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World Cup 2014 : Eyeballs on World Cup 2018 — Modi sarkar may make the 'impossible' happen

Vikramdeep Johal, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 29, 2014
First Published: 08:47 IST(29/6/2014) | Last Updated: 15:35 IST(29/6/2014)

What a pity the NDA took control just weeks before the football World Cup. Had the turbo-charged Modi sarkar stormed to power a year ago, we today might have seen Team India being honourably trounced, 6-0 in tennis style, by hosts Brazil (and that’s only the halftime score).

Never mind. This super-ambitious government still has time to make the ‘impossible’ happen: India playing in the World Cup, as early as 2018. If the PM and Co pull it off, the 2019 general election could merely be a walkover for them. I might be a seasonal soccer fan, like many of you, but I do have a five-point plan that can help the NDA score the mother of all goals. Kick out cricket: Our unofficial national sport, the one that drives most of us crazy, has to make way for football.

Eradication of corruption and poverty can wait. It’s a must to eradicate cricket first. One way of doing it is to hold the annual Indian Premier League every month, with a maximum two-day break between two editions. Nothing will kill cricket in this country, except overkill. Dhoni’s helicopter shots will look pedestrian, while Preity Zinta’s high-fives will no longer bring happiNess — if you have to watch them every week.

Nothing’s impossible, folks. Look what we have done to poor hockey, our so-called national sport, with our ‘We-don’t-give-a-damn’ attitude (now tell me: who was India’s captain in the recent World Cup?). There’s no reason why we can’t do the same damage to cricket.

Go ball-istic: This country needs balls, literally. The government can airdrop them everywhere — slums, markets, parks, houses. The aim is not only to develop love for the beautiful game but also to encourage frustrated people to vent their anger on a sphere of synthetic leather rather than on each other. This will drastically bring down the rate of domestic as well as public violence. But don’t be surprised if there comes up a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to the Football or a National Football Rights Commission.

Beat thy neighbour: It’s so embarrassing that the Brazuca ball being used in the World Cup has been made in Sialkot (Pakistan) rather than in our own Jalandhar. Come on, BeeJay-Pee, you might have lost this Lok Sabha seat to the Congress, but that shouldn’t stop you from pumping life into a dying hub of sports goods. It’s time to show Pakistan who’s the boss in the battle of the balls.

By hook/crook: Let’s face it: our team’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup are as bleak as those of Sunny Leone playing the role of Mother India. But we can take a cue from Qatar, the stinking-rich Arab nation which allegedly bribed its way to become the 2022 edition’s host.

Luckily, the FIFA headquarters are in Zurich (Switzerland), and all the black money stashed in Swiss banks by our esteemed leaders can be used for a noble purpose right there, instead of being brought all the way back to India. That would really mean cutting across party lines to reach the goal line.

The last resort: If everything else fails, we can seek reservation in the WC (World Cup, friends, not the loo), claiming our footballing supremacy among South Asian nations. After all, in the sub-continent of the blind, the one-eyed country is the king. Or, we can simply ignore the five-point plan and just sit back and enjoy all the action in Bra-Zeal.


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