BY indra arriaga
All eyes are on the ball! Starting on June 14, 2018, half of the world, over 3.2 Billion people, from north to south and east to west, will watch the World Cup this summer- fútbol soccer at its best! Thirty-two countries qualified for the World Cup that will take place in Russia, unfortunately the United States will not be competing for the coveted trophy as it did not qualify this time after losing 2-1 against Trinidad and Tobago in a shocking defeat.
However, 25 percent of the teams (eight of them) are from the American continents, that means that Latinos from Tierra del Fuego in the southern tip of Chile to Utqiaġvik, Alaska will put all things aside and focus on the fate of their teams, while keeping a close eye on all the other teams, and maybe even secretly rooting for Brazil.
The World Cup brings Latinos together, it brings dreams to life and when a Latin team wins any match, and especially the championship, it feels like centuries of colonialism and oppression lift, even if for a moment.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international organization that governs the sport and is responsible for organizing the World Cup.FIFA is a very imperfect organization, accused of corruption and sex scandals over the years, but not even this is enough to contain the enthusiasm over the World Cup.
The spirit of the sport, of the dance on the field, fighting with everything you’ve got is alive and well, and deeply rooted in Latin American culture and hearts. So this year, whether you’re a fútbol fan or not, you will hear it spilling from television sets in restaurants and bars, people will be sleep-deprived due to the time differences, you will see people cheer and cry, because in the World Cup there is hope and like Roger Milla, the Cameroonian forward said, “Thanks to fútbol, a small country can be big.” Let us play!