A fan's notes:
As hoped for, the 2006 World Cup has brought us glimpses of inspired athleticism, sportsmanship, drama, passion, and international fraternity. As in past World Cup events, this one has also provided examples of unethical, boorish, and generally undignified behaviour from players, coaches, referees, and fans alike. In this year's edition of the championship, moments of individual artistry, genial team play, and overall good spirits have occasionally been overshadowed by controversial officiating, gamesmanship, sour grapes, second-guessing of coaching decisions, fans brawling, and unsubstantiated claims of preferential treatment being given to the established "big" teams. All of this, to some degree, appears to be part-and-parcel of the month-long event, and nothing greatly surprising or irrevocably unpleasant seems to have taken place yet. However, Henry A. Kissinger, in an abbreviated fan's overview of recent World Cup history ("World of Wonder", 12 June international edition of Newsweek) wrote a couple of sentences that so shockingly reeked of blood and hypocrisy as to be worth noting. Referring to Argentina's win against Holland in the 1978 final, he wrote:
"The Argentine victory produced a moment of respite from the near civil war conditions and brutal official repression racking Argentina. For 48 hours, Buenos Aires celebrated with such tumultuous abandon as to hide the bitterness of the national divisions."
Coming from a man who helped sow the seeds for "the near civil war conditions and brutal official repression racking Argentina" (not to mention Chile and other nations) in the 1970s, this is thoroughly shameless. Had he written the piece from jail, where he belongs, it would have been no less shameless. Enough said.