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   I do not know about your family... (June 15, 1990)

I do not know about your family, but in my family it is difficult to watch a World Cup match on TV and concentrate.

For instance, last night, we were watching the Cameroon-Romania match and, just as the Cameroonian with the Afro hairstyle was running the ball past two defenders and towards the approaching goalkeeper, the wife said: "I would like to see Argentina play, I am told they are very good."

"But you saw them yesterday," I said. "All those little cheats, tripping themselves, falling all over the place, and pretending to be hurt."

"How was I to know they were Argentinians, you didn't tell me. I though they Italians," the wife said.

My elder son, Darryl, said: "Even if a person did not follow football, he would know the difference between Italians and Argentians. Italians have larger noses."

My younger son, Derek, who is in the habit of making the most profound of statements about things he know little about, said: "I don't think the South American chalenger need be taken seriously his year. Except, perhaps, for Uruguay, the ageing process has set in in all the team."

My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, who takes his russian name seriously, said: "The USSR team has been given a raw deal, I counted two penalty shots and seven infringements that the Swedish refree ignored."

The wife said: "I wounder why Sweden is not playing. They have very good footballers and I would have loved to watch them."

"But they are playing and you saw them," I said. "And they are not good footballers, you yourself commented how badly they were combining."

"Oh, those were the Swedes, I though they were Austrians. You should have told me," the wife said.

Darryl said: "If is not difficult to tell a Swede from an Austrian. The Swedes are fairer than Austrians. Austrians are almost what they call middle Europe."

Derek said: "It is indicative of the tremendous gulf between world soccer standards and Asian standards that the Asian challenge is restricted to South Korea and the UAE."

Bolshoi said: "Though the USSR may not have fared so well this time, and you still can't say as the final whistle has not blown, but the fact remains that it is Russian coaches who are training football teams all over the world."

The match had ended by this time. The Cameroon team members were hugging one another and slapping hands in the air. The wife said: "I knew it, the West Indies would finally win. They always do."

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