A real African World Cup
South Africa has made the African continent proud by successfully delivering arguably the best football World Cup of all time. From the architectural artistry of the stadiums to the exquisite display of African culture, there was always a defiant touch of brilliance evident in the end-product. It was good that the whole world was made to see Africa from a different perspective. Wow! It was an ingenious expression that underscored the central theme of the African philosophy, people!
The hidden message in it, put across in classical simplicity, was that: We Africans can determine our own standards and still conquer the mighty with a refreshingly new African approach!
And when the events and scenes unfolded on the pitch, football fans the world over were left scrambling for their seatbelts as match after match delivered sudden shocks and refereeing controversies. For me, the most thrilling sight was when I watched renowned football commentators fill up TV screens with their mightily rated technical analysis only to see them eat their own words after disappointing results. Not that football shocks and human errors have ever been absent in the beautiful game, only that, this time the entire football world was in for far more than it bargained for. This was to remain true right up to the final where the dominant nations were eliminated to give a new look to the World Cup’s modern history.
The Spanish, who were deservedly crowned as champions, winning their first ever World Cup, should always remember that, regardless of the predictions of Paul the Octopus, they owe their changed fortunes to the African soil.
Refereeing controversies were very much part of this World Cup as they have been in the past, but my goodness, wasn’t poetic justice served aplenty in the way the Uruguayan Diego Forlan’s last-minute free kick skimmed the corner of the crossbar in their third-place play-off match against Germany? It was similar to the Ghanaian
Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick which hit the bar, after Uruguay’s Luis Suarez had deliberately stopped an obvious last-minute goal for Ghana with his hands! Poetic justice it was indeed!
Unisa Kanu. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia