So, internet rumors may not be accurate after all. There had been reports that Qatari interests had bribed a number of Ecuadoran players to throw today’s match and produce a 1-nil victory for Qatar. The Ecuadoran team put that unsavory rumor to rest in short order, as they totally dominated the host nation and won 2-0. So far, so good.
Tomorrow, the second day of the month-long competition features three matches. All three matches pose seemingly easy choices for the Zionist’s Guide to the World Cup (ZGWC).
The day begins with England taking on Iran. We have previously commented on the potential for the Iranian team to serve as a flashpoint for the ongoing anti-regime protests. Moreover, the Iranian coach told the press that his players had the green light to express political opinions, and indications are that those opinions are largely against the mullahs. While this may lead one to be sympathetic to the players of Team Melli, there are also indications that many Iranians would prefer to have their team lose in order to embarass the government. I am not sure I would credit those indications, as I would expect the average Iranian still wants their team to win. In any event, the safest course is to root against Iran. Depending how tomorrow’s match turns out and what sort of statements the team makes during the pre-match ceremonies and after the game, our posture may be reconsidered. As such, cheering for the Three Lions of England is the default setting.
The second match features Netherlands and Senegal. Both received ZGWC endorsements. That being said, the Dutch merit a larger thumbs up than the Senegalese. The Dutch are favored to win Group A and to make it to the quarterfinals. The Lions of Teranga–as the Senegalese squad is called–play for some of the best teams in Europe. Even in the absence of superstar Sadio Mane due to injury, the Senegalese will be tough competition for the Dutch. The Netherlands has a long history of warm relations with the Jewish people and with Israel, so they will be favored in this contest.
The final match of the day sees the United States go up against Wales. The U.S.A. is the No. 1 selection of the ZGWC. No question. Wales, the home of David Lloyd George, opted not to select Rabbi Matonodo for its squad. This omission was not surprising, as “The Rav” had been in poor form of late. However, even if the Welsh had an entire Beit Din in its starting line-up, the Yanks would still be favored by the ZGWC. The American team is young and talented and if they can get past this dogged Welsh team, they could go far in this competition.
(Also, listen to our analysis on A Rabbi and A Lawyer Walk Into A Bar podcast at https://rabbilawyerbar.com/)