04 December, 2020

Crunch Time

Forget the Hooligan les Anglais and the festival of scandal. Buckle up for the kick of death.

Crunch Time

THE conquistadors are still to storm Bastille. But half way through the greatest soccer show in the solar system, the jury is out: will France '98 live up to the hype? Few of the 48 matches thus far stick out in the mind's-eye. Few of the 32 teams have provided any dramatic twists to the tale. Few of the 704 athletes have produced moments of ecstatic individual brilliance. But that was the prelude. Now the real thing is on. Will the true magic of the World Cup unfold before our eyes?

Arguably, the story so far has been a bit slow in unwinding. The likes of Romario, Roger Milla and Diego Maradona are taking their time in arriving on the scene. The goals haven't been raining down upon us, although a lighter ball was supposed to be doing exactly that. And there has been such a lot of obstructing, shirt-pulling and holding—and such a lot of bad refereeing—that some are calling it the dance of the elastic jerseys. All the action, it seems, seems to have occurred off the field.

Diehard fans insist that this World Cup has seen...



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