Pierre Boisrond

Pierre Boisrond has followed soccer and the World Cup closely for many years and also writes for other websites. We at PWC are proud to have him as a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of the World Cup.

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A moment of reflection

    As the World Cup approaches, it seems appropriate for all of us to reflect on the past. The World Cup is a tournament that allows everyone to sit down and enjoy the games with family members. However, this World Cup 2002 will never be like the previous World Cups.

    The catastrophic events of September 11 changed our world forever, thus we had to adjust our lives because we felt that we were vulnerable. We felt that we had no sense of security whatsoever by asking ourselves several questions that we had no clues on how to answer them. This tragic event, certainly, will change the logistics of the 2002 World Cup and many more World Cups to come. The world of sports will never be the same.

    This tragedy that had shocked the city of New York and the whole world had certainly erased any hope for some family members to watch this World Cup together. In New York City, we find people from all over the world. There are many family members, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, etc. who will never sit together again to watch a World Cup game. There are many soccer fans who used to work for many companies located in the twin towers; these fans who lost their lives in this tragedy will never have the opportunity to sit with their family members to watch the 2002 World Cup. There are many sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and friends who are going to feel a sense of emptiness, shock and disbelief when the games begin this summer. The anguish suffered by these family members is unbearable. Certainly for those of us who are still alive, we hope that we will never suffer this sort of anguish that is ravaging many family members in New York and all over the world.

    New York is a place that I truly like. In New York, I had the privilege to educate myself in the hills of Ithaca. I also worked in New York. In New York, I had the privilege to meet so many great friends whom I played soccer with at the Brooklynís Prospect Park. Some of these soccer friends were from Nigeria, New Zealand, Senegal, Japan, Haiti, USA, Spain, Ireland, Korea, Jamaica, etc; they were from all over the world. While working for Interworld Corporation, I also had the privilege to play soccer at Chelsea Piers against many other companies and some of them were located in the Twin Towers. I am very sure that many of these players whom I had played against perhaps had lost their lives. It is a tragedy that shall be anchored in my memory for years to come. Thinking about these soccer players friends who lost their lives is not a pleasant experience. At times, we were so competitive against each other; at times, we played like we were possessed because we all wanted to win. However, at the end of the game, the result did not matter, because we knew we were doing it for fun. We all were from different part of the world and that was the reason why these moments were so special on Tuesday and Thursday evenings after work.

    These soccer friends were professionals such as accountants, lawyers, engineers, financial analysts, etc. Although we had played many games together, we tend to know each other on the soccer pitch but never had the time to really get to know each other. However, whatever time we had spent on the field, we had made it very special. Some of us wore the jerseys of many well-known soccer players. It was quite fun to tease some of them. As I am writing this article, it is indeed sad that some of these company soccer players wonít have the opportunity to watch this World Cup with their friends and families. The terrorists killed them. They were simply innocents who were providing for their family members. They were not involved in politics and they did not have any hate against any other ethnic groups. In New York, despite our ethnic background, we do our utmost best effort to understand each other. We learn how to respect each otherís beliefs and we also learn how to tolerate each other. However, there will always be a few who will do whatever to disrupt the New York spirit.

    From the 9/11 tragedy to the chaos in Afghanistan, there are no winners. No matter what our views are, innocent people are losing their lives. But again, it is the job of the security forces to get rid of those who commit such vicious actions. We hope that they will do their job in Korea-Japan to avoid another catastrophe. These forces must be vigilant because the terrorists can find ways to disrupt public safety and repeat this horrific action that shook the world.

    This tragedy that had occurred on 9/11 changed the world forever. It is our hope that this tragedy also changed us as human beings. Today, we view ourselves as fragile since we are no longer feeling secure. It is our hope that this tragedy will bring all of us together as it had united the people of New York. It is again our hope that the World Cup soccer players in Korea-Japan 2002 will respect their opponents. It is finally our hope that the fans and players shall behave themselves in a respectable manner and shall refrain themselves from insulting their opponents with any sort of racial epithets or derogatory remarks. We donít need to see what happened in Serie A, La Liga, and in Argentinaís league to repeat in this World Cup. There are many avid soccer fans who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy and we can only pay tribute to them by comporting ourselves in a respectable manner.

    For those who lost loved ones and specifically to the victim family members of 9-11 in the USA and in Afghanistan, it is our hope that God shall give you the strength to follow this World Cup and to remember all the past World Cup memories that you shared with your lost loved ones. It is going to be a bittersweet moment, but this is life. We all will have to go some day, but we hope it wonít be in a 9-11 manner. Korea-Japan 2002 will be a different World Cup in a different world.



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