2007 GULF Cup
Oman and UAE will be banging heads tomorrow night at Zayed Sport City, UAE for the 2007 Gulf Cup final after both teams sunk their respective opponents, Bahrain and Saudi, in semis just few days back. The final will be the second meet for both teams as they have played each other in the opening game where Oman thumped an over-confident UAE, so the final will be a heating battle of revenge for UAE. Both have never won the Cup, which adds to the excitement!
I am not gonna write soccer per se, but the soccer mania in GCC. Just about everybody is so freaking obsessed with football here, I mean, fine other places are equally fanatical too, but it’s a bit difference here. It’s not something bad or anything, but the life transformation amazes me. I just could not believe the atmosphere during the season, it totally transformed from the normal dreary night to a super pulsating night, as if life is all about football. Stalls and coffee shop at almost every corner are putting up big screens, chairs and table are spread outdoors, and people are coming out from nowhere thronging the joints. Cars are roving aimlessly honking non-stop with flags and some ingenious decorations representing the country identity. It’s like a big short-term license granted by the country for all to do crazy and fanatical things, it’s an excuse for you to shout, chant and sing your heart out loud. If they win the match, the ambience escalates to an even more mega-like festivity. Roads are jammed bumper to bumper, cars honking non-stop, chanting kids and woman are out on the street – it is just one big momma celebration, I mean, bigger than the National Day celebration.
And talk about sponsorships and incentive; the players are blessed with all these. Personal contribution, prizes, money, present and gifts incentive or what ever you may call it tosses to players and the team like nobody’s business.