Dickens; A Tale of Two Cities; social justice championed; aristocracy exposed. Using this heavily-simplified analysis of one of the greatest novels of all time, I can make a tenuous, but perhaps feasible, sporting comparison: A Tale of Two Tournaments – the Rugby World Cup 2015 and the Football World Cup 2014. All fans want from these tournaments is to enjoy watching the sport they love in a global setting, but all to often the governing bodies responsible for the organisation seem incapable of making this happen. While World Rugby seem to have coped well with their mandate, with FIFA it’s a very different story. I am one of many who would advocate the revolutionary overthrow of football’s ruling elite, though perhaps not with such murderous vigour as the French efforts of the 18th century.
The World Cup is well and truly over. Brazil is once again shrouded in South American mystery, no more than a country of stereotypes that the World Cup has only enhanced. Despite countless protests brought about by high government spending on the tournament, it would seem that Brazil’s beaches, carnaval culture and football-crazy inhabitants still capture our imagination. Although, on second thoughts, that last one has taken a bit of a beating. Losing 7-1 is bad at the best of times, but in a World Cup semi final, at home, for a nation that unhesitatingly proclaims itself as the greatest of all time, it is an unimaginable embarrassment; the ultimate humiliation.