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  1. First off, I was always a passionate fan of football (no, not American Rugby, the actual sport where you kick the ball with your FEET, hence: football). Also known by some as "soccer" *shudders I think it's the best and most intense professional team sport in the world, and features a variety of interesting aspects, like techniques, skill, tactics, set-pieces and strategies. I also love the atmosphere in stadiums during an intense match. However, there were always a variety of reasons to want to "boycott" professional football world cups. From the patriotic fervour to all the corruption scandals, violent football hooligans, I still felt I always had plenty of reason to look forward to and be excited about the football world cup. This year, I will not be watching the 2018 FIFA Football World Cup hosted in Russia. I did a lot of thinking if this would compensate my political neutrality, but it feels different than simply making a political statement. With all the World Cups until now, I had the feeling that they were being hosted in a country that I don't have any particular relationship to, neither positive nor negative.. okay, maybe except for the 2006 one in my own country, which I still recall as the biggest and longest, most fun party I ever experienced. Back then I was still sporting the black, red and gold and wearing it with pride. For one thing, I wasn't particularly against a certain amount of national pride back then, for another, when the Cup is held in your own country, it's difficult not to be swept along with the euphoria even if you ignore the patriotic element. This time, it feels different. Let's say that the World Cup is a festival that is hosted at some other Gatsby's estate each time, every four years they take it in turns for someone else to host the festival. There are so many guests that it is impossible to make a statement about the festival's nature. Within the villa, the rich guests have a debauched orgy and get drunk. Outside on the pattio, there is drinking and dancing to the limits but not as bad. Further outside in the gardens, people are having a good time and talking and relaxing. For arguments sake, the brothers and friends enjoying the World Cup are among those in the garden. However, this year around, the festival is being held by someone who despises you and all your friends. In fact, he imprisons some of your friends in his basement. Would I even consider visiting his party? Absolutely not. When is too much simply too much. No way I can even watch a single match with a good conscience, watching all these proud Russian officials presenting their spectacle while our brothers are being persecuted. My true home nation is not being represented at the Russia 2018 Football World Cup. In fact, it is being viciously attacked by the host.
  2. Anyone watching the final tonight? Our attendance is always poor when big matches are on, especially when it's Madrid or Barça. Ours finishes tonight just as the game starts so I'm guessing it'll be a quick dash to the bars near the hall!

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