Football has little to worry about

An incredible atmosphere ... Socceroos fans at the 2010 World Cup (Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

Football and its broad appeal in Australia has gone so far in the past30 years that I have long ago ceased to be concerned by the anti-soccer mob.

I see the anti-soccer mob back home has found a fresh horse to ride on – Australia’s failure to advance to the second phase of the World Cup.

Boy, they are loving this.

Whew, it was close though. A few less goals conceded to Germany or Wilkshire converting his sitter against Ghana and our boys would have been in the last 16 and may now be preparing to face Uruguay in the quarter-finals.

That’s where Ghana is now, the team which till it met the USA managed to score just two goals, two lousy and lucky penalties, in its three group games. And which played two of those three games largely against 10 men.

Yet, against the steely Americans, they scored two wonderful goals and looked all the part of worthy quarter-finalists and noble torchbearers of the African cause.

That’s the fine line between success and failure in a football World Cup, the wondrous fickleness of the game that these miserable Neanderthals do not understand, or refuse to see.

It’s the theatre of it which makes the World Cup so appealing, even in Australia where so far nine million people have watched it and where it brings tens of thousands out into city squares to watch and celebrate in the dead of winter.

And the pointy end is still to come.

The anti-soccer resistance movement continues to shrink and has become totally irrelevant, its members cutting lonely figures stumbling about in the dark.

They huddle in desperate fear that Australia will get to host the World Cup in 12 years time. What that might do to demonstrate how important football is to Australians terrifies them.

Most of them are so old they’ll hopefully be smelling violets from underneath by the time that happens.

The few younger ones will of course jump on the bandwagon and cash in as cheap media tarts. Some of them are here in South Africa doing it now.

Of course they could be right in their argument that 'the round ball game’ is less than entertaining.

To quote a colleague with us here in Cape Town: 'The other codes are never dull. Salary cap rorts. Defecating in hotel corridors. Pack rape. Drugs. Racism. That's what football needs. More meatheads. Spice it up a bit.’

Football and its broad appeal in Australia has gone so far in the past 30 years that I have long ago ceased to be concerned by these cave dwellers.

But I do wish they’d shut up.