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Reasons to Cheer for the Ivory Coast in the World Cup

CostadeMarfil

Ivory Coast's national team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Image from Flickr user Merah Chhaya. CC BY 2.0.

On the website LaMula.pe, Juan Carlos Urtecho explains his reasons for supporting the Ivory Coast in the World Cup match with Colombia on Thursday, June 19:

Desde que les ganaron a Japón en su debut, los marfileños se han vuelto mis preferidos en este mundial. [...] Uno escoge a sus engreídos de la manera más simple. Costa de Marfil, ubicado en la costa occidental de África, con un PBI de 19 mil millones de euros y un per cápita de 967 euros es el tercer país más pobre de los que están en el mundial después de Honduras y Bosnia. La economía de Japón (PBI de 5 billones de euros y 30 mil per cápita) es la segunda detrás de Estados Unidos. Costa de Marfil es un país que intenta recuperarse de una sangrienta guerra civil que dejó a decenas de miles de muertos y cientos de miles de desplazados entre el 2002 y el 2007. Japón, es… bueno, Japón.

From the moment they defeated Japan in their debut, the Ivorians became my favorite team in this World Cup. [...] You choose the spoiled ones via the simplest way. Ivory Coast, located in West Africa, with a GDP of 19 million euros and a per capita of 967 euros is the third poorest country that takes part in the World Cup, after Honduras and Bosnia. Japan's economy (GDP 5 billion euros and 30 million per capita) is the second after the United States. Ivory Coast is a country struggling to recover after a bloody civil war that resulted in ten of thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced between 2002 and 2007. Japan, is… well, it's Japan.

Do #IWantToBelieve in Mexico's National Football Team?

On his blog Se hace camino al andar (We walk to make the way), Mexican Andrés Mayorquín expresses his opinion [es] about the participation of Mexican national football team in Brazil FIFA World Cup 2014 and the hashtag on Twitter to support it #Quierocreer (I want to believe):

Personalmente se me hace una campaña ridícula, tan lastimera que da pena, pero por lo menos es realista. La ha de haber hecho algún publicista recomendado por algún político encumbrado, como el que dijo “Yo sí robé, pero poquito” y que ha llegado a donde está gracias a eso, al simplismo emocional de muchos mexicanos. [...] La Selección tuvo tan pésimos resultados durante la eliminatoria mundialista y hasta la fecha, que de verdad se necesita un acto de fe extraordinario para pensar algo positivo de ella.

I personally think this is a ridiculous campaign, so pitiful that is sorrowful, but at least it is realistic. Surely it was managed by a publicist recommended by some lauded politician, just as the one who said “I did steal, but a very little bit” and who is where he is thanks to that, to the emotional simpleness many Mexicans have. [...] The national team did it so badly during the qualifying round and until now that a really extraordinary leap of faith is necessary to think positively about it.

He adds:

Hay muchos quejosos sobre el tema del Mundial. Que si es un distractor, que si aturde a los mexicanos, que es un complot para mantenernos embobados, etc. Seré sincero, si tengo oportunidad, veré los partidos de futbol, como hice con los partidos anteriores, pero sin muchas expectativas. Creo que le pondré más interés a tratar de entender la reforma energética, o si con el empujón del Banxico ahora sí levanta la economía, o si puedo ser Consejero Electoral. Lo haré porque no #QuieroCreer, quiero ver resultados.

Many complain about the whole World Cup issue. That it is distracting, that numbs Mexicans, that it is a plot to keep us all besotted, etc. I'll be honest, if I have the chance, I'll watch the matches, as I did in previous matches, but not with high expectations. I think I'll be more interested in trying to understand the energy reform, or if with Banxico [Banco de México, the central bank of Mexico] the economy now gets better, or if I can become an Electoral Counsel. I will do it because I don't want to believe, I want to see results.

Follow him on Twitter.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 9, 2014.

Kazakhstan Has an Antelope That Can Predict the World Cup Winner (or Does It?)

Kazakhstan's most mischievous satirical blog, Kazaxia, is up to its old tricks again, reporting on the saiga antelope that has potentially ruined bookmakers worldwide by predicting the winner of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with its timeless steppe wisdom. As Kazaxia writes:

A shaman contacted kazaxia about the psychic saiga – it points a horn at one of two lamb bones bearing an etching of the national flags of the competing teams to select the winner. The unnamed saiga predicts that Argentina will triumph over England in the final. Brazil and Germany will be the unlucky losing semi-finalists, with the Germans grabbing third place on penalties.

For the competition’s opening match between Brazil and Croatia the long-nosed antelope refused to select a bone, suggesting the game could be a draw. For more predictions you can follow @psychicsaiga on twitter.

Saigas, which are members of the antelope family, once roamed the Eurasian steppe from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and the Caucasus into Mongolia and Dzungaria. Their numbers are now critically endangered with herds restricted to  areas of Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. 

Rather uncharitably, given that the satirical saiga is out to promote a good cause – saving itself from extinction – @pete_leonard chided:

 

Salam, Brazil: Muslim Football Fans and FIFA World Cup

Colombian United Arab Emirates-based Marcelino Torrecilla describes [es] the particulars of Muslim football fans in the 2014 FIFA World Cup:

se espera para el mundial la llegada de 50 mil musulmanes provenientes de países tan diversos como Irán, Nigeria, Argelia, Estados Unidos, el Reino Unido, Malasia y muchos otros de la región del Golfo Arábigo, que de seguro abarrotarán las más de ochenta mezquitas que existen a lo largo y ancho del extenso país brasilero;

For the World Cup, the arrival of 50,000 Muslims from countries as diverse as Iran, Nigeria, Algeria, United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia and many others from the Gulf is expected. For sure, they all will pack the 80 some mosques throughout the length and breadth of this huge country;

And he adds:

En seis de los 32 países en contienda en este mundial, el islam tiene una presencia significativa. Entre dichos países se encuentra a Bosnia-Herzegovina, Camerún, Irán, Costa de Marfil y Nigeria.

In six out of the 32 countries in competition, Islam has a significative presence. Among those countries we have Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cameroon, Iran, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

You can follow Marcelino on Twitter.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs on GV] on June 9, 2014.

Getting Tickets for the 2014 World Cup is a Total Nightmare

Mexican Emmasito shares [es] on his blog his misfortunes when trying to get tickets for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, which kicks off on Thursday, June 12. He notes that the problem is not the prices that range from 90 to 175 US dollars, which is affordable considering the magnitude of the sporting event, but the long waiting hours, the high demand for the tickets and problems with the net, among other barriers:

Justo a las 5 AM estábamos al pendiente [...] y debido a la alta demanda a nivel mundial, FIFA te pone en una “cola” virtual y hasta que sea tu turno puedes entrar a comprar. Para no hacer la historia larga, nos dieron las 7:30 y seguíamos esperando con una desmañanada brutal. Eventualmente pudimos entrar, pero para ese tiempo ya no había boletos disponibles.

Right at 5 a.m. we were on the lookout [...] and given the high worldwide demand, FIFA puts you into a virtual “line” and only when your turn comes you can go ahead and buy. To make a long story short, at 7:30 we were still waiting, totally disoriented. Eventually we were able to get in, but by then, there were no tickets available.

The author is a big fan of the most popular sport in the world and will be sharing his experiences during his visit to Brazil. Follow his blog [es] or his Twitter account if you are also a football fan.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs on GV] on June 9, 2014.

Chilean Football Fan Got Mixed Up and Missed His Team's First Match

A Chilean football fan who wanted to cheer his national team on at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil missed his team's first game with Australia because he mixed up the cities Curitiba and Cuiabá.

During an interview with a reporter in Curitiba, the distracted fan said he was happy to be in Brazil, “a beautiful country”. The journalist told him that the match against Australia was scheduled in Cuiabá… 1,700 kilometers away from Curitiba.

Twitter users reacted almost immediately:

Chilean fan went to Curitiba instead of Cuiabá.

Chilean football fan who mixed up Cuiabá and Curitiba, 1.700 km away from his national team debut on the World Cup says he was joking the reporter.

Anyway, my life is way much better than the guy who got mixed up with Cuiabá and Curitiba, LOL! I dropped dead… LOL!!!

A Handbook for Protesters During the World Cup in Brazil

As the 2014 World Cup begins in Brazil, protests against FIFA's interventions and the Brazilian government's spending are taking place all over the country, especially in the host cities.

Concerned about excessive police reaction during protests, citizen's counselling organization Urucum, which works on human rights, communication and justice issues and is based in the city of Fortaleza, published a “Handbook for Protesters“ in Portuguese (“Manual de Pessoas Manifestantes”).

The e-book gives advice about items protesters should carry inside their backpacks and offers a list of recommendations on attitude and behavior during the demonstration itself. It also shares a list of civil rights and addresses how to proceed in case a protester is stopped for a police search or detained.

The booklet is a product of the online platform Na Rua [pt] (On the street), which monitors human rights violations perpetrated by the government in Fortaleza during protests related to the World Cup.

‘The Time Has Come!’ Brazil 2014 World Cup

Mexican communication specialist Samantha Michelle Martínez [es] expresses her excitement for the kicking off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, remembers the buzz around previous tournaments and invites readers to support the teams [es]:

Fuera de la polémica sobre el escandaloso proceso que la Selección Mexicana tuvo para poder calificar a Brasil 2014, nos permitimos olvidar un rato, queremos dejar de ser imparciales, sentir que nuestro ego se infle tantito. Qué más da, en el mundial todos lo hacen. Y es permitido, ya que esta fiesta sólo ocurre cada cuatro años y es de lo más selectiva.

Leaving aside the controversy about the boisterous process the Mexican national team went through to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, let's just forget for a while that we don't want to be unbiased, we want to feel our ego puffing up a little bit. Whatever, during the World Cup everybody does that. And we are allowed to, as this party comes only once every four years, and it's very selective.

She writes often about sports and her favorite tourist destinations. If you are interested in updates during the World Cup, follow her blog Tarjeta Azul [es] and her Twitter account.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs on GV] on June 9, 2014.

Analyzing the Protests Before the 2014 World Cup

In digital magazine Distintas Latitudes (Different latitudes), Mexican internationalist Vanessa Rebollar analyzes [es] the elements present in the Brazilian protests caused by 2014 FIFA World Cup. She brings up some questions:

¿Cuál es el contexto dentro del cual han surgido las protestas? y ¿Quiénes son los actores y sus demandas y cómo se han logrado articular los intereses de los diversos sectores de la población?  Así, en un primer momento hablaré de las coordenadas social, política y económica que pueden explicar o dar sentido al surgimiento de las movilizaciones,

What is the context in which the protests have arisen? Who are the actors and their demands and how have they managed to articulate the interests of the various sectors of the population? So, at first I'll talk about social, political and economical coordinates that may explain or give a sense of the beginning of the demonstrations.

After noting corruption as a common element to all of the above, she addresses some features of the protest and concludes:

Brasil puede dar lecciones dentro y fuera del estadio. A raíz de las protestas, la población ha sido más conciente y crítica de la gestión del gobierno de izquierda, que si bien ha avanzado en unos aspectos, en otros aún ha quedado a deber y esto será reflejado tanto en las calles como en las urnas.

Brazil can teach lessons inside and outside the stadium. Since the protests started, the population has been more aware and critical of the leftist government, which if it has made some progress in some aspects, in others it still has much left to do and this will be reflected on the streets and in elections.

You can follow Distintas Latitudes [es] and also Vanessa on Twitter.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs on GV] on June 9, 2014.

‘Let's Go, Argentina!’

On Futbol Champagne, Argentinian Manuel de León writes [es] a letter to the football national team prior to the 2014 Football FIFA World Cup in Brazil:

Me tomo hoy, a través de esta carta, el atrevimiento de pedirles que dejen la vida dentro y fuera de la cancha por estos colores; que cuando vayan a correr una pelota, lo hagan como la sangre celeste y blanca que les corre por dentro; que cuando traben una pelota no lo hagan con toda sus fuerzas, sino con la de 40 millones de argentinos, porque vamos a estar con ustedes. Estaremos en oficinas, bares, restaurantes, casas, colectivos, el tren, el subte, las fábricas, en la calle. A lo largo y a lo ancho de un país entero.

Through this letter, I am bold enough to ask all of you to make more than your best effort for those colors; when you run after a ball, do it as the light blue and white blood inside you, when you take the ball don't do it with all your heart but with the heart of 40 million Argentinians because we are going to stand by you. We will be at offices, bars, restaurants, homes, public transportation, train, subway, factories, on the street. From every corner of a whole country.

You can follow de León on Twitter.

This post was part of the sixth #LunesDeBlogsGV [Monday of blogs on GV] on June 9, 2014.

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