Through his article, “Brazil’s ignominious football World Cup” (June 7), the writer has rightly pointed out the inequities that Brazilians will face due to the cost incurred by the country to host the FIFA Cup. Games are basically leisure activities that enable some moments of happiness, fun and enjoyment amid the stresses of life. To seek the pride of hosting an international event at the cost of a country’s welfare is illogical.
Sport usually unites nations, with any form of animosity dissolving on the playgrounds; football is one such game, and Brazil is its heaven. But the protests within the country portray a dark picture and a sense of helplessness. Evidently, what the Brazilians expect are minimum standards of social well-being that any government is expected to ensure. Ironically, the World Cup will now unite different countries but divide Brazil.
What is spectacular about football (Editorial, June 12) is that the techniques have undergone tremendous changes over time. If in the 1950s it was about individualistic skills (Hungary, Brazil), positional play took centre stage in the 1960s (England, Germany). Then came the tight defence giving nothing away with sporadic attacking play making a mark in the 1970s. The 1980s saw possession soccer (Netherlands). Then came tiki-taka — the short passing and sudden switching over to attack with five men in the last decade, a technique Spain perfected. Now, South America is fast catching up with Europe. And there is no Octopus Paul!
As for India, we stand nowhere even at the Asian level. Winning the World Cup is only a mirage. Even in the national game of hockey we are a disgrace. Can the new government do something?