Can you hear the vuvuzelas blowing – Notes on the World Cup 2010

July 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm (Uncategorized)

And after a lovely goal by Andreas Iniesta in the final minutes of Extra Time, Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0 to win the 2010 World Cup.

It wasn’t the best cup final. The match was marked by scrappy play, a large number of fouls, 14 yellow cards, and one red card (for the Netherlands’ John Heitinga). The game could easily have gone either way, and both countries had  moments which should have, but didn’t, produce goals. But in the end it was the Spanish who prevailed.

So what makes this the beautiful game?

I played knock-about football when I was a kid. I was never good enough to make the school teams, but I loved to play. Not a fanatic, when I moved to Canada I lost interest as politics and music began to take over my interests. My appreciation for soccer now is pretty much confined to watching the big tournaments like the World Cup.

“Will you be cheering for England?” people asked me. “Briefly,” I would reply. Of course, I cheer for England, but they never seem to make it past the quarter finals.

Work meant I didn’t see too much of the opening round, but I did watch all of the quarter-finals and the semis, only missing the 3rd place play-off due to that Wonderland committment yesterday. 

So I thrilled at some of the goals, the bad sportsmanship, the cheating and the heart breaks (much of which could be contained in the Ghana-Uruguay game). fortunately, this final was not decided on penalty kicks.

Football of course is more than the ninety minutes on the pitch .For many, it’s big business; for others a sub-culture. I read pieces in the papers this time out arguing how soccer was increasing and decreasing national unity, racism, world peace, etc.

For a quick introduction to some of the other issues about soccer, Richard Turner’s In the Blood is not a bad place to start. Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs deals with football hooligans. The June 2010 issue of Capital and Class has an article entitled “Towards Marxist Political Economy of football Supporters.”  Lastly, Globe and Mail columnist John Doyle also has a book called The World is a Ball, which looks interesting.  

Lots to see and do even after the final whistle has been blown.

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2 Comments

  1. Darren said,

    ” My appreciation for soccer now is pretty much confined to watching the big tournaments like the World Cup.”

    Shame that. Celtic were playing Man Utd in Toronto this Friday past. The better team lost 3-1 . . . but I would say that.

    • fischerzed said,

      Perhaps you’re right. I’m a bit slow sometimes. I’ve only recently discovered Lenin of the Rovers

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