BHS prepares for FIFA World Cup – BHS Register

BHS has students from 49 different countries. For many of them, football is more than just a sport.

“It’s like you represent the whole country,” said Innocent Ndikuriyo ’23. “There is a lot at stake. And that’s why everyone gets so passionate.”

Football is the biggest sport in the world and the World Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions. As a result, countries invest heavily in the tournament and generate an energy that many feel is unmatched by other sporting events.

There is nothing better than the Olympic Games and the World Cup that bring all countries together.”

—Daniel Gavin

“There is nothing better than the Olympic Games and the World Cup, which brings all countries together,” said Daniel Gavin, German teacher. “But honestly, even more so than the Olympics, football is just a sport that the whole world – literally the whole world – is focused on at this time.”

French and Spanish teacher Mariu Govea will be cheering on her native country, Ecuador. Govea has many traditions around the World Cup.

“Everyone is involved,” Govea said. “We watch it on TV, we wear it [jerseys]… we eat right in front of the TV and we cry, we dance, we go out – we do a lot of crazy things.”

Many also appreciate the high intensity and level of play that the tournament offers.

“There is no comparison here [in the US].” Gavin said. “Football is growing every year, but the fever in Germany is electric.”

Ndikuriyo agreed.

“I just wanted to see some really good games because the level of the World Cup is just so much better than at club level,” said Ndikuriyo. “Everyone is just so much more invested.”

This high level of competition means that the US men’s national team has never won a World Cup and did not qualify for the previous 2018 World Cup.

“It’s kind of sad that our country isn’t doing so well, but at the same time we haven’t been doing well for a long time. So I’m pretty used to it,” Ndikuriyo said. “But you know, you always want your team to be successful,” Ndikuriyo said. “If they don’t, it just sucks.”

Alternatively, the US women’s national team is considered the best in the world, having won four of the eight world championships held.

“I mean it’s a disappointment [our U.S. Men’s team], but our women’s team was good too,” said Vivian Halladay ’24. “People care more about the women’s team than the men’s team.”

Most soccer tournaments are held annually, while the World Cup is only held every four years. This World Cup will likely be the last for many well-known players including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Watching these stars play their final national games is a highlight for many students.

“I really hope they have really good World Championships,” said Ndikuriyo. “I hope Messi wins.”

This World Cup is taking place this year in Qatar, a very hot country on the Arabian Peninsula. The tournament usually takes place in late summer but has been postponed to late November due to high temperatures in Qatar.

“It definitely sucks. I can’t just be at home in the summer and watch with people. Also, I have to take care of the school,” said Ndikuriyo. “Maybe I’ll watch the World Cup while I’m in class.”

The tournament begins with a match between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20th.

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