Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The pride and passion of international sport: i.e. Football (soccer)

International sport. Is there anything that brings out the passion and national pride more than sports? I very much doubt it.

Today I was following the South American football World Cup qualifying games. Normally I couldn't give two hoots about a few football games on the South American continent but this time the fifth place team in the Conmebol confederation is due to play New Zealand (All Whites) in a home and away playoff for the right to attend the Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018.

Going into the final rounds of games, there seemed to be about five teams all with a shot of either qualifying for the World Cup directly or through the playoff.

As a All White supporter I was hoping we would avoid, Argentina Colombia, Chile and Paraguay. Why? Because we know about them and we probably wouldn't survive. However we got Peru which on paper sounds less difficult but they are fifth in South America for a reason so it is going to be very, very hard.

I'm not a great football fan but even I was interested in who we will play and I was following the action with great interest.

A few minutes ago I was chatting with a football fan from the United States of America. He was very disappointed that his country couldn't make it to Russia. He is usually a pretty easy going guy but you could tell that he was disappointed, angry even that his team couldn't make it. The passion that comes out in international sport, you can't beat it.

Last night I was following a live stream of Australia vs Syria. Football isn't the most popular sport in Australia but the passion and commitment from both teams was something to be admired.

Anyway, whatever happens I hope see more of the below video:

And this one:

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