TODAY -

World Cup - Uniting people since 1930

Lucky Sapam *

International friendly between Argentina vs. Venezuela in Kolkata, 2011
International friendly between Argentina vs. Venezuela in Kolkata, 2011



My old school physics teacher once told in the class that people will have patience to travel many kilometres to go to their favourite restaurant but they will never have patience to wait for the ordered food to arrive at their table and he says it is human nature at its best/worst. Likewise is the case for FIFA Football world cup.

We can wait patiently for four years but cannot wait patiently for 24 hours for it to start. Four years is not a short period of time, it's indeed a long time. Things changed, environment changed, people changed. Some memories fade away while some memories still linger on like for example, the 116 minutes strike by Spain's Iniesta to win the first world cup for Spain.

Whenever FIFA football world cup is approaching, I normally do not think about the absence of India in it but instead I think about supporting my favourite footballing nation. And it has been this way ever since from my very first memories of world cup is recalled back.

Sometimes I feel weird cheering for some other country but it is just the way it is, and we have to accept this harsh or rather amusing reality. I cannot sit back here complaining and debating about the chances of India participating in the near future and all that stuff because World cup is only for a month and it comes once in every four years. So what I am trying to say here is "Savour the moment" (Wink smiley).

Come June 12th (Rather 13th in Asian countries) and we will be in that particular period where everything we see is football related, from the TV commercials to the cheap sales of football jerseys in the streets to the news report in the newspaper reporting in the front page instead of back page. It's hard to ignore even for a layman as the footballing environment is too bright and colourful to turn a blind eye to it. No wonder it is the most watched sporting event in the world surpassing even the Olympics!

ROADS LEADING TO THE FINALS OF THE WORLD CUP:

209 national association members are affiliated with the FIFA which is the governing body of world football. In order to participate in the biggest carnival of sports which is the "FIFA World cup" (arguably even bigger than Olympics) a member has to go through a series of qualification rounds to get a cut in last 32 of the tournament which is called "The Finals", getting a cut in the last 32 is itself a big achievement to an extent for some countries. There are six confederations which represent the planet Earth namely: CONCACAF, CONMEBAL, UEFA, CAF, AFC, and OFC. You must be aware that India belongs to AFC confederations.

The competition for a berth in the finals is fierce and highly competitive. The biggest upset of not reaching the finals will always come from either Europe (UEFA) or South America (CONMEBOL) as they are the two football powerhouse continents. A country gets an automatic berth if they host the tournament. From 1938 till 2002 the defending champion too gets an automatic berth but was withdraw from 2006 onward which meant Brazil was the first defending champion to play the qualification matches.

Football and India:

Finding the hotspot of football fans in India is tricky and at the same time it's interesting too. When asked people as to where be the centre of football in India, surely they will say Manipur, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala and I could not agree with them more. Speaking of WB I can tell you from my experience that their fans are true loyal to the team to which they are supporting and there is no horse-trading among them in terms of support wise.

From my trip to Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata to witness a football match between the mighty Argentina and not so known Venezuela in 2011, I asked one of the random Argentina fan as to whether whole of Kolkata has come to see the match, to which he replied "My Best friend supports Brazil so he didn't come", I was taken aback by his reply and I spoke to myself as to how often do we get to see Messi and co. coming and playing football in our backyard. I was dumbstruck by their sheer passion for the game and in particular their loyalty towards their team.

Football and Manipur:

Growing up in the mid nineties and early 2000s, I saw the transition of passion from one sport to another. Pre 2000's it was all about cricket and nothing more. Every locality club, every organization were organizing tennis ball cricket tournament. Cricket was a big passion for me too. I grew up idolising Shaun Pollock by trying to replicate his bowling style. My first cricket match was played in Takyel Lampak and the winner's prize money was "Rs: 2" yes, you heard me right, it's 2 rupees! We won the match, the opponent captain took out a 100 rupee note and since we didn't have any change, he has to go all the way to a commercial shop, take the change and give us the "2 rupees".

The feeling was out of this world. Ha! Post-early 2000 Manipur witnessed the start of drift of passion from cricket to football. My passion too started to drift apart since then and now I am all for football. And wherever I go around in Manipur now, I see football everywhere from young kids to older men playing their hearts out in the field.

There is no age bar. I think the logic behind this shift of passion from cricket to football is due to:
*Manipur winning the 2002 Santosh Trophy.
*Greater chances of Manipuri player playing in National team, I-league team etc.
*And last but most importantly it is because we are good at it.

So in a long run, this football passion will exist till a new passion is found again. It's like a revolution. The wheel keeps on turning. Until then we all have keep playing the game and enjoy it.

Lastly:

Now the world cup has started and the time has come for us to choose a team. Which team are you choosing for this edition of world cup and what is your prediction? Who is going the lift the trophy on the final day at Rio de Janeiro and take away the winner's prize of 35 Million US Dollars? And apart from seeing some new innovations like the goal-line technology and vanishing spray, are we going to see a new country winning the cup or is it going to be the old football powerhouse countries lifting the cup eventually? Are we going to witness some new exciting young talents? Only time will tell us everything.

Whatever problems or havocs Brazil face in hosting the tournament is a different story altogether but one thing is always certain in a world cup that is "THE PASSION FOR THE GAME CONTINUES".


* Lucky Sapam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is currently staying in Bangalore and can be contacted at sapamlucky(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on June 17, 2014.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Final: Hazari/Tombi Polo #1 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Events Schedule
  • #TB hotspot cannot be on blindspot
  • United Metal 3.0 @Imphal
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom
  • Swachch Bharath Swasth Bharath
  • Sangai Festival 2017- Online booking site
  • The Killing Fields (2013-17) :: Timeline
  • Mary set on Olympic gold
  • For every causes, there is a reason
  • Moibung Khunou -near khurkhul :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #4 :: Gallery
  • On the Naga Framework Agreement
  • Media Challenge: Glance from hills #1
  • GIS day at NIT Manipur
  • Pangal Leader Mohammed Hanif Shah
  • NPF questions Speaker convening meet
  • Painting Exhibition by Babli Das (Tripura)
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Looking out for possible measures
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Cultural Program @ MCA :: Gallery
  • Parihal, Nimshimphy, Neilianthang: eMing
  • Ningol ChakKouba @MBC #3 :: Gallery
  • Oh dear Daddy, see I a Native Proud: Poem
  • Buddha's metta and karuna #3
  • Narendra Modi will never play Nehru
  • Photo Caption Contest by Whakal.com
  • General Call to All Former NPF Leaders
  • Penguin Readathon & Book Gifting
  • ENNG opposes inclusion of TCL..
  • Report alarm for Arunachal
  • Loktak witness drastic fall in migratory birds
  • Lecture on 'Rohingya Resettlement'
  • 'Weaves of Ching-tam' @London :: Gallery
  • Opening: Jadonang Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Robert's Weaves of valley & hills at London
  • Remembering boy..felled by fake encounter
  • Reorganisation of North Eastern Council #1
  • Sangai Photo Awards 2017 : Contest
  • Meeyam meekup nahum singna leibiyu
  • HighWays : Govt. needs seriousness
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #4 :: Gallery
  • SDG Consultation: NE :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #1 :: Gallery
  • Distribution Patterns of the Asian Eye
  • Sustainable Development Goal Consultation
  • Wrangle in Mapithel dam: Legal perspective
  • In the Slums of Heaven :: Poem
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony for AR Martyrs
  • Time to take a bow, Robert
  • Create jobs for NE to stop trafficking
  • March: Mera Houchongba #4:: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Ideas for a change
  • A shadowy dreamer :: Poem
  • Winter - A blessing in disguise for us ...
  • Course in Nanotechnology at NEHU
  • Pamel : Serene Natural Hub, near Lamlai
  • Vacancy at YVU Financial Services, Thoubal
  • System Operators @PR Enterprise, Khurai
  • Just by showing concern will not change..
  • Food Stall @Phayeng #2 :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #3 :: Gallery
  • The moment :: Poem
  • Board exams decoded
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 2
  • Conference : North East in Globalized Era
  • NE-IAS launched to support Startup India
  • Painting Competition on Conservation
  • Ramkung Pamei is new MHJU Chief
  • Charuangc 2017: Rongmeis in Delhi & NCR
  • Priyogopal (Senior Artist)- Photo :: eRang
  • Kabui Dance @Jadonang Football:: Gallery
  • Fashion @NE Festival, Delhi :: Gallery
  • Deviance and Corruption in Kangleipak
  • Applied health research is vital to #endTB
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 1
  • Tri-nation Motorcycle Rally reach Imphal
  • Traffic woes continues
  • Kwatha festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
  • The threat to balkanize Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 6 :: Poem
  • Biological based integrated Congress grass
  • 3rd Audition of Fagi Unplugged
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Of clean environment
  • Paonam Lily (Archery) Reception :: Gallery
  • North East Fest @ Delhi :: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #2 :: Gallery
  • IBSD, India & VITO, Belgium signed MOU
  • First angioplasty for in-stent restenosis
  • RIST Popular Talk-33: Quantum Hall states
  • Commonwealth alumni event of NE
  • Lecture on The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Tri-National Motorcycle Rally
  • 3rd North East Fashion Week at Itanagar
  • ILP Nov 30 deadline: Why not only for valley
  • Expected changes, do we see ?
  • Festival of Raas Leela #2 :: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Code of silence: Concealing gender justice
  • God Rules Over All :: Poem
  • Five day 'Flower Show' at Ukhrul
  • Go birding to honour Bird Man of India
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Uphul Waiphul and Leikhom Leinang
  • A reminder to Central Govt.
  • Assam, Manipur bid to better ties
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #2 :: Gallery
  • Meitei Pictographic Writings :: Book Review
  • Careers related to mental health
  • Beauty & Money for a purpose
  • Human rights infractions in Mapithel Dam
  • AMAND Ningol Chakouba at Pune : Report
  • Chef Required at Kakching
  • NHPC Raising day at Loktak Power Station
  • Mary Kom enter Asian Ch'ships final
  • Of ST demand, ILP, peace talk
  • For elderly people
  • Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh : A Profile
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #2:: Gallery
  • U-17 Footballer honored by Guv :: Gallery
  • Just in favour of nocturnal life
  • Dance of Fire Flies at Autumn :: Poem
  • North East Festival bids farewell
  • Protest over Naga pact
  • Agenda of Govt spelt out at DBC, Maram
  • Nurturing the future
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #2:: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Weekend @Delhi #1 :: Gallery
  • History will not forgive us
  • A girl :: Poem
  • Pre-merger political party struggle
  • JRF wanted at NIT Silchar
  • Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party
  • Welcome to Southern Nagalim greeting
  • March: Mera Houchongba #3:: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #1:: Gallery
  • Taxi- raising Air Pollution in Ukhrul
  • Back to basics to #endTB: Do it right
  • Man with Flower's Life :: Poem
  • Skill development training with MUDA
  • Quiz Competition at NE Festival
  • Free cataract operation at Loktak
  • Traffic control- still a flop show
  • Pui Thangamliu -Photos #1 :: eRang
  • NH7 Weekender [28 October] :: Gallery
  • Surjalal: Fellow of American Physical Society
  • Ithai Barrage for Irrigation: Beautiful Promise
  • NE Festival 2017 starts off
  • The Sun & the Cloud :: Poem
  • Land encroachment at Lamka College
  • Salesian College Grabs UK Project
  • Nagaland CM met Rajnath reg. Naga issue
  • Ranked 5th in women safety: stereotyping?
  • Prime focus
  • Miss Kut #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Kangujam Chinglensana (Hockey) feted
  • reach the tipping point for childhood TB?
  • A round of applause for N Biren, CM..
  • Link Research with Education for NE
  • Culture is beyond Religion: Najma Heptulla
  • Vacancies @ Chirag Estate, Gurgaon
  • Defection of some party workers : NPCC
  • ST for Meiteis: Final say rests with Delhi
  • Understanding responsibility
  • Chavang Kut @Tengnoupal :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Girls Football #2:: Gallery
  • A crusade for a greener Manipur
  • Tourist Guide as career option #2
  • 'Govt working for inclusive development'
  • Namsai gets Buddha relic from Thailand
  • 5th NE Festival at Delhi: Program Schedule
  • 20th Asian Charter for Human Rights: Video
  • National Unity Day at Ukhrul
  • NPF MLA present at all parties meet
  • Of three Ws and Politics
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #1:: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: e-pao Flash
  • Let's be racist
  • 3rd Ningol Chakouba, Delhi : A Report
  • Dr. Rahejuddin Sheikh : Best Director Award
  • I Am In You To Feel Myself :: Poem
  • Conference: North East in Globalized Era
  • Seeking contributions : Library Centre
  • RGU Celebrated National Unity Day
  • Run for Unity organized by AR
  • Of traffic chaos and mad rush
  • What if Pan Naga Hoho is final settlement
  • Chothe: Shabu Hong Rein :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • IT Employment Devlp Course :: Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender [27 October] :: Gallery
  • Red Light Area in Manipur ?
  • IT Enabled Employment Skill Development
  • Football in India needs encouragement
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • Meeting on Hornbill Festival 2017
  • Territorial integrity : No to separate admin
  • A confusing solution, if happens
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #1:: Gallery
  • Candle light for Belinda Morse :: Gallery
  • Hills are Better
  • Wedding :: Poem
  • Candle lighting in memory of Belinda Morse
  • NH7 Weekender: 2nd Day Report : 28 Oct
  • RGU launched Clean and Green Campus
  • Territorial integrity: All party meet sans NPF
  • Exhibition of Pottery Crafts #2 :: Gallery
  • Phayeng Cultural programme :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Ichangi Laidhi #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Paomee:: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • Tourism Day @ Phayeng #1 :: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Sikkim :: Gallery
  • Ningol to her mapam lamdam :: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Mera Men Tongba :: Gallery
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Kh Ninthoinganba
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thounaojam Jeakson
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Nongdamba Naorem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Dheeraj Moirangthem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Amarjit Kiyam (Captain)
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thangjam Boris
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Wangjam Suresh
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Md Shahjahan
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #4 :: Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS