The Player’s Tribune has published a series of first person life stories of footballers competing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. One of the more compelling is that of ROMELU LUKAKU, the outstanding Belgian striker. Something he says struck a chord, reminiscent of the Canadian media’s attitude towards world class sprinter Ben Johnson in the 1980s. When things were going well for him, we read articles calling him Ben Johnson, the Canadian champion. After he had been incriminated with steroids, they called him Ben Johnson, the immigrant from Jamaica.
Tag Archives: Belgium
(July 11, revised July 19) – The world has been saved from an England-France Brexit final at the 2018 World Cup, renditions of “Three Lions” and “Rule Britannia” in the stadiums, and the tsunami of British chauvinism unashamedly embraced by the Canadian media.
What goes around, comes around. The dodgy English threw their final match in the opening round with Belgium back on June 28 with the pretext of resting players and avoiding injuries for the Round of 16. “Sometimes, you have to make decisions with the bigger picture, and that’s what I did tonight,” rationalized head coach Gareth Southgate at the time – as if the decision was his and his alone. That “bigger picture” seems to have included getting a better draw in the knockout stage, that is, to avoid Brazil and therein build the size of the betting pool, the TV market, the revenues of the English Football Association, and a “hearts and minds” diversion from the Brexit crisis at home – giving a new definition to match fixing and a level playing field. Such are the elastic ethics of England. Continue reading
(June 28) – In today’s crucial group stage match between England and Belgium, the Brits narrowly managed to come out on top by coming out on bottom of a hard-fought 1-0 loss. With this phenomenal loss, England won entry to the much weaker side of the knockout round bracket, and now have a clear lane to the World Cup semifinal. Continue reading
The “Red Devils” bedevilled the devil. The country that hosts the NATO headquarters – at a time of economic hardship, NATO is constructing a huge new $1 billion headquarters in Brussels. The eight-floor structure contains enough blast-proof glass to cover 10 football fields – ousted the military bloc’s supreme commander in a World Cup match played in Salvador, Brazil on July 1st. The significance of the match was as much off the pitch, as on.
The American Dream
The thinly disguised shock and disappointment of the TV broadcasters and sports media, which clearly wanted the United States to go through to the final rounds for commercial and political reasons, at the victory and the disparity in play was all too apparent. Continue reading