Football and national defence

This time for soccer. And thank God India wasn't at the World Cup. Judging by what happens when the Indian cricket team loses a match, Warren Anderson gets away with impunity, the Maoists execute a well-planned attack, etc., the outrage would have been louder, shriller and infinitely more irritating than the vuvuzela.

Times Now would have declared it a national betrayal. Arnab Goswami would have kicked butt and demanded an explanation: "tell your channel how you could not kick a ball past one man and into the gaping hole behind him?" If our imaginary goal-keeper had done a Robert Green on the grass and allowed the football to get away from him and roll into the goal mouth, he would have fulminated: "Let me put it to you, Mr Golmaal, that your defences were poor, your ability to counter attack nil and you lost the battle in the air and off the ground. You don't deserve to be defending the national goal post, you butcher of the ball. At your feet, the beautiful game is a national shame!".

There would have been prime time discussions consisting of 11 players, sorry, panelists. Each would have been shooting from the mouth, trying to rise above the others, rather like footballers do when a corner is taken. Free kicks would have landed on the players, the coach, the administration and a few cricketers. Come to think of it, this is all their fault: if they didn't play well enough to win tournaments, the sponsors would have flocked to Indian football, the game would have prospered and we would have been tackling the opposition in South Africa right this minute, waka, waka.

One illustrious TV anchor not necessarily Goswami would have thundered, "Lalit Modi, booted out of the IPL chairmanship, has to answer for India's failure to make it to the soccer World Cup!" Well, weirder and more outrageous things have been said on the tube.

... contd.

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