Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fifa World Cup and India

The 2010 Fifa World cup started this June. It is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, second only to the Olympics. Football is a sport which draws out the most basic instincts from man. And, any one who wants to play this game needs just two things, a ball and a place to play. Probably this is the reason why, unlike other more sophisticated sports like tennis, football has a following in almost ALL countries in the world. No wonder that finally the dark continent - Africa is getting its share of the world soccer pie. Although being late starters, Africa has given some of the finest football teams. South Africa got FIFA affiliation in the year 1992, 44 years later than when India got this affiliation in the year 1948. But South Africa has already made two apprearances in the World Cup, and this time they are hosting this prestigious event. Recently they gave a stunner when they defeated the former world champions France, 2 - 1!

The tales of other African teams are also equally interesting. Camaroon and Nigeria with FIFA rankings of 19 and 21 respectively have already won the Olympic titles in football once each. Ivory Coast is appearing in a FIFA World Cup for the first time this year. Placed in a tough group with Brazil and Portugal, Ivory Coast will have to play exceptionally well to reach the quarter finals.
Much of the success of these African football teams is due to the increasing presence of their players in the European football leagues. Infact, Nigeria has made significant contribution to Indian football clubs as well. This makes me wonder, when will we get to root for Team India in a FIFA World Cup! There is no dearth of soccer enthusiasts in India. The virtual Indian team in the online soccer game has India in 10th position, and still going strong! I wish this was true in real as well, but no, India's current FIFA ranking is a dismal 133!!



You are right in that once more Asian players get to play in the European leagues then the Asian countries will start to do well in such tournaments

Gautam said...

Thanks for our comment. I wish that this happens soon.