Dear World Cup...

Dear World Cup,

It has been nearly four years since I last saw you. And oh, how I have missed you. Even though we don’t meet often, my love for you does not fade.

There are very many reasons behind my affection for you, but here I will name a few.

One is that you give me hope.

World Cup is a time when we rally behind our teams once more. No matter how many times they may have lost, and even if they have not won the Cup since 1966 (I won’t name names here), we have renewed hope that absolutely anything is possible. Little known countries qualify for the first time, others move up the ranks, even making it to the finals, and others who many assume have it in the bag will fall behind.

Another reason is that you let me escape.

Let’s face it, being an adult can be massively overrated. Nearly every freedom we gain with our entrance into adulthood comes with ties that bind. World Cup for an adult is like Saturday morning cartoons for a kid – a time to escape the boredom and responsibility of school, work, mortgages, bills, nappies, and just get lost in the energy, the rhythm, the sun, the beauty of the movement of the ball, a chance to travel to a whole new world where every culture is celebrated, anything can happen, and the worst of our worries is that our team is losing the football.

Last, and probably the biggest, reason that I love you is that you connect people – not only across geographical borders, but across the still-present boundaries of culture, language, race, age, class, gender and any other boundary you can think of.

Like the international language of music, sport can unite people – and no other sporting event (besides the Olympics) connects countries across the world like the World Cup. The Olympics are incredible, of course, and everyone rallies behind their country (or secretly behind someone else’s country that they know is better and more likely to win), but the Olympics are on all day, every day. As a member of the working rat race, I cannot feasibly follow the entire Olympics, not to mention there are some sports, admittedly, I just don’t get. Football is user-friendly, it’s easy to understand and let’s be honest, it’s beautiful to watch - particularly when it’s played well (cue Germany and Spain), with spirit (cue Brazil) and with a bit (well, a lot) of attitude (cue Argentina). Not to mention, World Cup, you bring a special moment in time every four years when even countries (again, I won't name and shame) who are still a bit, well racist, will put their prejudices aside so that certain players with backgrounds from other countries with immense talent, passion and skill can boost their chances of winning that big shiny bugger.

Ah, time to grab a Stella and let the game begin………

All my love, today, four years from now, and every four years after that.

Yours truly, in Red & White (and not for Canada this time!), Aysha x

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