CPH Post

Opinion

Halfway Thoughts | Anyone but the southern Europeans!


Helen Hajjaj is a Danish-Lebanese journalist who has spent most of her life in Denmark. After stints in Beirut and Cairo, she returned home for a career in TV production. With parents from two different countries, Helen is able to see Denmark and the Danes from both sides but self-identifies as a Copenhagener.

June 28, 2014
07:05

by Helen Hajjaj


The World Cup has started, and for many people it’s a bit like Christmas. I’m one of those people. If you think about it, there are lots of similarities. More people put their faith in God(s) than they do the rest of the year. It’s a four-week warm-up for that one big day, when many will jump and dance in delight, while just as many will throw tantrums and sulk for days.

Better without the Danes

Having Denmark out of the tournament almost makes it better. This way I don’t have to face the inevitable disappointment of three humiliating losses and several weeks of experts saying we’re so close to having a team that might make it in two years.
 
Another plus is that I can go into the World Cup supporting a team that might actually win. And if my favourite loses, I have a first, second and third runner-up to always take their place. So basically the odds are that one of my teams will make it to the final.


North to south

How do I decide whom to support? It’s actually quite simple: geography. European countries beat non-European. Except if the other country is from the Middle East. Supporting a Middle Eastern team is pretty much a free bet, cause everyone knows they won’t win, making it moral support more than anything else. Another exemption from the rule is if I don’t like the European country, but more on that later.

Within Europe it goes north to south. Naturally I support Denmark if they’ve qualified. If not, I look at Sweden and Norway. But that’s almost like supporting a team from the Middle East. Sweden might have a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals, but that’s about it, making it a free bet. 

After Scandinavia, I look to Germany. I’ve been doing that for many years now, so I’m happy that finally it seems they might actually win. After Germany come the Netherlands and England in a tie. I keep telling myself to give up on the English team, but I have a soft spot for them. The Netherlands also seems to have a realistic shot at gold this year, which means that this could end up being one of the best tournaments in years, if you ask me.

No way in hell

My support keeps moving further south, engulfing France in the group of countries I cheer on. But that’s about where it stops. Spain, Italy and Portugal are on my 'No way in hell' list.

Which brings me back to my first rule: European countries over non-European EXCEPT if the European country is Spain, Italy or Portugal. Then I support whoever’s playing 
them.

I’m not really sure how I came to this rule, since I love southern Europe in regards to pretty much every other aspect. I think it might be because they have dominated football for so many years and I’ve always had a thing for the underdogs.

So who knows – maybe I’ll be going south to north in eight years if Germany and the Netherlands keep this up.
 




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