating even though just one simple step could fix a lot of issues related to match officiating: Allow a limited number of (unsuccessful) video-review requests regarding important decisions (goals, penalty kicks, any card offence etc). There are certain other things, too. Like, the maximum number of player substitution can be increased. Instead of two halves, the game can be divided into four quarters. Some post-game reviews should be done regarding blatant dives and rough plays that go unnoticed by the on-field officals.

 
 

Octopus FSM Paul. Image source: telegraph.co.uk

1.  Paul the Octopus

Is it just an octopus, or is He the FSM Himself!

Now, this may not be one of the most acknowledged things this World Cup, but the Spain-Germany semi-final match, to me, seemed to be the best match of the tournament. It was ‘technically’ superior to any other games in this year’s tournament. Display of individual dribbling skill might have been missing, but the game was entertaining nonetheless. The teams were evenly matched – Spain’s only advantage was Paul’s pick. I had expected the Spain-Holland game to go a similar way but the rough plays and fake dives spoilt it a bit.

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5 Comments »

  1. A few observations:
    (I could 10 observations on these 10 takeaways. But restrained myself :P )

    The Larissa Riquelme links nearly landed me in trouble. I didn’t think the stripping link would really land me on a naked-Larissa-page.
    I agree with your points here, particularly with your suggestions on use of technology and other improvements
    I didn’t know about the Nike Curse! :-)

    Comment by Pranay — July 13, 2010 @ 9:18 PM

    • You could write 10 observations, that would be informative and helpful I’m sure.
      Yeah, the Larissa page is the ‘real stuff’ :P. Some colleagues of mine are now planning a trip (pilgrimage) to Asunción during the thanksgiving week ;-)

      Comment by Raja — July 14, 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  2. As usual well done Raja. Informative with your usual dash of satire. There is a small typo on # 7 ..should be a didnot probably. The Paul syndrome I thought was a bit too much.Totally agree on # 4. That Gyan missed the penalty will probably make him lion feed…is another story. I was a tad disappointed with the final match.Second you on the Germany Spain match.As one of your followers, I appreciate your passion for the game not only as a viewer but also as an observer with a funny bone.Bravo !!

    Comment by le embrouille blogueur — July 14, 2010 @ 12:39 AM

    • Thanks for the correction.

      Gyan is very popular in Ghana (Source: I have a colleague who’s from Ghana. He used to post his predictions as Ghanaba, meaning Ghanian). They are happy at their progress and happier by calling Suarez a Suar, a ScapeSuar rather.

      Now that the WC is over, I’ll be back to regular blogging/crapping business :P

      Comment by Raja — July 14, 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  3. On Point 8. You have only got to be in the limelight once to be remembered forever for the wrong thing – ask rob green…

    Comment by goalkeeper training surrey — October 14, 2010 @ 7:54 PM


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