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.
Read earlier columns
It's World Cup Time
The time has come. The time has finally come for the world to be part of the biggest sports celebration. There's no tournament like the World Cup because it brings the whole world in harmony. It is a tournament where countries put aside their political differences. It is a tournament where children, teenagers, and adults will be jumping up and down to support their favorite teams.
However, for most of us, football fans, the time to brag has finally come. In the 2002 World Cup, many fans were unable to bear the early exit of their favorite teams. For me, it was quite a nightmare when I saw Argentina bailing out so early. I would never forget this day as I became a laughing stock from some of my Haitian friends who support the fantastic Brazilian national team. Now, I can say that the time has finally come to redeem myself. And in Football, there will always be a second chance.
The last four years have been very difficult for some die hard fans, but again the fans of Germany, Spain, Italy, England, Portugal, France, Holland and Argentina will again get a second chance. The time has come for Ballack, Raul, Totti, Beckham, Figo, Zidane, Van Nistelrooy and Riquelme to erase the painful memories of the World Cup 2002. May these players find away to bring their team to the second round. Otherwise, no one deserves to experience what the fans of Argentina and France have suffered after seeing their national teams painfully packing their bags for Buenos Aires and Paris.
Yes, the time has come. Yes, the 2006 World Cup is around the corner. For me, the World Cup has brought some great memories. In 1974, my home country, Haiti, somehow managed to score first against the giants of Italy after a superb pass of Emmanuel Sanon to Philippe Vorbes who then crucified Dino Zoff. As my father and brother, Patrick, gave me the play by play, I could only wish I was old enough to jump up and down from streets of Petion-Ville to the corridors of Port-au-Prince. Oh I can imagine what kind of celebration it was in this Western Caribbean Island, my birthplace, Haiti. Thank you to all the Haitian players who have brought so much joy to all Haitians. Among these players, we had Sanon (the Haitian Pele), Vorbes, Ernst Jean-Joseph, Roger and Guy St-Vil, Henri Francillon, Pierre Bayonne, Mario Leandre, Arsene Auguste (Pelao),etc. This was one of the best Haitian national sides that I've never seen play. But it was good to get the play by play from my father and brothers, Patrick and Stephane.
As I am writing this article, I could imagine how the people of Trinidad & Tobago would feel when their national team scores their first goal. On the same end, how the people of Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), when Didier Drogba will manage to disrupt Hernan Crespo of Argentina? How the People of Togo, Angola, and Ghana would feel when their respective national teams score their first goal. What a day will it be different continents of the world. This is what the World Cup is all about.
It is a tournament where even the less powerful opponents will rejoice as they represent their countries with class and dignity. It is always with great pride when one has to say that my country did participate in a World Cup. As my engineering colleague at HP, Marek, from Poland would say: Pierre, Poland destroyed Haiti in the 1974 World Cup and even managed to give me the play by play of the Polish commentators who were very sympathetic to the Haitian players. My usual response to Marek is that Haiti scored first against the Italians. This is the World Cup. It's not about winning for some opponents, but participating in the world's most prestigious tournament does bring contentment to a whole nation.
As the world reunites in Germany, we hope that we won't see any act of racism like we have seen throughout Europe and South America. We hope that the fans will act in an orderly manner by showing respect towards the fans of their opponents. We hope that the players will show some respect among themselves, and we don't want to see what we have witnessed in the game between Inter Milan vs. Villarreal. We have seen how Juan Sebastian Veron disgraced himself in front of the entire world. Today, this mistake prevented him to be among the chosen players for Argentina.
On another note, we hope to see the referee judge the games by following FIFA rules of the game. We don't want to see any of the referee mistakes that we have witnessed in 2002. These mistakes have caused some painful memories to the Spaniards and the Italians. And further more, we don't want to hear any match fixing like what is happening in Italy now. The game must not be tainted. If it is penalty, give the penalty; even if the penalty will be against Germany. If a player tries to invent a penalty, give the player a yellow card with no exception, even if the player is Ronaldinho Gaucho de Assis Moreira, FIFA Player of the Year. We don't want to see another Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira act in this World Cup. He should have been expelled in WC 2002, but the referee kept him in the game just because he's from Brasil. This is unacceptable.
The 2006 World Cup is around the corner. For some of us, it was a long four years. For Brasil, it was a short four years. The Brazilian fans throughout the world are confident that they will be winning this World Cup. And they earn the right to make such claims. With Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Robinho, and Kaka, who in their right mind can go against this mathematical formula [(R^3) +K] =Br^t; where Br= Brazil and t=6 #of times Brazil will win the World Cup? It won't be me because I am not going to make any prediction.
However, I do ask the gods of football to spare me from being ridiculed by my Haitian and Brazilian friends who support Brazil and my Brazilian friends. Don't you think that I've suffered enough humiliation during the last four years, not only from my friends, but my readers as well? Some fans even asked me to convert myself to a Brazilian fan, but that will never happen; not in this lifetime, that I can guarantee.
On the other hand, I have a Brazilian shirt, and I plan to wear the Argentina shirt on top of it. If Maradona can wear a Brazilian shirt, I think I can as well. My dearest friend whom I consider like my brother, Joao Almeida, came up with a theory that Brazil is much closer to my heart. Thinking of it, he might be right. But I disprove his theory by wearing a t-shirt under the Brazilian shirt. But Again, who ever can go against the Brazilian mathematical formula, then I must ask that football genius to Prove that [(R^3)+K] Br^t.
I neither want to prove it, nor disprove it. Doing so will place me in the role of the pundits. In 2002, I predicted that the Brazilian HuRRRicane will destroy the German submarine. Before the 2002 WC Final, the German fans were very vocal. And this time, I refuse to make any prognostic whatsoever. I will enjoy this World Cup and I hope it turns out to be like in 78 and 86. I also hope that all fans will enjoy it with their family, friends and colleagues.
After a long awaited four years, the time has finally come and many players will fight to redeem themselves. For all of us fans, let's be ready to enjoy this tournament. Let's enjoy it like a little child. After all, it is World Cup Time. There will be lot of World Cup discussions at the dinner table. These discussions can be heated at times, but for the good of the game, let us keep a cool spirit.
For myself, I'll be calling some games live with my brother Patrick for Radio Nouveaute, La Radio Mondiale ( www.radionouveaute.com) in Boston, Massachusetts. If you do understand French and Creole, please join us live from the Internet as my brother and I will be the commentators for some of the World Cup games. During half-time and end of the games, I will briefly give some commentaries in English, Spanish, and Italian as well.
The time has finally come; let the games begin! And we hope that Germany can live up to its motto: "Deutschland über Alles".
See you in Germany! Auf wiedersehen, mein freund!
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