Tag Archives: FIFA World Cup 2010

Shut your mouth!

Standard

Catching up on recent news last night (after my attentions had been grabbed by the World Cup lately), I was interested to discover that France has introduced a new law banning insults.

The law aims to curb psychological violence inflicted through words, sms, email, et cetera, particularly on women by their spouses/partners; the reasoning being that words do as much harm as sticks and stones. Any one found guilty of breaking the new law could get up to 3 years in the big house and fined about 90,000 US dollars.

What’s interesting is that the law defines mental violence as “repeated acts which could be constituted by words or other machinations, to degrade one’s quality of life and cause a change to one’s mental or physical state”. So while women’s rights advocates around the world will be celebrating this one, I’m wondering, can this law be invoked where a religious group is targeted? And what kind of physical evidence would support verbal abuse? I wouldn’t go so far as to say France is now ‘criminalising speech’ since this law will probably be used mostly in cases of prolonged/ repeated mental abuse (say in a marriage), but people are arguing that this is a strike against free speech. Opinions?

Of course in Uganda, there’s no need for such a law. Why waste time on verbal abuse when you can pull out your shiny pistol? This MP who allegedly threatened a fuel attendant with physical violence is the same man who would readily ‘be the hangman if his son were gay’. Charming.

Speaking of violence, German fans are apparentlyy now calling for the death of Paul, the psychic octopus who infamously predicted the Spanish win last night. Sigh. First they love you, then they hate you. Poor mollusk was only delivering the message!

Advertisements

Of shockers and fickle fans

Standard

Since I last posted, Cameroon played a dissapointing game, conceding a goal to Japan; Cote d’Ivoire put up a worthy fight against Portugal in a goalless draw; and South Africa surpassed the expectations of even the most cynical naysaying Bafana-hater by playing a dismal 3-0 game with Uruguay.

We get that Uruguay is a pretty good national team. There doesn’t seem to be a South American country that can’t hold its own football-wise.

We get that the South Africans, on the other hand, suck. Only 4 of the players play internationally; they’ve lost several games on the continent; and even the locals don’t take them very seriously, often telling jokes such as:

Virgin wanted to sponsor the team’s uniforms. SAFA refused, saying Bafana can’t wear the word ‘virgin’ when they keep getting f*cked in every game  🙂

But no one could have seen yesterday’s Epic Fail coming. It’s funny just the other day I enthused to someone about loving the unpredictability of football so much. Heh. And now there they are, Khune-less, Pienaar-less, quite possibly Parriera-less, and deserted by many less loyal fans. And up against France, to boot.

Me, I have jumped the South Africa ship, along with all the other fans who put their vuvuzelas down and walked out of the stadium. No doubt. I can’t help feeling sorry for the host nation – with numerous complaints from international players about the vuvuzela noise, about the sub-standard Jabulani ball, and now this? The ke nako! slogan almost seems like a sad mockery!

But I haven’t given up completely – I’m still waving my Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire flags furiously. I don’t expect an African team to win the World Cup, but we are going to give the others a run for it!

An ‘African’ World Cup?

Standard

Kuti, Masekela at WC Opening

I left the office early Friday afternoon and got home just in time for the opening ceremony. While it wasn’t as spectacular as the South Korea show of 2002, it was something. I loved the line-up of African musicians like Hugh Masekela, TKZee and Femi Kuti (although Yahoo! wrongly reported it was Femi’s late father Fela who performed…wtf) and the focus on South African dancing, emphasising that this is an ‘African World Cup’ in the words of Zuma.

The kick-off game got interesting in the second half, with South African Tshabalala getting one in in the 53rd minute! I was elated, until Mexico equalised towards the end and I knew it was going to be a draw. Still, not a bad start for Africa.

Nigeria‘s Super Eagles put up a stunning defence against Argentina, coached by eccentric legend Maradona (very interesting his facial expressions during the match!) and conceded only 1 goal to these footie greats. I will be watching Enyeama more closely – he is the most impressive African goalie so far.

Algeria has been the most disappointing thus far; featuring some catastrophic goalkeeping from Chaouchi who let the ball bounce off his chest and into the net just 12 minutes to the game’s end – putting Slovenia ahead of Algeria in the group.

Ghana offers the greatest hope so far, beating Serbia 1-0 thanks to Assamoah Gyan’s beautiful penalty kick which sent the goalie the wrong way; and also thanks to the fact that the Serbs were one man down after Lukovic was sent off.

The performance of Cameroon against Japan  (today, 5pm) and Cote d’Ivoire against Portugal (tomorrow, 5pm) remains to be seen. Thus far overall, we haven’t done too badly for ourselves, methinks 🙂 It’s been a footie weekend of surprises, so who knows? Allons, Lions! Allons, les Elephants!!

Personal highlights:

  • The very first goal of the FIFA 2010 coming from an African team;
  • The buzz of 60,000 vuvuzelas when that goal was scored;
  • Enyeama’s goalkeeping;
  • England keeper Green’s colossal screw-up allowing USA a draw;
  • Successfully convincing some of my non-football-loving friends to sit down and watch a match 🙂

AYOBA!!!

Standard

While we here were celebrating Heroes Day, our friends in South Africa were blowing those obnoxiously loud horns in the streets of Jozi in honour of Vuvuzela Day. With just hours to go before the kick-off match between SA and Mexico, I can only imagine the excitement over there.

I was in Cape Town when SA took  the last World Cup Rugby title, and if that pandemonium (people streaking on rooftops, complete strangers doing silly dances in the streets) is anything to go by, World Cup celebrations this year are going to be huge.

There was some derision when the country used the benevolent wrinkly face of iconic statesman Mandela to win the bid as hosts of this year’s FIFA. There was doubt that the stadia would be built in time; or that the (numerous) muggers and hobos would be cleaned off the streets before foreigners saw the truth.  There was also the xenophobia scares. And there was outrage when FIFA chose a non-African Shakira ripping off an African song whose words she can barely pronounce to sing their official song.

But we’re past all that now. The moment is here.

I’ve got my vuvuzela and K’Naan on repeat and even though Drogba and Essien might not play, I’ll still be watching and yelling and making a fool of myself. Because more than the songs and politics, it’s about the game, the actual tournament. My lovely boss is letting us off early enough to watch the South Africa-Mexico game tomorrow at 5 😀 Woohoo!! Go Msanzi!!!

join the madness!