The 2018 Word Cup

Like millions of fans all over the world, I have been watching many of the football World Cup (soccer)  matches that are currently taking place all over Russia.
According to my sources, “a total of 79 national teams have entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

Watching the competing teams fighting it out, I have been marveling at the synergy displayed by all the nations involved.

It seems that for a brief moment in time, all countries associated with the World Cup have agreed to stop bickering and abide by FIFA’s rules. Wouldn’t be nice if this sort of gentleman’s agreement persisted throughout the years?

Countries with different languages, customs, and religious affiliations agreed to a truce ( not including vicious tackles) and to shake hands with their mortal enemies.

As a matter of fact, I have been wondering what language all parties are using. I would think that English (due to its facility) would be the first choice and I turned out to be correct.

“FIFA referees take English courses to learn the basics of what they need to know to communicate on the field.”

This does not mean that they are no misunderstandings. They do happen, but during a match, right or wrong, a referee’s decision is law.

They also use colored cards that are universally understood to enforce their decisions. A yellow card shown by the referee indicates that a player has been officially cautioned. A red card means that a player must be sent off.

In America (except for the First Nations) we are all immigrants, and even if you have been living in this country for 40 or 50 years, when it comes to soccer you are still rooting for your birth country.

As of today, France (presently in the quarterfinals) is still in the running, and with a little bit of luck (a good sprinkling of luck actually) the Grenouilles could take the Cup home.

The current champion is Germany, and the most successful nation in the competition is Brazil, who has won the Cup five times.

If…

If the French succeed though (they made in 1998, 20 years ago), I will naturally take a good part of the credit… and glory. Be ready for that.

Allez les Bleus!  🇫🇷

Alain

Erratum:

Jean-Michel Poulnot reminded me that 209 countries (not 79) entered the FIFA qualifications. Thank you Jean-Michel!

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