FIFA 2010: A Canadian Fan's Perspective

Joe LaflecheCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11:  Andres Iniesta of Spain scores the winning goal as Rafael Van der Vaart of the Netherlands tries to block the shot during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Try as you may, you can't ignore the hard truth; Spain has won the World Cup. In the newspapers, on the web, and on TV; there is no way to hide from the Spanish victory over the Dutch and I don’t quite mind it. It is more of a simple statement rather than anything else, but it is how I feel. In a surprisingly boring match-up (just in case you live under a rock) Spain outlasted the Dutch team, and good for them! But that’s not why I'm writing this.

In my native Canada, you play hockey when the weather is cold or lacrosse when the weather is warm. Should anyone suggest a quick game of soccer (foot ball) an evil eye and a cold shoulder is about all they would get in response. Yet once the world cup comes on it seems that’s all anyone can talk about. Flags and banners of “home” countries seem to pop out of nowhere and invade the streets. Germany seems to have the most support in my area, but if you're lucky, you may see some Union Jacks flying around (someone should really tell them….) and other countries too.

Now, if Canada ever were to qualify for the FIFA cup, two things would happen: First, I would fall on my behind in shock. Second, I would stop chanting for France . Am I a fan of the French team? Well, I do have a little French blood running through my veins and I am from French decendents, but I cheer for the Bleu Blanc Rouge because I can't cheer for Canada The Canadians have never even scored a goal in the FIFA.

Are we a dormant force waiting to emerge and cause chaos on the international Soccer stage? Don’t think so. Would it be nice? Yes. Would it be possible? Well, yes. But the better question is, would it be probable? The answer to that question is a flat no! Yet rumors are flying about bringing the FIFA to Canada in a few years. I was tempted to break into bouts of laughter upon hearing the news, but I will try and remain calm and look quickly at both sides of the argument. Of course, this is all hypothetical, but I hope it to be accurate.

On the one hand, Canada could boasts a decent team. If they could actually get a goal (don’t even think about a win people, it just won’t happen), create some national pride and spark an interest in Canadian soccer, they could feasibly get the ball rolling to build a future competitive team.

On the other,  Canada spends millions upon millions of dollars making the FIFA a reality just to get half full stadiums mostly filled with European tourists. Canadians don’t back the project and our team gets ripped to shreds like a piece of toilet paper through a wood chipper. The games are a total flop.

So do the pros outweigh the cons? Not a chance. Would I like to see the world cup in Canada ? Absolutely. In my opinion, it’s just not happening. At least not anytime soon. 

Back to the FIFA that just passed. As mentioned, come FIFA time I cheer for France. Since they were unfortunately removed from competition at an early stage, I was left saying: “Go Whoever! Huh? Who? Uruguay ? Okay, sure. Go Uruguay ! Oh they’re out. Well then who is left? Okay, why not Spain ? Go Spain !”. I may be a proud Frenchman but I’m not French. I am a Canadian. We play Hockey here. And really, is that the mentality that Canadians can afford to have if the cup comes to us? I don't think so.

I really enjoyed this last month watching the World Cup games. The vuvuzuelas were not that annoying in my oppinion, and it was fun to cheer for all the team. I'm glad the Spaniards came out on top. Congratulations to them.