While the political world is fixated on the coup-that-is-not-being-called a coup over in Zimbabwe, rugby had a
As expected, the immediate reaction was a knee-jerk emotional one with everything from the Guptas (people give these guys way too much credit sometimes) to the media being mean about the country being in a bit of a state being fingered as the culprits. Oh and let’s not forget the crime! Because, you know, it’s not like France isn’t a major target for terrorism, right?
Truth is, the matter is far more complicated than that and for all of World Rugby’s chest thumping about transparency, there’s not so much transparency in a secret ballot.
But, if sport mirrors life, then let the irony of those calling for an open ballot with World Cup host votes possibly being the same as asking for secret ballots to remove President Jacob Zuma not be lost on anyone. We are nothing but a smorgasbord of delicious irony.
In the aftermath, many tears will be cried over just how “unifying” hosting global show-pieces can be and how it’s ever-so-good for country morale. But is it really? Does a kid living in a shack, wondering whether they might get a meal tonight really give two toots about Georgia playing Romania in a Rugby World Cup match and all the window dressing gees? Probably not.
And while six years is a long time, it’s not long enough to remedy the vast disparity in
And then there is that prickly issue of transformation.
And so, we’d have had administrators and politicians smugly backslapping each other about how great they are while that kid in the township wonders how he or she is going to make it to school, never mind the Springbok team.
This view might be the extreme misanthropic outlook, but struggling to separate feel-good from tangible progress remains a hindrance to change.
There is one good thing that can immediately come from all of this, though. The French basking in their hosting glory might just awaken Eben Etzebeth and co from their slumber when the two sides play each other over the weekend.
There’s no doubt they’ll be a bunch of smug bastards when they host South Africa the Stade de France, over the weekend – and for that, patriotism cannot be underestimated. As the Boks continue to swing wildly from one extreme to the next, maybe a bit of arrogant French joie de vivre will help them find their
If their “France 2023” displays against New Zealand last weekend was anything to go by, expect a far greater in-your-face performance this weekend. And it might just make Etzebeth angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry. It won’t teach them to kick, catch, run into space or any other basic skills, but it might light a fire in their collective bellies – something which was sorely lacking last weekend.
And hey, even if they manage to engineer a loss even in the face of such smugness, at least they are not as bad as Bafana Bafana.
But not everything is mountains of merde this week.
In the only World Cup victory in all sport this week,
Photo: Chad le Clos of South Africa on his way to win the men’s 200m Butterfly final during the 17th FINA Swimming World Championships in the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary, 26 July 2017. EPA/TAMAS KOVACS HUNGARY OUT
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