The World Cup is now well and truly within our sights. Whilst the domestic and European action will take centre stage for a while yet, if you are looking forward to the World Cup more than a bailiff/repo man enjoys a recession then now is the time to make some early preparations to make sure you do not miss any of the action.
This may sound crazy with so much football before the competition starts but even those not heading to South Africa should start planning for the World Cup now. On this theme I have compiled some tips and suggestions on planning and organising your World Cup 2010 to ensure that you are fully prepared come the 3rd of June.
Planning – The Sacred Wall Chart of Truth
This may sound obvious and preachy but with two games a day being played throughout the week there is no sense in risking missing games due to common sense failure. Make sure to check exactly when you need to be free to watch the matches you need to see. The simplest way to do this is to procure a wall chart from a paper of sports magazine for your region as this will show the kick off times in your local time without the need to find out what GMT + 2 means to you.
Organisation – Football vs. Normal Life
With the wall chart firmly affixed to your bedroom wall you have noticed the deliberate mistake in the section above and hit the awkward realisation that your life may interfere with your football.
The football versus life debate is a dilemma for all football fans from time to time however this is exacerbated during a World Cup.
During this year’s competition those in the Americas will watch the games over breakfast or lunch, those in Europe and Africa will be finishing work or enjoying dinner, whereas those in the football crazy Asian Pacific should probably already be tucked up in bed as as the action starts.
It is therefore obvious that schedule changes are unavoidable and I have prepared the following tips.
Send your wife on holiday with her mother
Shimples as the meerkat would say, or for those counting the pennies simply pack your wife off to her mother’s for a few weeks ‘relaxation’. Alternately for the really lucky people whose partners have caught the football bug enjoy the games with your significant other.
Break up with the girlfriend/mistress
As above IF she loves you she will take you back.
Buy A Plasma Screen TV/Skidaddle to you Local hostelry
Games involving your country adopted or otherwise need to be watched in style, get yourself down to your local electronics store and buy the most expensive TV in the shop for the comfort of home, or failing that get down the pub and get in with your local landlord to ensure that the best seat in the house is reserved for you come game day.
Ensure that any pets adverse to loud noises are suitably kennelled/stabled/given away.
Let’s face it, when explaining to your returning wife the new plasma screen TV you couldn’t afford it will be difficult enough without also having to explain the demise of Frankie the Gerbil who was inadvertently kicked across the room during a tense penalty shoot out. Be kind this summer if dog is really a man’s best friend make sure they don’t deserve to suffer the rollercoaster of a World Cup.
Quit Your Job/Book Time off Work
For those in football immersed continents such as Europe, Africa and South America this is not so much of an issue as countries may literally stop for the match however ensuring earning a living does not interfere with the match schedule should not be underestimated as others are not so lucky.
I am sure that there will be many people in the U.S who are desperate to watch their team play in a group including England however taking time off to watch the game may not be easy so make sure you let your boss know quickly, if they refuse you have two options you can either miss the game or resign quoting the words of Bill Shankly.
Here is the genuine email which I sent my boss recently to ensure I would not face similar concerns feel free to use it yourself:
Subject: ADVANCED WARNING – FiFa World Cup
During our working relationship it may have come to your attention that I have a passing interest in soccer, however as you may not know is that this summer is the World Cup in this sport an event that only occurs every four years.
This year the nation to which I follow in international competitions in this sport were able to qualify for the tournament and I would like to follow their progress and the other fixtures as closely as possible and would seek your compassion in allowing me to observe this minority sport.
It is for this reason I would like to you to be advised my availability will be limited on the following dates:
<Insert dates of matches you wish to watch>
Relax and feel the smug feeling of self satisfaction, I am confident but unwilling to be quoted on the fact that if you have completed the steps above then you will be well on your way to a hassle free World Cup 2010.