But the Philippines isn’t even breaking into a sweat.

In Germany, the venue of this year’s World Cup, worker’s unions are calling for flexible work schedules so that workers can watch the games and not be penalized for absences.

With the recently concluded FA Cup Finals (smashing game between the Reds and the Hammers) finding out where our expat bosses were at certain times of the working day was getting to be a cinch. All we did was check their calendars. If there was a football game showing live in the afternoon then we wouldn’t expect them to be back after lunch, or if there was a game early in the morning, chances are we wouldn’t be seeing them till after lunch.

It’s been four years since I was first pulled into the football frenzy individually by my boss and Sam, and the heat is on for us again as the World Cup begins in less than a month. If 11 million viewers watched the FA Cup Finals on the BBC, imagine how many people will be tuned in for the games in Germany.

There may still be hope for us yet, here in the Pinas where the hoop, and not the goal and crossbar, is king. My former co-worker Edwin (who used to think football was such a slow game because in 90 minutes only two or three points were scored at best, compared to basketball where you can score over a hundred) can now identify football jerseys at a glance, and rattle off squad members faster than one can say NBA. But then he learned to do that in the three years he’s been in Singapore, which is also football country.

My hope is that the Rockwell parking lot (or some such public area, but sans ignorant emcees) be again made the venue for even just the finals, or that the local cable companies pick up the games and show them live or if not then same day delayed.

My hope is that the Philippine Sports Commission include football in its Philippine Sports Talent Identification Program. That their TOP-START program not be limited to the predictable basketball but include football as well.

My hope is that enough exposure be given to football as a game not just for coño kids who go to schools with huge campuses with more than enough room for three football fields, but also for street kids who can lean how to dribble a ball with their bodies and not just their hands. If children in refugee camps can learn to play football, then our kids can learn it as well.

My hope is that if football is helping solve the problems in the war-torn areas of the world, then maybe it can help solve some of our problems as well.

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The Fever is Rising

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