Thursday, January 12, 2012

Craze of the Football /Soccer/ Tournament & Nationalism!

Football carries heavy political and symbolic significance…footballs diffusion across the world allows different cultures and nations to construct particular forms of identity through their interpretation and practice of the game. “Richard Giulianotti, ‘Football: Sociology of the global game’ I am not actually packed(so to speak ) about the whim of football as such. Nonetheless, more than any other time I know of, this year’s soccer cup tournament in South Africa seems to have unearthed (at least to some of us) a totally different disposition and quirks in many people (mind you, this did not exclude VIPs in the political arena) than the usual mind-set we have known for years. Well, as many would agree, soccer (football) is a magical game that can draw countless crowds (guys, we’ve already witnessed this incident) due to the excitement, passion, emotion and dedication it creates among fans. The fact that we see plenty of reasonably logical people (oh, yes, like myself) showing long faces to the opponent team supporters, at times by fidgeting, banging tables, crying, forging enduring friendships, frantically eating cigarettes (one had meant to smoke), gambling and walking around feeling 10 feet tall when their favorite team wins, and all other kinds of impulses prove that. Among other things, what makes this year’s football tournament inimitable, so to say, is the chipping in of those high-profile personas who opted to see the matches of their respective countries (altering schedules of even the most vital global deliberations at G20 summit). This has become so natural (this time), especially, when supporters’ team is one’s own country as emotions started to go sky-high then. Actually, fans in countries with strong local and regional identities have a slightly different relationship to the sport than fans in countries where regionalism is of less importance. However, at the end of the day and in the most literal sense, football is just a sport game for all; nothing was as serious about it as defeating or/and being defeated for this has always been a rule of thumb of the game. Another observation seems to be gender equity of fans. Although soccer is still largely a masculine domain (at least in this part of the world, if I'm not mistaken), we have now observed a good number of feminine fans supporting their national heroes, even to the extent of offering their attractive bids (the promise of Paraguayan model could be mentioned)as a sign to boost their moral. What is perhaps amazing of all the commonality, however, is the fact that many of the talented and famous European club players, who were expected to display their brilliant talents with their national teams, couldn’t prove in the battlefield like other times. Gone are the days, so it seems, where that team color, collective effort and national patriotic fervor acts as a momentum to win. Globalization appears to have dominated soccer, too. And a club, not one’s nation, has become a driving force for a skilled player to exhibit his/her talents. Well, I personally think it’s positive to suppress nationalistic emotions and exalted patriotism in modern times with well-mannered societies and applaud globalization in football. Like it or not, I think, globalization has already been in the making of football. As someone said, “Who would have predicted thirty years ago that British soccer fans would have cheered for a London team full of Africans, Latin Americans, and Spaniards, coached by a Frenchman? Or that the national English team would be managed by an Italian?”If I add to this statement, “Who would think World Cup Tournament to be hosted in one of the African countries?”
In conclusion, it may be difficult to state the accurate cause for such a totally radical (or perhaps different) make-up of soccer. Whether World Football Cup has been hosted for the first time in Africa is the result of the sweeping change of international football is not very clear. One thing for sure, however, is that football/soccer has greatly transformed itself with globalization.

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