Immemorable Jabulani, Welcome the ‘Samba’ World Football FiestaLatest News, Sports Friday, June 13th, 2014
By: Ridwan Yusuf
Four years ago, the world witnessed the first World Cup tournament hosted by an African country. The fiesta was filled with frills and thrills. This year, it is the ‘Samba’ – Brazil World Cup.
African Examiner explores exclusivity why the memory of South Africa 2010 lingers.
This was the brand given to the official match ball for the four years old world football finals. The ball received wide criticism from players and coaches before and during the tournament its path through the air was unpredictable.
Manufactured by the top ranked sporting kits outfit – Jabulani was compared to a mere supermarket ball that favoured strikers and worked against goalkeepers. Similar complaints came from Giampaolo Pazzini, Claudio Bravo and Iker Cassilas.
Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon said “the new model is absolutely inadequate and I think it is shameful letting play such an important competition, where a lot of champions take part with a ball like this.”
The peculiar thing about the ball is that it “unpredictably changes direction when travelling through the air”.
While players like Ballon D’Or winner, Lionel Messi, David James and Robinho (Brazil) chorused their critics of the ball, Portuguese coach, Carlos Queiroz in contrast but expectedly posited after his team trounce 7-nil against their North-Korea counterpart He said; “We love the ball”.
Of course, who else would not ‘love’ the ball as well if not the ‘Master-Jabulani’ himself, Diego Forlan. It seems like he is the only player that has got the technique on how to hit the ball right. Dutch goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg testified to Forlan’s claim on Jabulani.
PAUL, THE MIGHTY OCTOPUS
The aquatic animal was used at the ornament as an oracle to predict the results of matches, especially those that involved Germany. Germans would always love him. He predicted correctly all their matches (seven) and favoured them.
Some Scientists’ theories on Paul’s unbelievable described its predictions precision as ‘pure luck’ and ‘box attraction’. True or otherwise, the true is that Paul truly added an interesting flavor to the ‘African World Cup’.
SUAREZ VS GHANA
To his people in Montevideo, he is a hero; to Africans, a villain he is.
After Africa’s remianing four representatives – the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa had crashed out of the biggest football showpiece; all hopes dashed in the continent, yet with a handful of trust on Black stars.
In a closely contested quarter final encounter at the Soccer City, a Sulley Muntari strike on the stroke of half time gave the Ghanaians the lead and Africans were elated. Just ten minutes after the break, the specialist himself, ‘Master Jabulani’, Diego Forlan converted a free-kick to level scores. As the game grew, both team had good chances but failed to convert thems. Few seconds to what would have been a record-breaking moment for an African side, Luis Suarez handled a goal-bound ball right on the touch-line. Expectedly, he was red-carded, but Asamoah Gyan hit the spot-kick against the cross-bar much to the delight of Suarez who was already heading down the tunnel.
Uruguay went on to win the tie 4-2 on penalties, ditching whatever is left of Africa’s dream of reaching the last-four of the FIFA World Cup. Cameroon and Senegal had reached the last-eight before in 1990 and 2002 respectively. It was truly a remarkable end to an extraordinary match. But if you ask a Ghanaian why an African team is still yet to reach the last-four of the FIFA World Cup, he will tell you “Luis Suarez” and not “Asamoah Gyan”. What an irony, you may want to say.
The Vuvusela has deafening sound when blown at close range. Little reason it was banned after the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South-Africa. The controversial game article has become a symbol of South-Africa’s football as the stadiums were filled with its blastering sound. For Media-Communication, health and safety concern were probably some of the reasons the instrument was condemned.
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