Poor Forlán

Uruguay is the shiz! I hope Forlán and his boys destroy some German pride tomorrow. As a South African, I get the whole grudge thing: Uruguay kicked the asses of Bafana Bafana (who are not great and could have been beaten by any team) and then added insult to injury by beating Africa’s next hope – Ghana. Uruguay did a Maradonna BUT Ghana did have a chance to rectify Suárez’s dirty handball save. Forlán has become a cuss word on the lips of many South Africans. In a recent chat with my bro, he told me that he is using Forlán as a synonym for ‘dick’, ‘asshole’, ‘tosser’ etc. So ‘Forlán’ has replaced ‘fucker’ (note: the previous statement was not gratuitous swearing. The point required emphasis and the alliteration sounded nice). Poor Forlán. All the guy did was play great soccer. In that quarter final match against Ghana the crowd was like an extra player, so a little ‘Hand of God’ manoeuvre just even things out a little. A little extra crowd support = a little extra hand support. Besides, what’s wrong with a little handball in a sport in which dramatic leaps and rolls, which would assuredly earn the John Mclane award for extremity, are par for the course? Come on!

I usually like to call myself an England supporter – and I use the term ‘supporter’ tentatively because I actually care for soccer about as much as I do for a cake without icing; palatable but dull. However, world cup soccer is fun. As a born and bred South African, I was naturally rooting for my homeland but after their downfall, I donned the scarves of Argentina and Uruguay. The whole soccer thing is far more enticing when supporting a team, and pretending to care about it – it makes for great conversation, debate and mockery. My husband acts in defiance of soccer jocks by supporting whoever is most likely to lose … unless Italy is playing of course – then the patriotic (ahem psychotic) hooligan overtakes the vehement protester. As Italy is out and my husband, being as uncompetitive as they come, does not rise to any bate – the next best I can come up with is to write a ‘shed a tear for Uruguay crusade’ as I envision my fellow South Africans wielding machetes in my direction. Okay, before the machetes strike out: it’s a great thing when a nation can sweep all of its dirty laundry under the carpet, force the British media to eat its words, all for the sake of football. Am I being flippant about the unifying nature of sport? Let’s let history do the talking: think back to 1995 – a little bit of rugby, a Springbok emblem, a Web Ellis trophy, a number 6 jersey… Unification? Achieved?

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