World Cup Dreams
Universty of West Indies – Trinidad & Tobago
Boys and teenagers aspiring to be famous often seek the avenue of football (soccer) to earn the admiration of peers and society. The passions of the fans are a special domain that promotes bonding and understanding. The divisive differences of race, class, culture, nationality, ethnicity, and religion are temporarily set aside.
This group identification with a male-dominated game is an important symbolic representation of masculinity. Football, especially at the level of the World Cup, has become one of the most important factors defining and influencing masculinity. Only a few talented players realize their desire of representing their country at the World Cup. The dream of becoming a rich and famous footballer and to play at the World Cup is beyond the reach of most males. Many are either unaware or overlook the uncertainties surrounding a football career. Poor performance or injuries are factors which prematurely end the promising careers of young sportsmen. The reality of an early retirement in sports results in a dilemma, especially among breadwinners in a large family.
There are some concerns about the resources being directed to the World Cup in South Africa. The heavy sponsorship and advertisements by alcohol and cigarette companies only serves to encourage vices as smoking and alcoholism. Also, some may question if the money being spent by South Africa in the World Cup could have been better used to assist the poverty-stricken, unemployed citizens and to provide better medical services. These concerns will not stop the world’s most loved game from occurring in South Africa.