Suarez’s tears in the desert of high drama

2 mins read

Christmas has come early in the unseasonal surroundings of the Qatar desert drenched with Luiz Suarez’s tears in a tournament that keeps on giving.

The World Cup has been a fantastic diversion from the bleak homefront sprinkled with the false promises of politicians who want to become President and feuding bishops seeking the church throne.

That the two simultaneous election campaigns have converged upon us during a cost-of-living crisis has only compounded our pain.

This male-dominated procession for power, political or spiritual, lacks imagination, vision and the honesty of any meaningful contest.

There is no fighting spirit or dogged determination to strive for the impossible against the odds that has enthralled a global audience in Qatar.

Cyprus can only dream of reaching such heights as it seems more content with producing bickering priests and back-stabbing politicians.

Creating a team ethos that will topple giants seems beyond our imagination. So instead, we’d rather let hubris and entitlement shut the door to progress.

Qatar has been a perfect remedy for the staleness of our political discourse and blindness to inclusion and diversity.

While the sparks were flying at the Mundial, the only glimmer of entertainment at home was the President looking to sacrifice his reputation by demanding an investigation into allegations he was a shady operator.

He knows full well nobody has the gumption or the appetite to start searching for dead bodies when the stink of corruption has long stained this administration.

And if somebody finds a smoking gun, what will they do? Make him resign while walking out the Palace door for another lucrative job.

Everyone plays the game of throwing mud and seeing if it sticks, but they won’t throw it too hard because they live in the same creaky house.

So while it’s been groundhog day at home, the football roadshow in the Middle East has been nothing short of exhilarating with a conveyor belt of heartstopping moments.

It can not be scripted like a political debate; there is raw emotion in Qatar that has no equal on the sporting stage.

For those betting on a sure thing – it has also been a gambler’s graveyard.

Powerhouses Germany – four-time winners, and Belgium – FIFA ranked world number 2 – are flying home before the knockout stage.

Scenes of bedlam greeted Japan’s unexpected victory over fancied Spain, Australia’s dumping of Denmark, South Korea’s coming back from the dead against Portugal and Morocco’s madness.

Any of these scenarios would make a tournament memorable for the ages, but this happened all in the same week – it was breathless drama.

We even had the grudge match of Ghana v Uruguay, where the bad feeling ran deep since Suarez handled on the line to deny the Black Stars from progressing in 2010.

Ghana went into the game hoping to avenge the defeat from 2010 when Suarez wildly celebrated Asamoah Gyan’s miss from the resulting penalty.

It lost the penalty shootout that followed but was offered redemption 12 years on.

Again Ghana’s penalty was unsuccessful before Uruguay took a two-goal lead.

There was a twist in the tail as Ghana ensured that their nemesis also failed to qualify by not scoring enough goals.

Many tipped Uruguay to go far in the competition, but it was the last hoorah for Cavani, Suarez, and a few others.

Unbridled soul searching has also started in Germany after they exited the group for a second time due to a poor goal difference and a shocker against Japan.

Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Lukaku fell short again, looking tired and clueless, only scoring one goal against a superior Canadian side.

Maybe De Bruyne suggesting the team was too old to win anything, lacked the required motivation.

Amid all the mayhem and chaos, Poland seemed to have sneaked through to the second round by being unspectacular and neglecting their star asset, striker Robert Lewandowski.

Mexico was edged out on goal difference after a late consolation goal by Suadi Arabia – it could have gone down to yellow cards.

If there is any justice, Poland will get thumped by the French unless their outstanding keeper Wojciech Szczęsny works more miracles.

There’s some cracking knockout football to relish, with Argentina playing Australia, Netherlands v USA, and England must navigate Senegal.

And don’t miss it for a political gathering – you’ve been warned.