Yesterday (Brazil time or the local time – today early morning 12:30 AM India Time) was the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 all were waiting for – the first game between two equally tough challengers who were also the finalists of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa – where Spain emerged victorious over the Netherlands after scoring the lone goal of the match in the extra time and winning its first FIFA World Cup trophy – a game with some spectacular action was expected – but the end result was a mixed one with the Netherlands taking their game to an amazing ferocity in the second half while Spain completely lost the plot.

The first half was a true Spain Vs Netherlands fight.

The second half was Netherlands over Spain with no true fight on the ground and in the minds.

Observations during the game that kept everyone hooked:

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Spain lost its 1st match 0-1 in 2010 and went over to win the WC. Can they pull back from a 1-5 loss?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands score amazing win over #Spain. Can Spain come back after this humiliating loss?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – 1st half was like the world champ Vs the runner up of 2010. 2nd half, #Netherlands decimate #Spain.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – can #Netherlands pull another 1?

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands -#Robben and #VanPersie, 2 goals each, give #Netherlands winning lead 5-1. 5 mins lft. #Spain now look resigned.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – 10 mins left, #Netherlands score 5th, #Spain looks completely lost

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands -#Netherlands score 4th one, # Spain hands over the goal to the Dutch. Spain looking lost at the moment.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands looking more charged up, score 3rd goal, keeping the ball more with them.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Netherlands missed just another one. #Spain, heat up the rains.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h
#SpainVsNetherlands – #Robben’s goal gives the Dutch 1-2 lead. #Spain mounts up.

Santosh Chaubey @Toshch · 15h

#SpainVsNetherlands – the 1st #FIFA2014 challenger lives up to the expectations in the 1st half. Bravo! #Spain Vs #Netherlands like the 2010 WC final.

The 2nd such much awaited game is tomorrow, 3:30 AM India (today Brazil time) when Italy and England, the former two FIFA World Cup winners, meet up.

It’s time for some good moments, some quality TV viewing time..

Enjoy the game. You don’t need to be a soccer expert for it. Football was never my first love, yes, but the FIFA World Cup is different.

The motion, the action, the crowds, all so volatile, all so paced up, like the high-pitched notes of every type of foot-thumping music – its so charming, so loving, so captivating.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


Going by the reports, the Goa government junket (of ministers and MLAs) to the FIFA World Cup is no more the Goa government ‘junket’. It stands cancelled / modified now.

Cancelled, as the trip will be funded by the ministers and the members of the Goa legislative assembly (MLAs) now in their personal capacity! Modified, as the trip is still on. But, anyway, that is just playing around the words.

The baseline is, the taxpayers’ money is not going to be wasted on this ‘pathetically’ conceived ‘exploratory study’ sort of tour.

Obviously, it came after its due share of humiliation and political manifestation that could have been easily avoided.

But given the past track record, and his good name (with the legend of being a chief minister who still drives his scooter), Mr. Manohar Parrikar should be given the benefit of doubt and should be duly thanked for listening to the voices and taking this ‘in time’ decision.

Yes, the trip is still on, but the Goa sports minister has withdrawn his name and four other BJP members and one independent MLA will pay from their pocket to enjoy the Brazilian hospitality.

So, we can say the junket has been junked, rightly and in time.

Whatever went into – the delayed conscience of a good human being-cum-politician-turned-chief minister Manohar Parrikar – or the BJP central leadership pressure with Narendra Modi on a ‘cleanliness’ drive – or the pressure of mounting criticism by media, social media, civil society and political opposition – the decision or the ‘U-turn’ by the Goa government after the strong defense by Mr. Parrikar came just a day later, yesterday – and therefore, Mr. Parrikar deserves to be thanked, even if he doesn’t come forward to clear his position.

I have been an admirer of him and was feeling bad while writing the satirical piece* on the junket day before yesterday. And therefore this decision just in a day has come as a personal relief.

Every prime minister is not as strong by his position as Narendra Modi is. Same can be said about chief ministers.

Manohar Parrikar is not as strong a chief minister by his position as J Jayalalitha or Mamata Banarjee or Naveen Patnaik is. And we should not be surprised if this whole ‘FIFA junket’ exercise was an imposed idea sort of thing that Mr. Parrikar could not ‘junk initially’.

But, ‘all’s that ends well’! It’s clear now.

And thanks for that Mr. Parrikar!


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –