FIFA World Cup: Friend or Foe?

Two hundred nations became 32, and on 15 July, we’ll know the new World Champion. As always with big tournaments, some of the top nations won’t even have a shot to try to win because they didn’t make it through the various qualifying systems. Missing are the United States and Chile, both who missed out in the hexagonal qualification system for the Americas. Cameroon also failed to qualify after ending up third in their group, and the Netherlands fared even worse when they ended up as fourth in their group. Italy almost made it through but lost to Sweden in the playoffs. Iceland and Panama are both taking part for the first time.

No Seagulls in the England Squad

Unfortunately, none of our local Brighton & Hove Albion players made it to the English squad for the World Cup. We are, however, represented by two international players: goalkeeper Mathew Ryan is playing for Australia and forward Jose Izquierdo is representing Columbia.

With the World Cup now well underway, we have a much better understanding of the teams’ strengths and weaknesses, so there is still time to challenge your mates to predict the World Cup outright winner or the top goalscorer.

Are you a football fan?

So, you are a football fan, but you didn’t manage to get to Russia for various reasons? No need to worry. If you don’t fancy watching the games at home (or clear up the mess afterwards), there are plenty of local venues showing the games. With more than 15 venues already on the list, there is bound to be somewhere you can watch the games. There is even a big screen on the beach, although some days are already sold out, so make sure you secure your spot as soon as possible.

Not so keen on football?

If you couldn’t care less about football, perhaps you should! At least to find out when the various games are taking place.

The shops are usually peaceful and quiet when the matches are taking place. Generally, there’ll be fewer people around when the games are on, which is especially true when England is playing, and during the final stages.

The same applies to all other places that normally attract football or general sports fans, including the gym, swimming pool, barber (unless a fan themselves), pubs and cafés not showing the games, playgrounds, Sea Life Brighton, etc.

If you are single and looking to find a new partner, check who’s out and about or log onto a dating app and see who’s not absorbed by the games? Hopefully, this should be a sure-fire way of figuring out who isn’t a complete football fanatic, and you’ll know you have something in common!

If you do end up watching the games, they are usually more enjoyable if you come prepared! You could do some research to find out who the top players are, their positions in the team, home clubs, personal details, etc. And if watching at someone’s home, don’t forget to bring some drinks and snacks. If you don’t like football at all, stay well clear or bring a good book or a fully charged phone/tablet.