DESPITE Fighting Heroically, Croatia Lost WC To France By 4-2

SUNDAY was indeed an eventful day for sports enthusiasts across the globe as France fought against Croatia and was eventually crowned as the world’s football power by winning the 2018 prized FIFA WC and Novak Djokovic, 31, won his 4th prestigious Wimbledon Title .It was the Serb’s 13th Grand Slam when he achieved the feat by defeating Kevin Anderson, South African professional tennis player. Earlier, tennis icon Serena Williams, 36, from the United States of America lost the Wimbledon final in women’s category to Angelique Kerber, 30 years old German. France had last become WC champion on its soil two decades ago. Croatia ,an European nation with a populace of  42   lakhs ,much less than an Indian metropolitan city, had first reached WC  semi-final in 1998 and  the summit  clash for the first time  in the  Russia hosted just concluded soccer jamboree. Both Croatia and France till the final remained unbeaten in the 32-nation WC held every four years. The 32 teams were divided into 8 groups who played across Russia’s   from June 14. They are expected to play in the 2022 WC in Qatar in West Asia from November 21 till December 18.  It will be the 22 edition of the  championship held every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion was Germany which won its fourth title at the 2014 tournament in Brazil. Runners –up was Argentina .The  2018 final was held at Moscow’s Luzhinki Stadium on the Bank of Moscova River and not  far away from the historic Kremlin .The stadium claimed to be the best and the largest across Russia  can accommodate as many as 81,000 people. The 21st WC was held from June 14 to July 15 in 12 venues in 11 Russian cities keeping soccer lovers glued to their favourite TV channels. But we should not miss the most important point that Russian President  Vladimir Putin  has emerged as a strong and successful personality with the  hassle free conclusion of the multi-national mega event. Sports administrators and heads of several states jostled with each other to complement as they assembled to sit through the finale.  France last won the title in 1998 when they beat Brazil 3-0 in a World Cup. Croatia remained  undefeated in Group D, including a convincing 3-0 win over Argentina, then beat both Spain and Russia in matches that lasted 2 hours each and both went to penalty kicks. Their semi-final victory against England also needed two periods of extra time. But they won it without the need for penalty kicks. Among the 32 teams, Belgium is yet to become finalists. Journalists did not fail to notice at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday evening that cameras are focused on Vladimir Putin, looking delighted in the official box together with Fifa president Gianni Infantino. The Guardian  observes “The Russian president has every reason to be happy  since  the general consensus is that Russia has hosted a successful World Cup and hundreds of thousands of foreigners are leaving with positive impressions of the host country .Having been in power for the best part of two decades, Putin and Russia are often seen as interchangeable concepts: what’s good for one is good for the other. This time, though, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”(image courtesy to BBC )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *