A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, writing from Jakarta
The play by play of the recent friendly between Indonesia and Uruguay mirrors the conditions of which the Indonesian fans have been subject at the international level for their national side. They started out enthusiastic, strong and willing to commit, even managing to score first. But with every attack on their goal, be it a poor result by the national team or corruption, the more disenchanted they become. Fatigue sets in from dealing with politicians taking advantage of the most popular sport. Then the unravelling, opposition hammering at their net without defence from an adequate development system.
A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja
The scene above is from the International Media Centre, from Torontoist (go there for actual interesting news about the summit). These figures in the photograph are international media here to cover the G20 summit in Toronto. According to Torontoist, in this photograph, they are actually watching the World Cup (Denmark versus Japan, to be precise). In the Alternative Media Centre (where the International NGOs, watchdogs and alternative media are parked), they are also watching the World Cup.
AFR: Have a sore throat, a high temperature and feeling exhausted? Maybe you have a World Cup fever.
A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Toronto.
We’ve all done it, stayed up late or woke up far too early during a work day just to catch that football match we’ve been waiting for. But the World Cup only comes once every four years, and late nights cheering on one’s favourite team from halfway around the world becomes the norm this month.
In Indonesia and other Asian countries, the latest live matches of the “day” are at 1:30 in the morning, the day after. With matches on nearly every night for a month, weekends and weekdays, and with at least two matches per night, most people are getting less and less sleep than usual, especially those who have work or school the next day.
So recently, Indonesian health experts (and employers) are growing concerned about the increased rates of actual fevers and fatigue-related illnesses caused by these late nights which, n most occasions, stressful and full of excitement, but also usually accompanied with cigarettes, booze, caffeine or sodas and energy drinks to stay alert during the match.
A Football Report: By Soraya Soemadiredja, Toronto.
For Canadian residents, the World Cup isn’t the only world event they’ve got their eye on this June. The G8 and G20 annual summits are going to be hosted, at great cost the Canadian taxpayers, in Toronto and Ontario.
Yes, yes, this is all well and good for political watchers, you say, but can I go back to my football? In a second, I promise. According to the Globe and Mail’s Canadian columnist, Michael Kesterton, thirteen of the nineteen nations and one geo-political region that represent 85% of the world’s wealth have “soccer” as their “national past time”, whether or not they are represented in the current World Cup.
Madridistas the world over are celebrating tonight. The wine tastes sweeter. I hope our boys have bitching hangovers tomorrow, because this is a much deserved victory. They must have fun, to remind them of why they are in this industry, to remind them of how it was when they were kids playing kickabout down the road from home, to remind them that all the bureaucracy, all the missed moments and all the physical suffering was worth it.