Whilst your fellow compatriots are going mad for a bunch of blokes knocking a bag of air about – you’re wondering what all the fuss is about.
Written especially for the football layman – here is Skyscanner’s World Cup guide for those that don’t like football.
What is the World Cup anyway?
The World Cup is a big competition where overpaid men chase a small spherical object – known as a ‘ball’ – around a plot of grass for 90 minutes. The object is to kick the ‘ball’ into a large white net called a ‘goal’.
Once a ‘goal’ has been ‘scored’, it is the job of the ‘scorer’ to perform a pre-rehearsed set of movements to celebrate his achievement. This might be a forward somersault, pulling his shirt over his head, or for the more talented players, a short dance recital.
Players are always pushing the limits of goal celebrations and looking for ever more impressive routines. Known as ‘set-pieces’, such routines involve a vast amount of preparation and practise and more than justify the players’ high salaries.
Why are you telling me this? I’m not interested in the World Cup!
If you find yourself underwhelmed by the whole World Cup hype, commiserations, you almost certainly have the medical condition ‘World Cup Ambivalence’ or WCA. Doctors specialising in sports science have established two primary causes of WCA:
1. You don’t like football
2. You love football, but your national team is rubbish at football and failed to qualify for the World Cup (even though Honduras, Slovakia and New Zealand did).
The first cause is most common in nations not normally associated with football, such as Greenland, Papua New Guinea and Antarctica.
In countries where football is a popular sport, such as Scotland, Sweden and Russia, the second reason is the primary cause of WCA. In these countries, the condition can also lead to intense bitterness towards neighbouring nations that did qualify for the tournament.
Where is the South Africa World Cup?
The World Cup 2010 is being held in several cities across a country called South Africa. If you don’t know where this is, read ‘South Africa’ again carefully; there’s a clue in the name.
Who is playing in the World Cup?
The great thing about the World Cup is that it brings together 32 different countries from all over the world. Of course, all the footballing giants like Slovenia, North Korea and Algeria will be playing, but alongside these greats will be some lesser known football nations such as Italy, Germany and a country called ‘Brazil’.
Who goes to the World Cup?
As any football player will tell you, it’s the fans that make the World Cup so special.
FIFA, the World Cup governing body, has made it a legal requirement for all supporters attending a World Cup match to do at least two of the following:
1. Wear a massive and ridiculous hat
2. Attach a giant foam hand to your palm and wave it around; preferably inanely
3. Wear an outfit reflecting your national stereotype (for example Germans must wear Lederhosen, Japanese must wear kamikaze headbands)
4. Get your nation’s flag painted on your face
5. Bring a huge flag and ensure that the view of your fellow supporters is obscured as much as possible throughout the game
6. Bring a drum, trumpet or other musical instrument and deafen those seated next to you by playing it incessantly
Though not legally required by FIFA, extra credibility can be gained by both male and female fans who go topless and paint their upper halves in their country’s colours. By doing so, these fans also guarantee themselves a brief TV appearance. The size of the bust or belly is directly proportional to the amount of airtime received.
Who will win the World Cup?
Every team has a chance for World Cup glory which is what makes it so exciting. However, if you were to place a bet, your money would be safe on any of the following teams: New Zealand, Honduras or Slovenia. Of course there can only be one winner but these teams are certainly in the running.
What are all these World Cup songs?
As well as putting together a team of their country’s finest footballing stars, it is also a requirement that competing nations must release at least one World Cup song prior to the competition. This may or may not feature one or more of the players singing, or in some cases, doing a rap.
When do I get my boyfriend/wife/partner/mates back?
The World Cup lasts from the 11th of June till the 11th July 2010. After this, your life should return to normality for another two years. Until, if you live in Europe, Euro 2012 begins.