Football World Cup and Bangladeshi Girls
Brotee Das Datta
IN our country sports is not that popular among girls. But the FIFA World Cup is one sports event that is known to people of all ages, caste and creed. Those who do not even understand football, experience this event with great enthusiasm. Most of the girls in our country think that football is limited to only World Cup. During the month of World Cup, they are (or act) totally crazy about football, but soon forget it once it is over.
The two football teams that are most popular in Bangladesh are Brazil and Argentina. About 80% people of Bangladesh support these two teams. So, when none of these teams were able to make their way to the semifinals, let alone win the World Cup trophy, most Bangladeshi supporters became very depressed. Among girls it is even harder to find anyone who supports any team other than Brazil or Argentina. It seems that they don't even value any team other than these two. The same thing can be seen when it comes to supporting a player. Most of them think that no player can be talented unless they are playing for Brazil or Argentina. Another thing that is very important for these girls is the LOOK of the players. They seem to think that all good-looking players are also good players. There are also some girls who support the team that their family members or friends support. There are very few girls around us who actually support a team because of their own true merits, or value a team based on their personal judgements or knowledge about football.
During the World Cup, when any of my friends asked me what my favorite team or who my favorite player was, most of them became very shocked upon hearing my answer. I supported neither Brazil nor Argentina. My favourite player is also not from a very popular team. So, while all my other friends supported the two popular teams, I kept up my faith over my favourite team. When all the girls went crazy for the two sensational players - Messi and Kaka - I supported my favourite, Cristiano Ronaldo. When Brazil and Argentina were eliminated in the quarterfinals, some of my friends turned their support for Germany, and after the semifinals, Spain. This reveals that they do not support a team permanently. Most people support a team for a month, turn into fanatics, and when it is all over, they totally forget about it.
When a person supports a football team there are a couple of reasons behind it. He or she does not support a team only because they like the team's style. For example, those who support Argentina, in most cases, support this team because Maradona once played in this team. Even though he does not play anymore, a liking towards Argentina still remains in its fans' hearts. Though Argentina's recent performance was not good, they continue to support this team. Same thing goes for the Brazilian supporters.
When a girl starts to develop interest in sports, she is usually judged by her other friends and sometimes, even gets known as the 'GIRL DUDE'.
Though most of the girls around us are totally unaware of sports, very few of them do happen to like and understand sports. At the beginning of this World Cup I had to face many inane comments by my friends as I was the only girl in class who supported Spain. While my other friends collected (in secret) pictures of either Messi or Kaka, I supported players like David Villa, Fernando Torres, Iker Casillas or Thomas Muller, even though they were not that popular towards the beginning. But in the end, it turned out that they were among the top stars of 2010 World Cup.
(Brotee DasDatta, representative of teenage Bangla e-zine Kishorechitro.com, is a student of Viqarunnesa Noon School & College, Dhaka)