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Soccer World Cup in Mozambique
If Mozambique participated, we would keep our fingers crossed and celebrate. The “mambas”, that’s what the Mozambican national team is called, didn’t survive the first rounds. So this year again, we won’t watch Mozambique against Austria in the finals. But if your own country doesn’t participate in the World Cup, at least you can hope for your continent. Africa of course has some deputies as well. Keeping fingers crossed, cheering, or despairing… all that makes sense again.
Soccer can be played everywhere. It doesn´t matter, whether there is a tree or a well on the field. The beach which inclines towards the water, or just a parking lot next to the street, is just fine enough. The only necessary characteristic for the ball to “roll”. Lots of things are used to kick them around.
Here you will also come across spectators, animated with a fair amount of beer, who trumpet their beer breath with great fervor through vuvuzelas. The vuvuzela, sold by the host as a tradition in the African Soccer, it exists since 2001, makes an enormous noise. These days it is controversally discussed in the media. I like humankind, therefore I also like their bad habits.
Whether in the bairro of Macurungu in Beira, where a few kids kick the ball, which is made out of plastic strings and condoms, or on the soccer field in Manga, where Sporting da Beira is winning against CFM Pemba 4:0, or all ladies teams of Manga are competing each other, it doesn´t matter. The emotions are the same as in the Public Viewing zone of “Passagem de Nivel”, where you could watch Mozambique loosing out against Nigeria. It was the Mambas themselves who decided the game - by scoring 2 own goals!!
In front of the Grande Hotel in Beira they play in the local league. Nobody cares about the fact, that there is a huge well in the middle of the field. There´s a winner and a looser team, which afterwords is wildly looking for a scapegoat of their defeat.
Also leaving Beira you will find soccer all over. Whether in Quelimane - the capital of the Sambesi Province, or in Ambahne – a village 50 kilometers distant to the next power pole, or in Gurue or in Estaquinha. There is a kickoff, and then they play. That´s what soccer offers in Mozambique.
Whether the worldcup brings benefits for Mozambique? Different prognosis were predicted than we experience now. The Mozambican hotels stay empty. Maybe more beer is drunken. After the finals we will see, what is left.
Come with me to the Mozambican soccer fields, or to the ones that for the moment are used as such…like here in the mission of Estaquinha in Sofala.