The World Cup is an interesting tournament on many accounts; for one thing it involves football, the most popular sport on the planet (thus giving it a greater impact factor than say the Olympic Games) and then it is about national teams competing against each other making it symbolic of nationalism or patriotism. This is probably why some anthropologists, evolutionary psychologists and sociologists have argued that football has become a substitute to ancient war epics which helped males let off their testosterone charges and feel useful the best way they know how (i.e. by being agressive). In a world where wars don’t need so much blood and flesh anymore, football becomes a suitable battlefield for all sorts of conflicts: political, psychological, sociological, patriotic, nationalistic, religious even, you name it. Of course, philosophically, sport is meant to unify and help people transcend their tribal instincts by promoting noble traits such as fairplay, modesty, respect and endurance, but in reality and especially in hugely popular sports where lots of money is involved, the facts on the ground are often diametrically opposed to the philosophical ideal behind sport.
Dear oh dear! The worst case scenario has materialized following the first match defeat on the hands (or rather feet) of those Slovenians. Although our team did outplay their Slovenian counterparts in the first half, the Slovenians came back in the second half and delivered a footballistic crusade on the Algerian team’s side of the pitch: statistics had to favor them to score a goal as Chaouchi couldn’t hang on forever (if it weren’t for him, we’d have had to lump down at least 3 more goals). Now, qualifying for the next round would be more complicated, it’s very frustrating because the Greens have stupidly let an easy and perfectly feasible 3 precious points slip through their toes. I was initially relieved to see a significantly better performance by our team than the dismal way they have played in the friendly matches. However, after watching the other games and how other teams have played Continue reading
Nelson Mandela couldn’t attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 World Cup after the tragic death of his great-granddaughter, and he also missed the opening game (1-1) which opposed his country to Mexico. The South-African team had the honour to score the first goal of the competition, and it seems it wouldn’t need the referees’ help to qualify for the next round (the host country’s team has never been eliminated in the groups’ round).
So far and after five games, the French team proved once again that it is unable to score (0-0 against Uruguay); the Koreans burst the Greek bubble (a well deserved 2-0 preventing the Greek population from forgetting their financial crisis); and the talented but young Nigerians did well against Maradona‘s team (0-1) even if the latter didn’t give it their all. Continue reading
Angola hosts today and for 21 days the CAN competition. Algeria qualified for it and for the South African World Cup of this year after three long and exhausting qualification rounds. We still remember the last two games against Egypt in Cairo and Sudan, and the popular, media, cultural and politic reactions they caused.
The Algerian team members have been celebrated by the population and president Bouteflika as if they had won the WC. Their achievement was indeed one of the most important of last year, and the joy they brought to the Algerians (in Algeria and abroad) had no limits.
Algeria is now mobilised and living for its team and it looks like any other affairs and issues are postponed until the last game of Algeria in the WC.
The Fennecs prepared the competition in southern France. The preparation was unfortunately disturbed by the usual problems: Mehdi Lahcene’s joining or not the team, the bonuses and incentives, Puma’s black&white jerseys, and some important players’ injuries. And the Algerian newspapers didn’t help as they spread the rumours about Saadane’s resignation, Raouraoua’s conflict with the players, etc.