Friday, June 15, 2018

Raya and the World Cup

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Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all Muslims everywhere! Maaf zahir dan batin kepada semua! 

The number of Brazilians who claim they have no interest in football has grown considerably in the last eight years. 

A Datafolha poll conducted in January 29 and 30, 2018, shows that 41% of respondents said they had no interest in football. The rate is ten percentage points higher than the survey carried out in April 2010, the last to address this topic. 

The drop in the number of those who claim to have no interest in the sport was also followed by a decrease in the percentage of people who say they have great interest (from 32% to 26%) and little interest (from 16% to 9%) in the sport. 

The variation in the number of people who say they have average interest in football was within the poll's margin of error of two percentage points (from 22% to 23%). 

Even more interesting is that the research revealed that football, at least nowadays, is not the sport of the masses. People with lower purchasing power – the largest population in Brazil – were the least interested in the sport. 

Not even the World Cup (June 14–July 15, 2018) in Russia seems to be doing the trick. 

In line with results from the general football poll, the number of people interested in the World Cup has dropped, and the rate of those not interested at all has gone upward from 18% to 42%. 

I’m not too keen on the World Cup too. It’s pretty much predictable. 

In the current round of fixtures, there will be the obvious moments of A-list gold. Matches involving Uruguay and Russia from Group A; Spain and Portugal from Group B; France and Denmark from Group C; Iceland and Nigeria from Group D; Brazil and Switzerland from Group E; Germany and Sweden from Group F; England and Tunisia from Group G; and Colombia and Japan from Group H should keep us all glued to the TV screen. 

Those are my predictions anyway. I believe they should make it to the Round of 16 – but don't discount Mexico and Peru because they might just spring a surprise. 

Presently, thirty-two teams compete in the World Cup – although FIFA plans to expand to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament. 

Oh my, that sounds like a placid World Cup format that is bound to make me jump with rapturous disinterest.

As in previous World Cups, I'm keeping faith with Germany. And France.

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