Sunday, 4 July 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup? Malaysians Are Better Off Learning From The 1995 Rugby World Cup!

The concluding 2010 FIFA World Cup does not hold any excitement for me. To me it is just about a bunch of highly paid athletes running around trying to put a tricky Adidas Jabulani ball (that refuses to to be controlled nor stay down) into each others goal seemingly for King (President or watchamacallit) and Country. Yet, it is also obvious these "fat cat" professional players are not really giving it their all, probably for fear of injuries that may affect their pay-cheques in their regular job i.e. strutting their stuff in the major football leagues around the world!

The England team from the BPL is a glaring example and the fact that none of the acknowledged individual superstars (Messi, Torres, Rooney, Kaka, etc.) have really shone in this World Cup, underscores my point. Furthermore, the teams that have done well so far, Ghana and Germany are the youngest sides with the right attitude and excellent team spirit and teamwork.

What then about the 2010 FIFA World Cup fever that has been sweeping our country. Malaysians are currently having our "bread and circus", drunk in an atmosphere of revelry and excitement of live telecasts from South Africa. But what are we learning? What do we gain? Apparently, NOTHING! A big fat nothing!

How many of us remember, or really know, or bother to know, about South Africa? Where were the South Africans just a short 20 odd years ago after ending the apartheid policy? Where are we Malaysians forty years after implementing our very own New Economic Policy? Where are we headed as a Nation? Where are they headed?

Fifteen years ago, I watched an almost all-white (with the exception of black winger, Chester Williams) South African rugby team win the 1995 Rugby World Cup on home soil. This time around, I watched an all-black South African football team as hosts, acquit itself with pride and dignity, with a last group-game victory over former World Champions, France albeit bowing out of the FIFA World Cup tournament early.

The Springboks (nickname of the SA national rugby team) today are still almost all-white (although black Brian Habanna is a star in the team) and as we can see, SA has an all-Black football team. But look at the SA supporters in the stands (both rugby and football)...they are Black AND White!!!

In December last year I blogged about a movie called, "Invictus". It is about Nelson Mandela and the then Bok captain, Francois Pienaar in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I just watched "Invictus" (thanks to the internet) this morning. I cannot help wonder about Malaysia.

I am trying to splice together the opening segment of the movie and the closing segment (without permission) so that when you watch it you will know what I mean. In the meantime, the following official Invictus movie trailer suffices:

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