Editorial

Football Fever

Football Fever

Revenge may not have been on the Soca Warriors’ mind Tuesday night, but they still dished it out. They beat USA 2-1 at the Ato Boldon Stadium to send the Americans crashing out of World Cup contention. For many local football fans, it was comeuppance for the tragedy that was T&T’s 1990 World Cup qualifying campaign. We were in a similar position. The Strike Squad however slipped to a 1-0 defeat in Port of Spain, leaving them just short of what would have been their first ever World Cup appearance.

For the USA though, this latest defeat seems to be a very difficult pill to swallow. And for some American fans, their disappointment borders on arrogance. To be clear, the USA has participated in 10 out of the 20 tournaments held so far. They withdrew from the event in 1938, and failed to qualify between 1950 and 1990. Their best finish remains the 3rd place earned in the first ever World Cup tournament held in 1930 in Uruguay. In the 7 tournaments held since 1990, they have made it past the group stages 4 times, and reached beyond that second stage only once.

This tells us that the USA is indeed a good team, but not the best team in the world as many of its fans feel. Some comments range from “technically the best team in the world” to “better than England” which by the way has a World Cup title to its name. Others insist that a World Cup without the USA will not be a good one. This is blasphemous for one main reason: it takes away from the fantastic campaigns that other CONCACAF teams ran. T&T for one may have had an abysmal campaign, but there is no doubt that they showed great fighting spirit in their final game. It is a game that many fans are proud of, and that is being undercut by some US fans who cannot fathom losing to a country they have never heard of. The USA is a good team, one of the strongest in the region. BUT, like any other team, if they don’t give it their all, they should expect to fall. No team is owed anything, much less a spot in the biggest sporting event in the world.

Another thing, just because certain teams aren’t there, doesn’t mean the tournament will not be a good one. Please remember that the 2018 World Cup will feature teams with a much more stellar record than the United States. All previous world cup winning teams will be there including record 5-time champions Brazil and current and 4-time champions Germany. A few will be missed, including famous underdogs The Netherlands. But in their stead will be the likes of Belgium, the promising Egypt, and Iceland, which became the smallest nation ever to qualify.

Many football fans say they would have missed the USA as well, if only not for the arrogance of some of their fans.

News Room

October 12th, 2017

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