The World Cup of Football has come to a close. The Italians have won.
The final game between Italy, the eventual champions, and France, will perhaps be remembered more for the head-butt delivered by Zenadine Zidane, the winner of the top award for Player of the World Cup, than for the glorious encounter that it should have otherwise been.
But the incident, which runs counter to all of the rules of fair play and the fundamental values associated with sport, highlighted the fact that this edition of the prestigious FIFA World Cup was one that fell to an all-time low in the estimation of those who wished to believe that sport can and does promote positive values worthy of emulation by the youths of the world today.
The World Cup had moments of great performance and many occasions when the world watched in horror at the depths to which the game has fallen in some respects.
Some Bright Sparks
No genuine football aficionado could deny that perhaps the team of this years World Cup was Ghana.
Here was a team that few followed prior to this edition of the World Cup, but which from the very first encounter displayed a level of play that left many bewildered.
When the Ghanians defeated the highly favoured Czechs, it was clear that their next encounter, against the USA, would leave the already struggling Americans facing certain defeat. True to form, the Ghanians humbled the Americans never really offering the latter an opportunity to showcase former glory.
Ghana emerged as the most promising team in the world.
While the team from Togo did not have much luck, there was evidence that they are willing to learn and would certainly be a force in the future.
The Koreans once more displayed an eagerness to grow in the sport and much more will be heard from them in the future.