Football World Cup – as much intrigue as excitement

The quadrennial World Cup of Football moves centre stage in a few weeks time and many enthusiastic supporters have already secured their tickets and booked passages for Germany, host of the world’s second largest sporting event. The Olympic Games remains the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.
This year, as has become something of a norm, certainly for the past three World Cups, the South American football powerhouse, Brazil, enters the World Cup Finals as firm favourites. They are expected to come away as the first team to secure six liens on the prestigious Cup.
The football pundits have long since concluded that while England has been credited with making the game of football popular, while not having invented it, the Brazilians have been credited with bringing the dribbling skills to an art in the sport.
But this year’s World Cup will certainly churn up some surprises as has been the case in previous editions.
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown and there are many teams, coaches and managers who, like their supporters, would relish taking home the World Cup.
Whatever about the biases of the various participants and their overly enthusiastic supporters there is little doubt that for one solid month the sporting world will remain fixed to one sport above all else, the FIFA World Cup.

Interesting decisions
Ever since the publication of the famous book on some of the world’s leading international sports federations, Lords of the Rings, not the movie series, FIFA has been under some much closer monitoring than had hitherto been the case.
The last elections for the leadership of FIFA pitted Cameroon’s Hayatou against the former General Secretary and heir apparent top the once immensely powerful, Joao Havelange of Brazil.
The race for the Presidency was fierce and rendered even more interesting and perhaps somewhat scandalous when it appeared that the President of the European Football Association (UEFA), Johansson, threw his support behind the African.
There was much talk in the corridors of FIFA and certainly in the international media about possible lack of appropriate accountability within the organisation. It appears that some were even prepared to speak about possible corruption within the organisation.
It also appears that some people may well have entered FIFA as mere professionals only to emerge within a few years as millionaires.
Not surprisingly however, it suddenly appeared that the African votes were split – an event that would otherwise have been unthinkable.
Suddenly it appeared that there Africans who were prepared to go with Blatter and abandon their own Hayatou and any African hope of ascending to the uppermost echelon of the international organisation.
More that this, there were some who seemed convinced that there was much more in the mortar than the pestle.
It seemed strange that there was talk about a possible selection of an African venue for a future World Cup, among other things. Suddenly there seemed to be talk about the fact that Africa was the one continent that had not yet hosted the World Cup and that it was about time that this was corrected.