Thursday, 24 July 2008

Using military edifices for sporting ends

An idea from left-field here: Israeli filmmaker Eytan Heller and international NGO, OneVoice, have floated the idea of a joint Israeli-Palestinian bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Now this got me thinking. Whilst the military checkpoints and lack of infrastructure would appear to be a insurmountable obstacle to hosting a global football tournament, the 700km security wall would be perfect for a game of "Wally" (pronounced wall-e).

No, not the new Pixar movie, that's Wall-E. And not the guy you have to find in the red-and-white stripey jumper. This is "Wally": the childhood game in which you kick the ball against a wall in such a way that your opponent can't return it. There was a raft of tactical possibilities: you could go for power in the hope that the ball would travel sufficiently far that you're opponent couldn't reach the wall with his kick, or strategic placement - hitting the wall at such an angle that the ball ricocheted violently off somewhere that made it near impossible to hit the wall unless you were some kind of footballing wizard. If you were a conniving bastard, you could just run in their way and stop them kicking it.

Argentina's Lionel Messi might think he's good with all his little dinks and dribbles, his tricks and tomfoolery, but let's see how he fares when faced with a little bit of "Wally". British defenders take note - extreme power with no thought of direction will win the day here. Forget picking a teammate out, just hoof it my son!

Anyway, I have no doubt that a dose of global Wally action would smoothe the way to peace in the Middle East more successfully than any global submit or Presidential peace initiative. Although...when I think back, Wally was quite a competitive game - we were always accusing one another of having taking an extra touch. Yes, now that I come to think of it, it's probably a bad idea...any hopes of a two-state solution will be cast out of the window forver when Mahmoud Abbas is seen gloating wildly after Ehud Olmert swings his right foot and "air kicks" before triping over his own shoelace.

Also, on a more technical level: with a wall that long, how would you miss?