World Cup Soccer – World Class Peace
By Michael Boyajian
For many years I have been trying to communicate the idea of peace through sports sort of what the Olympics accomplish every few years. Why meet your adversary on the battlefield when you can meet on the hardwood floor of a basketball court?
So I have been thinking in terms of the Olympics even when I was in Paris in 2007 coincidently at the same time as the world ruby games when nations from around the globe met on the sports fields of the city of light. Parisians even had a balloon rugby ball floating from the upper base of the Eifel Tower. It didn’t dawn on me then that here were athletes gathered for sports in a celebration of peace.
But this week it came home with the World Cup Soccer games from South Africa. Nations from all over the planet from Algiers to Ghana to South Korea to England and the United States competing not fighting for a sports trophy in South Africa.
I had written earlier that we should have a summer Olympics in Africa so as to be inclusive but for cost reasons they should be spread out among a few nations on that continent. But watching the soccer games in South Africa it dawned on me that one nation could perhaps support the Olympic Games in Africa. South Africa accommodated the soccer games this week with what seemed to be relative ease and provided such fan support that the stadiums were filled.
Now soccer is an alien sport to older Americans but younger ones have grown up playing the game and appreciate the finer points of the sport. So it isn’t baseball or football that is bringing the world together it is soccer and even rugby.
My friend Ben once said parents care more for midnight basketball than for basic education driving home the point that love of sports is so popular that it could propel the quest of peace home to all. So for the sake of peace let’s promote soccer on the world stage in addition to the Olympics and other sports in order to bring peace to our diverse peoples on a field of grass, a field of dreams.