Down with World Cup Fever

I love football (or as North American’s call it, soccer). It is one of my passions. Well let me clarify – I like to watch football being played by people who know how to play it. And I attribute my love for the game to my mother and her intense love for the game. So you can bear with me for not having blogged much, as I have been totally indulging myself in the first ever African-hosted World Cup.

My global health eyes have not been shut though. I have been intrigued by the creative way in which social marketing has been used to promote health during the world cup. I have also been moved by the promotion of campaigns such as the Right to Play in this promotional video: .

Of course there have been numerous critics of the hosting of the World Cup in South Africa, a middle income country. Yet Paul Hayward’s  (from the Guardian) reflection on the confusion of westerners in understanding why it makes sense for SA to host the world cup is quite the response to said critics. Here’s a snippet of what he says:

“After a few days of being embedded in the England camp perspective is shot to bits, so it was with profound gratitude that I received this observation from a friend back in England about television’s apparent obsession with South Africa’s “problems”. He wrote: “It’s pure journalistic inertia on the BBC reporters’ part not to recognise that the true basket case and potential failed state is not the one in which they are guests but the one paying their wages.”

Unimprovable. The assumption that England is better equipped to stage the 2018 tournament than South Africa is this one in 2010 is based on what?

Better and safer public transport, certainly, and lower crime rates. But since when was mass poverty a reason to keep a sporting event out of a country? Never, if those nations handing out the staging rights have spent the last 20 years cooing about black South Africa’s struggle to end apartheid and venerating Mandela as the greatest statesman of his age.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

So if I am not posting, it’s because I’ve come down with a terrible case of World Cup Fever. And the doctors orders are lots of fluids for my scratchy throat from cheering, and the wearing of my favourite teams colours!

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