Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 24, Tuesday, June 15, 2010



Soccer Snippets

Celebration…it surrounds us
Every nation all around us

From June 11, 2010 and for the next one month, the whole world will bask in football fever as the frenzy for the Fifa World Cup finals get underway at Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bangladesh, as a nation, has always been ardent followers of football, at any level. Although currently greatly overshadowed by the fan-following for cricket, this once-in-four-years event rekindles our passion for the game.

This week Star Lifestyle zeroes in on the football fervour.

Sazzad Ibne Sayed presents glimpses of the football mania through his lens; M H Haider pens the enthusiasm that seems to have grasped the city.

Kazi Zulquarnain Islam presents an alternative perspective to fan following: an eye-candy account of players, their wives and girlfriends.

Lastly, Samina Quasem writes recipes on munchies to accompany late-night games.
May the best team win!


The wait has ended. The Heat is on. The Fever has taken over. After a long, long time, the Moment has finally arrived!

Although Bangladesh is not an official team in FIFA World Cup finals, it doesn't stop the uncountable football fans from celebrating and cheering for their favorite team. The last month saw an upsurge in the spirit of football, but with a major setback just a few days before the tournament --the Nimtoli tragedy -- the excitement has in some form, turned to ashes.

But now the country is back, to join the rest of the world, in the one-month event that everybody has their eyes and ears on. Waka Waka!

Wavin' Flag
A walk down the street will give you a hint of the festivity of the event. Just look at the balconies, or the cars, or even inside the numerous office cubicles. Or, take the case of uncountable people wearing jerseys, showing support for their teams. Colours are all around us, although just a few of them seem to be the dominant ones. The general rule is, "if you are truly interested in the game, you gotta pick a side, buddy".

Of football and wrestling
And picking a side has a lot of consequences. Nothing ignites more rage to the aggressive Brazil fan than hearing 'they won't be able to go all the way this time'. Or, nothing hurts a die-hard Argentina loyalist more than hearing one word of criticism about their team. And of course, there's Spain, there's Germany; France, Italy, Portugal, etc. In a family, office or friends circle, football becomes wrestling; wrestling becomes football.

Anita, a teenager with high hopes about Spain, hung a flag on their common terrace. A day later, the flag magically vanished, and a Brazilian one took its place. Her younger brother, the brat behind the crime, thus started the battle.

Not just youngsters, people of all ages have these fights. Noyon and his wife, Anindita have started World War III in their household this summer. While Noyon is for Germany; Anindita is a die-hard Argentinean fan. That was it. Heated arguments go over all the time. But it gets even more interesting. Daddy tries to persuade one of his boys to support his team. On the other hand, Mummy also conspires action against them with her other son. Politics is in the air, folks. The couple decided they would sleep separately this month.

Outside the household, between friends, things can really go wrong. If words don't work, a fight may come handy. Football doesn't remain football, although much activity still remains kicking! Though not common, we have all heard of incidents where one thing leads to another.

United we stand
There's always a brighter side of the story. On one hand, the world seems to have been divided into a few teams, but on the other, the world cup brings people closer. Watching a football match with your family and friends is really fun. “My father rented a projector to watch the games”, says Shihab with a big grin.

The extreme suspense, the emotional roller coaster ride during the ninety minutes, needs to be shared with friends. The hooting, cheering, clapping and screaming are all part of the game (and don't forget to keep enough munchies in store; they are a vital part of the game too).

Unification doesn't end here. There are a scarce number of things that everyone- almost everyone in the world- can relate to. Football, and especially the world cup, is such a thing. It is an unbiased international phenomenon. This month, you go anywhere, the topic of discussion, the excitement, will be quite the same. Football knows no barriers and differences; no colour, race, religion, minority or cast.

The entire country has gone on a festive mood. And why not? It comes only once every four years. Hence don't dare to miss a game; you know you'll regret it later. Relish yourself completely…and may your team win!

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


LS Editor’s Note

….a series of unfortunate events

Just as expected, a series of unfortunate events occurred when the 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was aired, this Friday evening. The obvious being the power cut at that particular moment in time when everyone gathered around the television, especially curious to see what the surprise factor was during the first seven minutes, as reported by BBC earlier.

Strangely enough the power cut was a minor fluctuation problem that was solved within minutes and eagerly, all got around the TV only to find that the cable operators were facing power cuts. There is nothing you can do if your fate is sealed, no way to unlock it unless God desires. And God did desire; by a curious stroke of luck the cable people were on air in a jiffy. To prove the truth of Murphy's Law, the remote control went kaput out of the blue; it was working fine before the power disruption but refused to flicker rays of hope after; it was too difficult to fathom the mechanics of remote controls falling flat just when it is the main object of any yearning.

That of course is not the end of watching the celebration saga. ESPN was no longer where it was supposed to be, and the channels got scrambled. And as an icing on top of the ruined cake, the TV panels were doing strange somersaults. Even if the remote was not working you could get it done manually, but the buttons were all spooked out. So the simple operation of finding ESPN became a matter of major frustration.

Finally, we somehow stumbled across BTV while surfing, though it was airing a bad transmission with poor sound quality, but we just had to be satisfied for the time being. Later, while waiting for the first match, we did find ESPN but with no sound. So like any silent movie we had to watch the exciting draw and exhilarating first goal on mute.

The moral of all this is not to pine for too much; just let it be and the rate of unfortunate events and co-incidences will not be this high. Only one thing to say- Argentinean fans learn something, don't languish for the Cup too much, it will not be yours until a series of unfortunate events crop up.
- Raffat Binte Rashid



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