Written by Claire Vitti
Just when we thought we had seen the last of Gary Lineker’s chiselled jaw for a couple of months, FIFA’s World Cup fever is almost upon us. Due to the mass hysteria created by its presence, it can only be held every four years and this time will take place in everyone’s destination of the moment, Russia.
Now I’m not saying I dislike football. I am as partial to a World Cup Final and the accompanying BBQ -it’s the law – as the next man (or woman) but I think it would be fair to assume that a number of us view its month-long dominance of our very existence with a kind of weary resignation. I’m afraid the prospect of Chile v Hungary when Eastenders should be on, or the endless parade of balding football pundits talking long into the night about dodgy offside decisions really doesn’t do it for me. Neither do I wish to see the endless parade of Brazilian female fans with their flowing brunette locks, legs up to their armpits and tight T-shirts that BBC cameramen seem so intent on focusing in on.
So how will we make it through this month-long endurance test? Check out this 5 point plan to save you throwing the television out of the window or immigrating to Addis Ababa. It’ll probably be on there anyway.
- JOIN IN
A fairly obvious solution really. If you can’t beat them join them. Whilst wallpapering the inside of the freezer may seem more appealing than Chile v Azerbaijan if you’re expecting your significant other to pay you any attention you may need to just give in. Do avoid talking and asking too many questions. “Isn’t that thingy from Man Utd?” won’t go down well as a free kick is being taken and may lead to harsh words. Instead, keep a constant supply of beer and savoury nibbles handy for a harmonious household.
- APPEAR LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
This leads on from point 1 but don’t worry. It doesn’t involve learning the off-side rule. I have been on this planet for 44 years and have managed to blag my way without that so far. What you want are a few well-intentioned phrases at key moments. “I think Spain will do well this year” thrown into a football-related conversation will earn you new-found respect and “Referee!” uttered in anger and disgust never fails to impress. “Penalty!” shows you are paying attention but make sure there are 2 players and a ball in the penalty box before this one and avoid “If that had gone in it would have been a goal” at all times.
- FOOTBALLERS’ LEGS
How sexist I hear you cry and that may be so but with British offerings usually resembling a Crimewatch line-up, the World Cup gives us the opportunity to appreciate athletes from further afield. Keep an eye out for Sergio Ramos (Spain); Olivier Geroud (France) and Neymar Jr. (Brazil). Unfortunately, David Beckham won’t be there ladies. Apparently, he retired some time ago…..
- World Cup of Food
Much like the Eurovision Song Contest, the World Cup gives us the chance to indulge in cuisines we normally wouldn’t give the time of day to. Whilst pie and chips, garlic bread and pizza are obvious options, why not try some more exotic dishes to really get in the spirit. Beongdegi from the Korean Republic (steamed silkworm larvae to the uninitiated); Bulls Balls in a green pepper and onion sauce from Panama (no explanation needed) and Japanese Wasp Crackers are all worth a go and you’re bound to find the recipes on some bizarre website if you look hard enough.
- Book a Holiday
You could be hard-pushed to find a corner of the globe not gripped by football fever in the forthcoming weeks – let’s face it the clue is in the title but it won’t be completely impossible to escape. Why not try Scotland, Wales and oh – anywhere in Northern Ireland….