Much to the disappointment bordering on devastation of assorted neocons and Russophobes in the West, the Russia 2018 World Cup has been a rip-roaring success, replete with high drama on the pitch and by wide acclaim the most joyous and celebratory atmosphere of any World Cup tournament in living memory of it.
Indeed the tournament in Russia has been such a success that it invites the question of what it is about football/soccer that engenders such emotion, passion and joy? Those who claim that spectator sport, and in this instance football, constitutes a distraction, a stultifying exercise in bread and circuses designed to dull the consciousness of the masses, those people could not be more wrong.
For rather than a distraction or escape from reality, football as a mass spectator sport is arguably a distillation of reality into 90 minutes. The gamut of human emotions experienced by the crowd and on display on the pitch — joy, euphoria, triumph, despair, anguish and disappointment — remind us of that which connects rather than divides us.
The interaction among the crowd reaffirms a primal desire for collectivism, solidarity, togetherness and social bonds of common purpose.
So, no, football is not a denial of reality it is its embrace.
On this special World Cup episode we are joined by host of Capital FM Moscow and sports journalist, Alan Moore.
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