To say my husband is a soccer fanatic is an understatement. He’s British and plans his week around the Manchester United game schedule. But then again, I know a lot of Brits, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Central and South Americans who do the same around their favorite teams.
World Cup around the world is when millions of tvs are all tuned to the game of the moment; millions and millions of fans gather in cafes, pubs, city squares and sidewalks to watch their national teams. It’s an AMAZING wonderful experience!
This is the 1st year that Bosnia-Herzegovina is playing in the World Cup. The excitement here is palpable. The BiH squad is composed of Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. All the ethnic groups that have struggled so hard to find common ground in this ethnically divided country. This team is a rare example of a talented group of young men working together with one goal: to make their country proud.
Their first game was against Argentina and the superstar Lionel Messi. But BiH has its own superstar—striker Dzeko. He lived through the siege of Sarajevo in 92-95. He learned to play soccer inside a bunkered apartment reinforced with sandbags stacked in windows to protect against sniper fire. Playing outside was out of the question. Soccer became his passion, his focus, his “normal” when Sarajevo was a living hell.
A week ago we joined thousands of Bosnians—young and old to celebrate “Bosnia’s turn in the World Cup.” We were surrounded by this amazing energy of joy and hope—of young people dancing and cheering like crazy. Their 2nd game against Nigeria was stolen from them by a terrible call that disallowed a goal by Dzeko. Bosnia hopes for a better result with Iran this week. Bosnia is playing in the World Cup—and I hope this squad symbolizes an example of unity that this country so desperately needs. Go Bosnia!