One big sporting extravaganza is over, and if sports lovers are planning to relax, thereâ€™s more to keep them hooked to their couches. One of the biggest sporting carnivals is just around the corner, so, donâ€™t let the fatigue from IPL-induced late nights take a toll on your love for sports. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, as the curtains have come down on the Indian Premier League, the curtain raiser for the FIFA Football World Cup 2014 is all set.
The sports enthusiast couldnâ€™t have had a better time. One season of slam bang cricket has merged into another full season of the biggest soccer teams, fighting it out for the biggest honour in the football arena — the World Cup. And carnival it is all set to be, for the hosts are none other than the colouful Brazil. Fireworks, drums and merry-making is on the cards as 32 nations clash to claim the much-coveted trophy. So, in case you were planning to ditch the munchies and drinks, give it a second thought. This is your best chance to sit back, relax and have a whale of a time!
One might be wondering though, whether a cricket crazy nation like India would be as excited as any other country. The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Cricket is the most preferred sport in this country, but, when it comes to the World Cup of one of the most closely followed sport, there is no way the even the average Indian sports fan would compromise one small bit. The schedules are memorised, the family is already briefed about the timetables and the gangs are all set to enjoy Brazil and the riot of sports that is to start from the 12th of this month to the 13th of July.
Although everything does sound hunky dory from the fansâ€™ perspective, in reality, things are far from great in the epicentre of all the action. Brazil, hosting the World Cup for the second time, has been on the receiving end of a lot of flak, thanks to the â€˜below averageâ€™ preparations that has been happening. The venues are incomplete, with workers working round the clock to ensure that there is no embarrassment for the authorities involved. Several former players and officials have already raised their objections and concerns, and even FIFA officials look worried. Even FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has expressed his displeasure.
Another aspect that has been plaguing and nibbling into all the frenzy, is the fact that, perhaps, Brazil has got its priorities wrong. In a nation, where children go to poorly equipped schools and have little to no proper medical facilities, spending a fortune on stadia, that will be useless once the World Cup is over, is being seen as a farce.
However, all said and done, with the countdown beginning and just about a week for all the action to unfold, Brazil is rushing up its last minute touch ups. The authorities would also be hoping that there is a full stop to the riots and clashes and other natural speed breakers, that could derail a smooth run. Meanwhile, hereâ€™s all you got to know to enjoy this sporting carnival all the more!
- This is the 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup.
- Brazil will be playing hosts for the 2nd time, after their stint in 1950.
- 32 teams will be taking part.
- Goal-line technology will be employed for the first time.
- There have been riots in Brazil, protesting against the $11 billion pumped into the event, rather than concentration on issues the country is facing.
- Ivory Coast
- Costa Rica
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- South Korea