|Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:45 AM|
The FIFA World Cup quarter finals week 3 is commencing with USA suffering a heartbreaking loss last night. Whereas Americans usually have a seasonal favorite sport between Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Golf, there are very few performance sports played or watched here in Uganda. Therefore, Football (or Soccer to Americans) is a national obsession, particularly the English Premiere League and Ugandan National Team matches. Admitting that you don’t like or follow football is usually followed by raised eyebrows, a sorrowful shake of the head, and comments of sheer bafflement.
By my own observations, I would wager a guess that over 50% of Ugandan households with televisions set are tuned nightly to World Cup action. More Ugandan fans who are working will listen to the games via radio broadcast on their cell phones or taxi radio. One of the public television stations airs game action at 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm.
Every person has a team favorite. And they will become overly passionate about their team, players, game stats if their team is challenged as the best. There is a common language spoken amongst Football fans that while I don’t understand, I do admire.
I have to admit that I have watched about 20 minutes total of World Cup games. Despite being reminded, I actually forgot that USA was playing last night. I have never been an overly competitive person and the number of Football players from any nation that I could name would be counted on the fingers of one hand. But these games are bringing our world together and inspiring thousands (if not millions) of young players to dream an impossible dream… one day playing in the World Cup for their country. I like that spirit!! Antwain plays FIFA World Cup on his PSP constantly and immolates his favorite player Ronaldo while playing for friends on the football field …he also has dreams for playing in the World Cup one day… and who knows? Dreams are always possible.
Ugandans are hopeful that one day their National Team will qualify for the World Cup. It has never happened, but I do appreciate the optimism and country pride.
As the teams dwindle and the best teams rise to the top, I may prioritize becoming a fair-weather fan and watch a match or two. After all it won’t occur again for another 4 years.