Nearing the start of the 2006 World Cup convening in two months, it is important to truly identify the symbolism and meaning behind the cup. It means something not only to the countries that participate, but to the world as a collective whole. Scores of people from all over the world will come together in Germany to witness one month of soccer on the grandest stage. People of different traditions, nationalities, religions, and backgrounds will unite to witness the 32 countries battle it out in the worlds sport. Soccer is the pride and joy of millions around the world. What separates it from other sports is that all you need to play is a ball and yourself, and you do the rest. No equipment, no lessons, no special facilities are necessary. That is what makes soccer so great. That is what allows it to transcend through various cultures and countries. Everyone is on an equel playing field. Regardless of how economically capable your country is, it does not matter. Soccer is a game for all, and when people see their athletes performing on the field they feel this is finally when they can truly be represented.
In the world we live in today, there exists much hardship, corruption, inequality, poverty, violence and suffering. Some live well, while others hang on for life with each passing day. Some live in democracies, some theocracies, and the rest in what lies in bewteen. In the United States, we are accustomed to winning. We have more money, more might, and more opportunities that anyone could ever dream of. We dominate from the olympics to politics, along with a few other wealthy nations. Our people are represented in virtually every aspect, from sports to politics to entertainment. What we forget in our world of domination, is that for a majority life is bleak. For some, even unbearable.
In Africa and Asia and across the globe, many live for the hope that tomorrow might bring. They deal with repressive government, measly resources, and a lack of representation. How unrepresentated must someone feel when they slowly die away because they have no food to eat, and there is knowone there to hear their desperate cries for help. When are they going to be heard, or have the opportunity to see themselves represented on a larger stage? For many countries, the frightening reality is that soccer is their only chance to represent themselves.
This is why we witness such fervor and passion among soccer fans when their teams are playing in the world cup, or merely attempting to qualify. This is what rallies an entire country of people together to display their pride and finally be represented, a right that has been denied them for a lifetime. For once, not only can they be on the biggest stage but they can win. Despite their lack of resources, poorer countries finally get to compete on an even playing field. They can play the United States, and know they can win, because no extra training, facilities and whatever else can help you, its just you and the ball. But we all know, it’s alot more than that.