Dominik Livakovic for the Golden Boot
On the eve of the Qatar World Cup 2022, Brazil and Argentina were the most favoured teams to lift this year’s Football World Cup (“Mbappe, Giroud or Messi: Who will win the Golden Boot at the Qatar World Cup?’, Gulf News, December 13). However, hats off to Croatia, who put a break to the Samba dance. As usual, the Brazilian defence could not hold on to their lead till the end to book a semi-final position. After Neymar’s goal during the extra time, Brazil was coasting for a win till the dying moments of the extra time. Croatia started penetrating Brazil’s defence during the last few minutes before the final whistle. Their constant attack proved fruitful when Bruno Petkovic took a shot of the ball to beat the Brazilian goalkeeper to give new life to his team. From there on, it was a foregone conclusion that Croatia, with the ever-reliable goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, would be through to the semi-finals. As expected, Livakovic saved two penalties to seal their place in the semi-finals. With his heroics against Japan and now against Brazil, he is the front-runner for the Golden Boot this time.
From Mr Vinay Mahadevan
Atlas Lions of Morocco
Moroccan guys lost the match but won millions of hearts (“FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: France beat Morocco 2-0 to reach final - in pictures”, Gulf News, December 15). Well played, team Morocco. It’s a game. Losing and winning are what make it a game. But we are very proud that Morocco made a marvellous effort in reaching the semi-finals. They are already our heroes. Morocco, see you in the finals in the next FIFA World Cup.
From Mr Ramzy Dis
FIFA World Cup Finals
Even though the preliminary games of the World Cup created unexpected results, the final game, on December 18, will be fought between two veteran teams, as expected. The victory of Saudi over Argentina indicates that any nation can defeat the traditional winners. Countries that have never played, too, should be given an opportunity. The performance of Afghanistan in International cricket is a typical example. Countries like Afghanistan need more opportunities and resources, talent and enthusiasm. I urge FIFA to induct more countries into the upcoming world cup.
From Mr Girish R Edathitta
Morocco’s magic during the World Cup
Over the last few weeks, the African continent has beamed with pride as the Atlas Lions of Morocco reached the FIFA World Cup semi-final, becoming the first African team to do so. Last evening’s result does not change that. Well done. You did your best, and that was evident.
From Mr George Mosh Musuza
India: Vizhinjam port protest
It is the most unfortunate and unacceptable incident of protesters attacking a police station and injuring police officers ("India: Protesters, police clash over the port in Kerala, 80 hurt", Gulf News, November 28). Oommen Chandy, the former Chief Minister of Kerala, handed over the construction of the Vizhinjam port to the Adani port, in 2015.
Climate change has led to shore erosion and loss of houses, and many fishermen have lost their livelihood. Instead of addressing the real issue of the fishermen, the protesters want to stop the port construction, which is not practical. Taking the law into their hands is unacceptable, and the government should take strict action against these protesters.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Cricket World Test Championship final
To qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) finals, the Indian cricket team must win the series against Bangladesh and Australia. Though our stand-in captain is keen to play aggressive cricket, it would be nice for our team to first ensure a victory against the Bangladesh team and then think about winning against Australia and qualifying for the WTC finals. The England team, led by Ben Stokes, could play aggressively as they have batsmen who are steady and can score fast. Apart from that, bowlers like Anderson, Robinson, Wood, and Leach could defend any target set by them. If only the Indian batsmen had shown an assertive mindset during the first two matches of the One Day series against Bangladesh, the final result would have been different. I wish KL Rahul and his team the best during the Test series against Bangladesh.
From Mr N Mahadevan