Finding it hard to get excited for Russia
OBVIOUSLY had Ireland qualified it’d be totally different. Then it would have been World Cup fever, novelty songs, flags out bedroom windows and all the other madness. Stories of lads getting loans from the Credit Union, stories of lads heading off from Rosslare in camper vans and heading across the vast expanse of continental Europe on the ultimate road trip.
Of course we haven’t qualified and there’s none of that sort of thing – Angela, you’ll be happy to know, we’re at home, working hard and paying down the debt. If we’re being brutally honest, for whatever reason, the build up to this World Cup has pretty much passed us by and we’ve been left wondering why.
It’s not just because Ireland aren’t there – we weren’t there for any of the previous three championships and it didn’t result in this sort of indifference from us. Maybe it’s because Italy aren’t there? Maybe it’s because the Netherlands aren’t there?
Perhaps that is the reason, but we can’t shake this feeling that it’s because the championships are on in Russia. A place we now associate with Mr Putin, with shady links to Brexiteers (as revealed in blockbuster reports last weekend) and to the Trump campaign.
There’s been this drip-drip of reporting about the malign influence of Putin’s Russia on Western democracies for at least the past two years. In that context it’s hard to get too excited about what might happen on the steppes over the next month or so. Hopefully once the games begin we can focus on the football and forget the politics. But maybe that’s what we’re afraid of?