The problem with FIFA World Cups is, if you didn’t do very well, there are generally consequences when you return home, all depending on expectations of course.
When the England squad returned to Luton Airport on Wednesday last week they were greeted by ... well nobody. However, it seems expectations were somewhat higher in South Korea.
When the South Korea squad, who like England picked up a solitary point from their three games in Brazil, arrived at Incheon airport on Monday, they had toffees thrown at them as they lined up for photographs — apparently “go eat a toffee” is an insult in South Korea along the lines of “screw you.”
I later learned it’s also an insult in Afrikaans, which is probably one of the only things South Africans and South Koreans have in common — apart from the direction that is to your right when you are facing the rising sun, as the southerly direction is so handily defined by Merriam Webster.
So how do I find it in the afternoon, eh?
One man who left Brazil earlier than scheduled was Count Dracula ... sorry, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez.
He might have left, but the controversy continued on Thursday last week when Reuters reported that coke-snorting Diego Maradona — a man who knows all about being thrown out of a World Cup in disgrace — blasted FIFA’s ban on Suarez on his TV show as “criminal” and said it might as well have handcuffed the striker and locked him up in Guantanamo Bay.
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica also weighed in by phoning the program and pulling this conspiracy theory out of thin air.
“We kicked out Italy, we kicked out England, how much money was lost there?” Mujica asked.
“We’re Uruguay, we’re very little. It was cheap,” Mujica said while cheaply currying favor with the electorate.
Mujica was back on TV on Sunday with this to say: “Those at FIFA are a gang of old sons of bitches.”
Steady Jose, I might start agreeing with you.
Suarez’s grandma also weighed in with a conspiracy theory.
“Everyone knows what they’ve done to Luis. They wanted him out of the World Cup. Perfect, they did it. They chucked him out of there like a dog,” a sobbing Lila Piriz da Rosa told Reuters.
“I’m his granny and I love my boy loads,” Piriz said. “Please don’t ask me any more.”
My advice to Maradona, Mujica and all the Suarez apologists: start a petition.
That’s what soccer fan Daniel McCarthy did earlier this year, according to the Irish Mirror, when he threw his support behind a knighthood for former Leicester City and Liverpool “striker” Emile Heskey, who scored seven goals in 62 internationals.
Yes, Emile Heskey.
Unfortunately for deranged Daniel, the British government rejected his idea in April.
Then there was the mysterious Mr Benson, who launched a petition to persuade the British government that only people with ginger hair should be allowed to live in the UK.
Mr Benson, who represented the Gingers for Justice lobby group, claimed ginger people had been forced into hiding and needed to be liberated.
Good — ginger tossers.
A group of campaigners even petitioned the British monarchy to change the national anthem to something more modern and appropriate — Gold by Spandau Ballet.
Modern? Appropriate? Does this mean I’ll have to buy a kilt?
As if that wasn’t enough, they also suggested that lead singer Tony Hadley should be the only person permitted to preside over medal ceremonies when the national anthem is played, ideally wearing a gold suit.