Posted by sean on June 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm in Football with No Comments

I stayed up late yesterday – on a school night of all things – to watch the opening game of the World Cup. It had to be done. Brazil versus Croatia. Brazil started rubbish and scored an own goal. The last time Barnsley played Leeds, their fans sung “It’s just like watching Brazil”. At first, I thought it was a strange thing to sing. Now I understand why.

Shortly after the comical own goal, a Brazilian called Neymar stuck out an elbow, smashing his Croatian opponent in the skull. As a Leeds fan, I stood up to applaud the blatant act of brutality – they don’t call my team Dirty Leeds for nothing. The referee didn’t clap the violence. Instead, he brandished a yellow card. In reality, it should have been a red.

Neymar would go on to score an equalising goal for Brazil, before converting a penalty. A penalty awarded for a shameful act of cheating – a dive from his teammate, so embarrassing it would make Cristiano ‘Cheaty McCheat’ Ronaldo vomit with rage. The team mate raised his hands to the Gods, thanking them for the penalty. He should really have thanked whoever bribed the referee as he helped them throughout the course of the match.

OK, I’m getting into dodgy territory here. I don’t want to get sued. The referee almost certainly wasn’t bribed, but a Brazil win would have eased the tensions in the country. Had they got beat, things would have kicked off big time. The victory was therefore good for FIFA. Given the recent corruption allegations they’re facing, who knows? I suspect what really happened was the referee was intimidated by the atmosphere both on and off the pitch – I’d be shit scared with rioting outside the stadium! Perhaps FIFA should have hired a stronger official than somebody I’ll probably see running the line at Bath City next season.

The win didn’t stop all the riots. At full time, the awful ITV pundits, who include Adrian Chiles, of The One Show fame, reported how stones were thrown at their studio window. While the obvious culprit for his act of vandalism would be angry Brazilians, I suspect it could be the England fans, showing their dissatisfaction towards the awful Champions League coverage we had to endure last season.

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