What should one do about FIFA World Cup?

Its clear a hugely significant proportion of Brazilians do not agree about their country holding the World Cup. Romario, the great Brazilian forward and World Cup winner, too has been against it all along (he is a well respected, most hard working elected politician). Pele, the poster boy of FIFA, has now started to acknowledge the sentiments against hosting it! He has no option now given the widespread hostility.

What should I do? I have no soft corner for FIFA. I live in a country where football isn’t one of the popular sport. I have never played football when I grew up or since. However, I have watched lots and lots of football games; I don’t know why. In fact, most people in this world are just like me w.r.t football. Given these, what options do I have? Not to support it appears to be the only humane option. By that I mean not watching it in television and not reading about it etc. In other words, not doing anything that will support the power that be to claim the World Cup as a “grand success”.

While reading about all of these, I found couple of things interesting.

(a) Romario’s description of  Pele as “a poet when his mouth is shut”.
(b) Oddness of not finding anyone in the media debating the possibility of canceling this edition of the FIFA World Cup as an alternative option. Afterall, most people share very little relationship with football just like me. Brazilians aren’t like that and even they don’t want it. Why not cancel the darn thing and save at least some money to do whatever the Brazilians want to do?

BBC Sports Journalism – a sample

Phil McNulty, Chief Football Writer for the BBC, then said “David Moyes is Sir Alex Ferguson’s natural heir.” He now saysIf United appeared an ill-fitting suit for Moyes then this much-travelled and well-decorated coach will regard the “Theatre Of Dreams” as tailor-made for his talent and pedigree.” His change of heart has just taken about 10 months.

For those of us (well, I almost stopped now) who ‘follow’ sports news, is it worth it?


Whiteness and the rest of it

Tal Fortgang tries to say why he’ll never apologize for his white male privilege. Some opinions on his piece:

  • While saying why his whiteness isn’t really a privilege, his argument goes something like “My father and grandfather suffered. Therefore, I can’t be privileged, can i?”. Individual suffering has little to do with racial and systemic social/institutional biases. He seems to argue the opposite.
  • He says he isn’t privileged because his granddad suffered under and escaped from Hitler, moved to a new country and made a life for himself. Does he then agree that those who happened to be the victors of WW2 (say white Americans of those times) are privileged? Or that they suffered from something else?
  • He doesn’t say anything of the ‘male’ part. Even references about his parents’ and grandparents’ sufferings are mostly, if not only, about his father and his grandfather. Does he have nothing to say on this despite the title?

His view might well be right in certain contexts, but his arguments don’t suggest so.

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