Monday, 7 June 2010

The Beautiful Game

The World Cup is all about preparation. A successful tournament boils down to more than the performances on the pitch. And I’m not talking about the players. Here in London, the general population has been gearing up for months:

  • Need a new TV? No problem. Toshiba will sell you a new flat-screen, with the added incentive that you get it free if England win the World Cup!
  • Planning a footie party? Then drop into Tesco, the “Official Supermarket” of the World Cup, who have a multitude of offers on BBQ food, beer and South African wine.
  • Pizza Express, the darling of the English middle class, is in on the act too. 2-for-1 pizzas, whether it’s for football-and-pizza-take-out or no-football-eat-in.

If you’re more of a saver than a spender, fear not:

  • Nationwide, the major England sponsor, are offering a 4-Year Football Bond, with a 0.5% bonus if England win in South Africa

So welcome to London. For the month or so, all Englishmen (and many women) will forego rational thought. Our British reserve and our stiff upper lip will desert us. We will rediscover patriotism, talk to strangers on the Tube and blub like babies whether Wayne Rooney scores or sees red.

The FIFA 2010 Football World Cup has teams from 32 countries. And London is most definitely the definition of a global city. So I’m going to put away my England underpants in 2010 and focus my attentions on the smaller, less well-represented nations:

  • Where in London can Paraguayans watch Roque Santa Cruz and eat tapas?
  • Where is London’s biggest Korean community?
  • Can you eat Ghanaian food and watch them at football at the same time?
  • Will Slovenia, Slovakia or Serbia make it through the group stages?

It'll be a blast!

As long as we don't go out on penalties. Again.

No comments: