Monday, June 26, 2006


Football. Wonderful Sport. At last a sport that has a ball that’s bigger than your foot. World Cup 2006 is like a rare steak approximately 30 per cent done. And after two weeks of football, let’s see what we have learned exactly.

Let’s start with the spelling, the English spell it football, the Mexicans have an atrocious spelling of Fuzbol, the Ukranians are no better with Fotzbal, and the Ghaneese also erroneously spell it Fietbel, which is almost as bad as the Bengali Photbole or the Malayalee’s Fatboll. What the hell are we trying to teach our children?

We’ve also learned that a fat Ronaldo is far better than a fit Ronaldo. After sleeping through two games, the world’s fattest athlete, (barring three Sumo wrestlers and In-za-mam on weekends), sprang to life with a brace of goals. Fuelled by Atkinson’s initial diet of fries, supplemented with cheeseburgers, Ronaldo finally proved Newton’s fourth law of motion to be entirely and conclusively true. Size does matter. The fatter the better.

We’re also learning that England is not only a country ruled by a Queen, (and please no asides even though it’s coming onto Elton John’s birthday. But for all practical purposes it’s the WAG’s (Wives and girlfriends of footballers), who really are wearing the shorts. These wives led by the world’s most untalented celebrity, ( a record she’s held since Milli Vaniti abdicated and Kishen Kumar retired), miss Posh Beckham, have drunk more beer in a week than the entire colony of East Germany, between 1945 and 1989.

Not to be outdone, Mrs Rooney-to-be, flew from Baden Baden or twice Baden in Germany to Liverpool, and back just to have her hair coloured by her neighbourhood barber, still obviously clinging onto old English prejudices ‘that there are no barbers in Germany, since that close shave in World War II’.

The Germans have been in sublime form and whilst proving to be superb hosts, they are inventing new Germanic phrases every day. For example a German player scratching his groin is referred to as one scratching his Michael Ballacks. Consequently a German player scratching another player’s groin is known simply as Michael Ballack.

The French, whose team’s average age is 57, are showing that you may advance in the world Cup despite having one foot in the grave. Sadly their captain is now a travelling antique,and without Zidane, France looks like Bollywood without the Bachchans. Thierry Henry is suffering from a serious flaw in his game. The flaw, of course, being that he thinks France is his club, and Arsenal his country. A common and hopefully correctable mistake.

We’ve also learnt about a similarity between goalkeeper Fabien Barthez and Zaheera Sheikh. Both keep hoping the balls in someone else’s court. Ghaneese are educating us in a more positive way.

Michael Eisson’s pure poetry with the odd phonetic muddle. But what’s amazing is a six-foot 3-inch, 220 lbs mid-fielder who answers to the name of Ping Pong. Ping Pong’s name and physique are a harsh lesson in mutual incompatibility.

Croatia vs Australia took politics to a new high. The game itself is being served in as a question for Majors in Political Sciences. Seven Australians are from Croatia. Three Croatians were born and live in Australia. Two Croatians are married to Australians. One of whom has returned to Croatia. One Croatian is half Australian on his mother’s side and four Australians speak Croatian as their first language. The good news is that three Australians hadn’t ever heard of Croatia, and one more consistently spelt Croatia with a K.

As Crosby Stills Nash and what’s his name said ‘lets keep following the World Cup and teaching are children well’. Or as more contemporary Missy Elliot says, The Miseducation will continue until further notice from FIFA.

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