Sunday, June 24, 2018 | ePaper

Opinion

No clear favourities

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The World Cup Football is adjudged as the greatest show on earth. It is held once in every four years. Member-countries of the six soccer confederations take part in the competition through qualifications. The Federation Internationale de Football  Association (FIFA), world football's governing body, decides the number of the participating teams in the final round.
FIFA is the brainchild of the then French Football Association's President Sir Julio Rimet. He is also the first president of the FIFA, which has been organizing the World Cup. The 21st edition of the World Cup Football is being held in Russia from June 14 to July 15 in 12 stadiums of the country's 11 cities including Moscow.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union Française de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904. The first official match between representatives of two nations was between England and Scotland in 1872 at Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow, finishing in a 0-0 draw.
This year 32 national teams divided into eight groups of four will be competing. Europe has the highest 14 representatives followed by Africa with five. South America and Asia have four each, North America three, Asia-North America one each and South America-Oceania have one each. However, considering the number of countries in each continent, South America have highest number.
As to who are favourites, it is hard to predict since the top soccer playing nations are almost equal in skills, foot and headwork. Success depends on the maximum utilization of the available scoring opportunities. Still we think that Uruguay, Spain, France, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, England and Columbia are the probable group champions. And if they overcome their second round rivals, the probable quarterfinals line-up will be Uruguay V France, Spain V Argentina, Brazil V England and Germany V Columbia.
This is not the final account, as anything can happen in sports.
The sports world will not be surprised if Portugal in Group B and Belgium in Group G become champions. In that case, the quarterfinals line-up will be bit different.
Whatsoever let us wait for the competition to start to enjoy magic of the World Cup Football, but can we get a new Garrincha?
Abdullah Akber
Dhaka

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