It’s hard to be jolly about the footie when Brazil looks like a huge hostage

2014-06-09 17:27

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Monday morning. I should be stoked. I’ve made it through the weekend without being branded a racist by the comrades from Sadtu. It was tough, but I pulled it off, somehow.

There are other reasons I should be jolly. It’s a couple of sleeps and then the biggest spectacle in world football, the World Cup, kicks off.

Instead of the dreaded off-season football drought, two and a half months of sheer boredom punctuated by senseless friendlies or 4am broadcasts of money-grubbing Man United Asian tours, there’s six weeks of the only kind of international football that counts.

It should be a time of great joy. Nearly a month of virtual wall-to-wall football, work dodging, remote hugging bliss.

The beginning of the tournament is the best part, with games from lunchtime till bedtime, a glorious overdose of the beautiful game.

My 2010 World Cup banged. The ultimate home fixture. Between jobs with a budget and three months to blow it before starting the City Press gig, I pigged out on the footie.

I got going with the Durban group games and rocked it all the way to the calabash for the final. Hit PE for the quarter in between and drank the Durban fan parks dry for the rest of the fixtures.

It was proper. So good that the reality of awful plastic-tasting beer, cardboard hot dogs and the greed of Sepp Blatter and the local concrete and tender barons didn’t sink in until afterwards.

I’m not jolly. Truth is, this World Cup is wrong. It’s as if Fifa has invaded Brazil with an army of occupation to hold the tournament at gunpoint.

Activists stage a protest in front of the municipal stadium in the town of Sorocaba prior to a training session by Japan's national soccer team on Sunday (June 8 2014). Picture: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

If the nonstop footage of protests, burning favelas and police beatings is anything to go by, it’s Fifa and Brazil’s larnies who want the tournament to go ahead, not the punters in the streets.

The build-up to the cup resembles a revolution far more than it does a celebration of the greatest sport on the planet.

Things are bad and look like they’re gonna get worse.

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