There is a saying which is attributed to Dr Mustafa Mahmoud that the greatest achievement made by the underdeveloped countries is that they managed to convince their people that reaching the soccer World Cup is a great achievement and that the failure of education and health is something normal.
Qualification to the World Cup is nonsense if you don’t really win it. Even if any of our countries win in that field, it will be by luck, not actually a deserved victory. This victory is met by a failure in hundreds of other fields, and the glamour of such a victory will surely disappear quickly.
Many have spoken of the success of Iceland, a small European country given its population and area for advancing to the World Cup in Russia, unaware that it is one of the most advanced and prosperous countries in the world thanks to the quality of its health and education systems in addition to the early zero administrative and political corruption in its governance.
Amazingly, most of the players of Iceland are not professional. They include a director, a filmmaker, a real estate agent, five doctors, a lawyer, a music artist and so on.
If we compare the money spent by Iceland to prepare its national team to join the World Cup, we will find it less than what was spent by an Arab country only on the administrative delegation to the competition. We will notice we have drained everything and returned to the country empty handed. We will compare what was spent by a secondary Arab state on an official delegation that accompanied the team.
Members of the team from Iceland can be a real world example for their compatriots. On the other hand, most of our players, with their morals, educational levels and ambitions, are a bad example for the youth in their societies, especially the children, who are convinced that running behind the ball is more effective than running behind science, studies and hard work.
A funny individual asked about the way the team of Iceland was selected. The answer came as follows:
In Iceland the total population is 332,529; 165,295 of them are women. The number of those who are below 18 is 40,546, those above 35 are 82,313; 22,136 are overweight; 1,246 are involved in whale hunting; 314 are working in the seismic field, 164 monitor the movement of volcanoes, 1,934 are shepherds, 1,464 work for the meat industry, 23 are bankers in jail, 194 are blind, 7,564 are sick, 564 work as paramedics, 8,781 work in various fields, those who accompanied the soccer team are 2 doctors, 2 therapists and 7 administrative.
The remaining 23 people, who do not work, have become football players!
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf