France’s World Cup triumph in Russia and cultural diversity and integration
One lesson I hope everyone took from France’s World Cup triumph in Russia is that cultural diversity and integration is essential and the way forward.
Don’t get me wrong, this write up would be meaningless if France hadn’t won but they did so I believe I should make a valid point. You can argue that there are other teams with multinationals, but no country has exemplified that more since 1998 than France.
And after initial cultural and political differences of the Evra and Raymond Domenech era, it became a priority for the French FA to adopt a more disciplined and cooperative footballing environment. Out went the bad and divisive eggs and in was a new breed of more corporative eggs.
I’m not saying the Patrice Evra, Raymond Domenech era was a failure as a result of cultural and national differences as the fallout actually started with a certain Nicolas Anelka. But my point is the need for a collective front. Ask Lionel Messi and the Argentine team about the 2018 World Cup tournament.
It is what football is all about. It is the beauty. The fact that people from various nationals can accept their realities as multinationals and embrace this fact and be ready to die for the cause.
I think I strayed from the point.
But imagine a French team without these multinationals, the outcome is speculative at best. They might have been great and they might not have been. Just as the Croatian team made up of mostly natives did great and should be lauded but who knows? The only apparent reasoning here is a country that have embraced multinationals and the idea of a one world. This is one of the results. True, racism still exists in some fractions of France as well. But when it comes to the national colors, everyone is united as one.
The racist lots might not agree but like the popular saying in the seasonal movie ‘the 100’. This victory was made possible by “Wan KRU” (one crew). A plethora of multinationals fighting together for a common cause; the World Cup.
You can hate Fulani’s and Hausas because of recent developments, but you all surely loved Ahmed Musa in those glorious World Cup moments. Even dislike Ibo’s for their Biafra agitations and perceived greed but you loved Iwobi as our star boy at least in the Pepsi adverts. You don’t have to be a fan of the Yorubas but has Leon Balogun defended like a legendary Oduduwa warrior, you loved him too. In those glorious moments, the whole country stood as one. Just as the whole world agreed on a ceasefire during World War II to honor a football match. Some of you even dug up Mbappe’s history as having Nigerian origin. You have subconsciously accepted this foreign national as one of our own.
Maybe the problem then lies in winning and excitement. The spirit of togetherness is easily promoted and propagated when things are going our way. And when we have something that makes us proud and boastful. But the moment push comes to shove, our passion easily reverts to hate and disgust. And we always find something to blame. Just ask Odion Ighalo or the referee that refereed the Nigeria – Argentina match.
Why can’t we just adopt the spirit of oneness and togetherness that Football promotes and recognize that we are all one and the same in our everyday lives. Humans!!!!
I don’t know if anyone noticed but foreigners bought the Nigerian jerseys as well. Did you also notice Nigerians in the stands rooting for countries other than theirs? What of the pre-tournament banters between various fans of different countries? These were people who don’t even understand each other but they all spoke a common language. Football!
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, France’s President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović were friends during that one glorious celebratory moment.
We are Wan Kru, whether we choose to recognize and embrace that truth or not. How to integrate this truth into our everyday lives and interactions is up to us.