Doug Klein

Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup–Day 19

After more than two weeks of constant action, there were no soccer matches at the World Cup on this day.  Instead, there was just the usual Qatari hypocrisy, oppression of foreign workers, anti-Semitism, and homophobia to entertain the masses.

The Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup (ZGWC) will take advantage of the time off to review the action to date.  There are eight teams left standing:  the Netherlands, Argentina, Croatia, Brazil, England, France, Portugal, and Morocco.  Friday will see the Croatians take on the Brazilians in the morning match and the Dutch face off against the Argies in the afternoon.  On Shabbos, Morocco and Portugal start the day off, followed by England and France (see Battle of Trafalgar).  In tomorrow’s blog, the ZGWC will give reasons to root for or against each of the quarterfinalists.  Here’s an exclusive sneak peak:  one of the reasons involves Noam Chomsky.  Wait for it.

All-in-all, it has been a favorable World Cup for countries who have good relations with Israel and tolerable histories with respect to the Jewish people.  The USA, Australia, Japan, and South Korea all advanced from the group stage and gave good accounts of themselves.  None advanced as far as they hoped, but each produced stellar moments, to wit:  Japan’s upsets over purported powerhouses Germany and Spain;  the USA’s draw against England and its dramatic triumph over Iran; Australia’s heroic victory over the Danes; and South Korea’s unlikely victory over Portugal.

The favored countries which failed to advance from the group stage were Ecuador, Wales, Denmark, Canada, Cameroon, Uruguay, and Ghana.  The fates of Ecuador, Cameroon and Uruguay were particularly painful and came down to the final minutes of their elimination matches.

Many of the countries the ZGWC was strongly rooting against–Qatar, Iran, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Belgium–crashed out of the group stage.  Of note, host Qatar managed a single goal across its three defeats and failed in ignominious fashion.  All seven were embarrassed and humiliated at least once during their short tenure in the competition.  Call it schadenfreude; call it divine justice.  The ZGWC calls it extremely satisfying.

About the Author
Doug Klein is an attorney in Chicago and the wrestling coach at Ida Crown Jewish Academy.
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