18 June, 2021

Soccer's Better Half

When the men get caught up in soccer madness, what do the women do?

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Soccer's Better Half
It's that time again. I've arranged the girl's evenings out, moved the TV as far away from the bedroom as possible, and loaded the iPod with Il Divo and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I've ordered the latest Karen Armstrong from the book store, and bought the scented candles. This is the seventh World Cup of our marriage. I have survived them all.

I am practising my non-committal response. "England are playing tonight," says Bill, poring over the team news. "Mmm," I respond. "Rooney will never be fit enough to play," he mumbles. I think about saying that Rooney is an overpaid, under-educated, semi-literate, immature, misogynistic young man with a gambling problem so bad that he has lost £7,50,000. And he has a broken foot so who cares if he plays or not? Instead, I nod sagely and lengthen my "Mmmm".

My husband Bill comes from an English footballing family—two uncles and a cousin all played for top English clubs. Bill is an English FA-trained coach who has close links with several top UK professional clubs. He understands that the World...

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