A Game For Heroes … If You Believe The Hype

A Game For Heroes … If You Believe The Hype

receiving this information. I was originally saving it for my autobiography, provisionally titled “Beer and Sausages: A Sort of Life”.

This section of my memoirs concerns soccer. We actually call it “football” where I come from but I don’t want it to be confused with “American Football”, a totally different game played by men with odd-shaped balls.

Soccer, we’re told, is the world’s most popular sport. Admittedly, it isn’t so hot in North America where sports such as baseball are the real crowd-pullers. I remember watching a segment on CNN (Continuous Negative News?) some years ago where random Americans were being asked if they knew who Maradona was. The majority hadn’t heard of him but the most interesting response came from a talking head who said: “Yes – I like her music.” He was apparently confusing the soccer legend with pop goddess Madonna.

Away from North America, let it be stated, soccer is almost a religion, if not one. Even a decidedly regional encounter like Europe’s UEFA Cup tournament still finds an echo around the globe. Soccer superstars like David Beckham and Ronaldo rake in millions of dollars in dues and endorsement fees each year while team brands are emblazoned on everything from T-shirts to key-holders.

In Africa, soccer reigns as the undisputed King of Sports and many are the tournamentsufabet เว็บตรงทางเข้า that are organised. Unfortunately for my particular country, the gods of soccer have not been kind to us. Our story is that of great expectations unfulfilled and exceptional talent left undeveloped. Not only has our performance in international matches and tournaments been lacking, but in 2004 we were altogether banned by FIFA, soccer’s governing body. Despite the setbacks, football fever runs high here and we boys are introduced to the craze at a very early age. I can recall kicking soft rubber balls around the house when I was knee-high to a kitten.

In primary school, each break was a soccer break and since we didn’t always have access to the school’s supplies, we made our own balls by wrapping nylon paper over a compression of soft paper and then weaving a spider’s web of nylon string connections over the mass. Makeshift goal poles were designated using pullovers or shoes and referees were as rare as royalty at a reggae concert. The name of the game was to have a good time and the rules were flagrantly flouted. Off-sides and other minor contraventions often went uncalled. Teamwork also took a blow because everyone was overeager to score. And since our female counterparts often wat